No matter how much we may think it is, no one's home is perfect. Life gets in the way, and things like taking out the trash or dusting the living room become very low priorities on our list. And while a few crumbs or dirty clothes may not bother everyone, these experts say it's best to avoid the following mistakes the next time your friends come over.
You may not know what are doing when you aren't there but when you're with them, keep an eye on where they walk. If you notice they're jumping all over your countertops, then get them to stop ASAP. "I find it horrifying when animals are allowed on the counter ," says public relations specialist Catherine Fahy Green from . Even if you don't mind, guests probably don't want to eat or cook where a pet's dirty paws once were.
Most of us try our best to clean right after we eat. But sometimes life gets in the way and *magically* pile up. What's worse is sometimes there's food stuck to the dishes. "I’m sure when I was in college we had food left around everywhere, but as an adult, when I walk into someone’s home and see a half eaten plate of scrambled eggs from two days ago on the counter it literally makes my skin crawl," says Bill Fish, founder of . Same.
New parents know the struggle of tending to a baby while keeping the house in order. Before guests arrive, give your home a quick scan to make sure (there's a lot of them, we know!) made their way to the trash can. "As a real estate agent, I have seen overflowing trash, dirty diapers, and pet feces in people's homes," says real estate analyst Allison Bethell.
Okay, we're not telling you in existence, but a few file folders surely help. "From leaning towers of paper on the kitchen counter to junk drawers jammed with everything from spare light bulbs and socks, visual clutter can become emotional and make you feel like a house is weighing you down," says organizing expert .
are the place that we clean our bodies so it goes without saying that they should be spotless. "The bathroom serves as a good indicator of a homeowner's general attitude toward housekeeping," says Caleb Beck, health and wellness expert for . "The living room may be clean but the devil is in the details."
is an obvious way to show guests that you've been putting off your cleaning duties. Vents, countertops, photo albums, and shelves covered in dust are major no-nos. "In all honestly, I would rather not be surrounded by dusty memorabilia of a vacation from 10 years ago," explains Andrew Selepak, PhD. You're not alone.
Your hobby — or line of work — may be off-putting to house guests. (Sorry.) "When I walked into my neighbor's home, I was completely caught off guard by a cat and dog, each laying peacefully by the fireplace," explains Jim Zamichieli from . But get this: The two “pets” were not living. "Our neighbors used a taxidermist to preserve their beloved pets who had passed a few years back. I couldn’t help but feel creeped out by the decor." We can't see why...
Unless you wash your dog's bed on the daily, it's more than likely that it will be covered in your dog's natural stench and dander. "Discovering and cat scratch toys upon entering a home is a big turn off," says Lance Marrs, real estate broker for . You're better keeping the bed in a more discrete spot and giving it a wash before people come to visit.
It makes sense that one of the first things you want to do after a long day of work is to change into comfy clothes. But when you take off clothes, make sure you put them straight into the hamper, especially if you have friends or family coming over for dinner. "When I come home I tend to immediately. One day when my ex's new girlfriend came over (long story), she mentioned that she's spotted my bras everywhere — hanging on the coat rack, draped over the dining room table chair, on the robe rack in the bathroom, the list goes on," says writer . "I was mortified."
If you can't sit on the couch without having a lint roller nearby, then you have a serious problem."Even if your pet is clean, even if your home is clean, pet hair is going to make guests feel that your home just isn't. It makes people feel that they can't just relax for fear of being covered," explains Emily McCrary from . Before you invite guests over, — and better yet, try your best to keep pets off the furniture.
Nobody likes clutter — house guests included. "A house full of clutter is distracting for me. I can’t concentrate on what anyone is saying and I start getting some serious anxiety," says Sarah Schmir, CEO of . You don't want your family and friends to feel , do you?
Imagine walking into a house where everything is covered in . Sounds like a nightmare, doesn't it? "You know, where the headboard matches the nightstand matches the dresser matches the lamp matches the accent chair and the bedspread," explains McCrary. "Not only is this over-the-top and outdated but it robs the home of any personality."
What happens in the bedroom should stay in the bedroom. "The worst thing I have witnessed walking into someone's home was large-scale framed boudoir-type photos of the person you are visiting in the main area of the home, says real estate analyst Julie Garner of . "It's more than you ever want to see, and it should be tucked away somewhere more private." Agreed.
Word to the wise: Invest in before you invite guests over. "Not all foods give off the best aroma when you cook them in the kitchen and some smells linger longer than others, but there is nothing worse than walking into someone’s home and being hit by a smell that makes you want to turn around and immediately walk back out," says Selepak.
Think about it: A litter box is your cat's toilet. You would never use a toilet in the middle of your living space, would you? "Even worse, one time I went to a house where they left the litter box on the guest bed instead of the floor," says Natalie Caine M.A. of .