Your neat freak mother in-law, will be here in half an hour and being a busy, creative, productive person, your home looks like a bomb went off. What do you do?
Well, now, that’s not really appropriate if children are present.
The last time this happened to me, it was baking day, plus planting my spring seed flats and contemplating a spinning project. Wool everywhere.
Take a deep breath, ’cause here we go.
1. Weather permitting, open two opposing windows to create a wind tunnel effect, the bottom of one window and the top of the other will help create chimney effect to pull some mystery odors out and fresh air in. While you do this….
2. Send little ones to scavenge for dishes and glasses in weird spots. Yes, you were raised better that that, but it happens. Make it a game.
3. Start the dishes soaking in the sink or put them in the dishwasher, if you have one.
4. Bathroom next, because she always seems to need it during a visit and you don’t get to go in there with her to distract her attention.
Spray they sink, tub and or shower stall with cleaner.
Squirt the toilet stuff in the toilet bowl around the rim. Let everything soak, while you keep moving.
Grab all dirty laundry and towels and at least put them in a hamper, laundry basket.
5. Now work in from whatever door is her usual point of entry.
Keep little kids occupied by running little things like their shoes to their room. Bigger kids should grab a box and fill it with anything that belongs in their room.
Use a few boxes or crates, for example one for stuff that belongs upstairs and one for stuff that belongs on this floor.
6. About 10 minutes before her ETA make a pot of coffee. It doesn’t matter if anyone will drink it or not. The powerful smell of coffee is homey and hides a multitude of cleaning sins, like the odd odor coming from the heating vent where your three year old decided to store a cheese sandwich last week.
7. Work on the room where she will sit and visit. Focus on the view she will have entering the room and sitting down.
8. If by some miracle there is time left, run the vacuum over the most obvious bad areas. Try to get some dishes done.
9. Leave the bathroom for last.
If you absolutely must …. answer the door and excuse yourself. Very quickly, swab the already soaking toilet, wipe out the sink and anything obviously wrong with an exposed tub. Don’t take more than a moment or she’ll start looking around.
10. Take a deep breath and enjoy your visit. Her opinion is just that. Hers. This is your home and how you choose to keep it is your own business. Remember she is from a different generation that had very different priorities sometimes.
Oh yeah, better close those windows as she pulls up.
Remember at least she cares enough to visit.
Good luck, soldier.