Getting ready for a gathering? Whether you’re excited or a bit stressed, we’ve got some tips to make hosting easier. Instead of worrying about nosy guests or critical family members, take some preventive steps. We spoke with home-staging experts who shared seven things to hide before guests come over.

  1. Personal Medications: Keep your medications out of sight. It’s not about shame, but it avoids uncomfortable conversations.
  2. Drugs/Cigarettes: For safety reasons, especially if kids are around, stash drugs and cigarettes out of sight. It’s also just polite.
  3. Unnecessary Clutter: Clear up unnecessary clutter. An organized space makes everyone feel better.
  4. Jackets and Coats: Make space for your guests’ outerwear. A tidy entryway sets a good impression.
  5. Controversial Posters/Art: Consider your guests’ comfort. Store away anything controversial or potentially uncomfortable.
  6. Pet Toys and Items: Your guests might love your pets, but no one wants to trip over their toys. Tuck them away for a cleaner space.
  7. Bills and Personal Mail: Keep personal mail out of sight, especially if it’s something you’d rather not discuss.

Remember, creating a welcoming atmosphere is key to making your guests feel comfortable. So, prep your space to ensure everyone has a great time at your gathering!

How To Create a Well-Staged Home

First impressions are truly everything. As important as it is to remove somewhat taboo items before hosting guests, it’s equally as important to stage your home and make it more inviting. Caldwell encourages folks to think about our five senses and what someone might experience when visiting our space.

“Study how a 5-star hotel might accommodate you,” Caldwell suggests. “There is usually a place to sit and remove your shoes, a ‘drop zone’ to free your hands of anything you were carrying, a place to store your shoes, a place to hang your coat, a mirror to check your appearance, an umbrella stand, plus appropriate smells, sounds and lighting.

Here are some additional tips and tricks for creating a well-staged home, expertly provided by both Caldwell and Melhus. 

  • Set the right mood with background music, but make sure it’s nothing too intense. Search for dinner party playlists or jazz, depending on your crowd.
  • Offer snacks and drinks promptly. This will help break the ice and food and drinks are great conversation starters.
  • Turn down the temperature! With lots of bodies in a house, it can heat up fast. Turn down your thermostat by two to three degrees when hosting—you don’t want your guests to overheat!
  • Thoroughly clean door handles and light switches. These are things that guests do interact with but are often overlooked and dirty.
  • Provide a clean washroom with the toilet lid down.  A washroom with fresh white washcloth towels will put your guests’ minds at ease! Avoid full-sized bath towels and dark-colored hand towels.
  • Turn your TV into art. Pull up YouTube and search “art background.” Choose what you like based on your taste, theme or the season! 
  • Add a bouquet of fresh flowers. This communicates that the space is being tended to—subtly yet effectively. (Credit: Parade)

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