Preparing Home for Drop-By Visits
For many people whose lives center around their pets, nothing inspires fear like the words, “We thought we would drop by for a visit. See you in an hour!”
It’s about much more than just valuing our privacy or being classic “introverts” who prefer our own space… It’s also about not wanting to see our pets stressed out. It’s also worrying if you got that last bit of hair cleaned up from the couch or worrying if your home smells like wet dog.
But rest easy – having animals shouldn’t mean we have to worry about these things. We can, and should, set a precedent for keeping our pets calm and our homes clean and odor-free. Nowadays, there are plenty of tools and shortcuts available for us to do this without giving up our precious time.
[heading style=”2″ color=”#006666″ style_color=”#006666″]Training Your Pets[/heading]
Chances are good you may not have pets who are accustomed to a lot of activity. If your friends are bringing kids over, you want to make sure your pets are under control. This may include child safety gates to keep pets out of reach, or just putting them out back for an hour. The important thing is that you keep all members of your home (human and animal) safe during visits. (See the end of this article for a handy chart you can post to let child visitors know about the rules). Always make sure your pets can easily escape unwanted attention by crate training them or offering them an area (like an amazing cat enclosure) to help them escape.
For those who are concerned about the appearance of their home, we have a few suggestions to make clean up quick and simple.
[heading style=”2″ color=”#006666″ style_color=”#006666″]Start with Great Air Quality[/heading]
Invest in a good air filter, like CritterZone (you can save $15 if you use coupon code PETSWEEKLY on checkout!) or Blue Air. Not only will your guests notice if they can’t breathe (it’s a human thing), but air quality can affect everyone in the home, especially you and your pets.
Another filtration system that works quickly and leaves just a wift of a fresh scent is the FebrezeAir. This one is great for smaller spaces (like an office or kitchen)
The easiest way to start out with a home clean is to break it into sections. Do a walk-thru of your home and assess the main problem areas – usually the areas that your family relaxes in each evening. Set a ranking of “most important” to “least important”.
[heading style=”2″ color=”#006666″ style_color=”#006666″]Diffuse, Don’t Deoderize[/heading]
We’re a big fan of using essential oils and have seen the amazing benefits they offer to pets, visitors and ourselves. Use a high grade oils and a diffuser to calm pets and people. We prefer a few drops of Roman Chamomile and Lavender oils in our diffuser. Turn it on thirty minutes before company arrives and you’ll see a marked difference in the demeanor of kids, pets and people.
On that same note, be sure you’re using Safe Cleaners for Pets and People. Many cleaners can be very toxic. Try to stay with the safe and natural cleaners when you have pets.[note icon=”yes”]Remember that essential oils can be dangerous to use around cats, reptiles and especially birds. You should know exactly what you’re doing before diffusing oils around these sensitive creatures. Lavender is usually the safest bet when diffusing around cats. If you have birds or reptiles, please check with your veterinarian before introducing any environmental change[/note]
[heading style=”2″ color=”#006666″ style_color=”#006666″]Your Initial Walk-Thru[/heading]
Walk through your home and focus on keeping two or three rooms clean and free from clutter throughout the week. (We usually focus on the living room, the kitchen and the guest bath).[list icon=”icon: check” icon_color=”#006666″]
- Living Room: (because this is usually the first impression room)
- Family Room: (because this is where we all lounge together each evening to relax and the most heavily trafficked.
- Kitchen: because we have an open floor plan and the kitchen is part of the family room.
- Guest Bath: Because you know someone is going to have to rifle your medicine cabinets while pretending to pee.
- Bedroom: because we have an awesome bedroom set that is massive to behold and we love showing it off.
- Office: Because this is where I spend most of my time.
- Master Bath: Because we’re important, too.
- Guest room: Because we rarely have company and if we do, we can do a quick clean.
For one week, pledge to take 30 minutes each day to do quickly vacuum the main areas, do dishes, clean off counters, and pick up clutter.
Then plan to do a deeper clean on one room each week. To do this, pick up mid-level clutter (things on bed, clear desks, etc.), run duster or mop along walls to remove dust and cobwebs, then remove anything on the floor and vacuum. You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done in an hour!
[heading style=”2″ color=”#006666″ style_color=”#006666″]Clutter Kills[/heading]
Homes are much easier to clean when you don’t have a lot of clutter. I know this from experience as I’m the clutter collector queen of the world. I love to keep little sentimental things; like a rock from when I was hiking on a particularly beautiful trail, or an ironwood set of coyotes that I picked up in Roatan, or a stingray tail that I found in Belize. I have a collection of books that would make a library green with envy.
But nothing takes up more room than half-chewed toys. Create an area where you store your pets’ toys, such as this Paw Decor Wooden Toy Box , and teach your pets to help you clean up. Just like kids, they are fully capable of picking up their own toys (here’s how to train them to do that). It just takes some planning to get to that training level.
[heading style=”2″ color=”#006666″ style_color=”#006666″]Fur Removal[/heading]
This can be done throughout the week. Dust frequently, use “tricks’ to remove hair, and don’t be afraid to try something new. Here are some tips for eliminating pet fur.
[heading style=”2″ color=”#006666″ style_color=”#006666″]Design A Mud Room[/heading]
Mud rooms are perfect for those who live in any area other than the southwest (and even we can use a mud room most years!). Here is a guide on Designing Your Mud Room for Dogs and keep paws clean before they even step into the house.
[heading style=”2″ color=”#006666″ style_color=”#006666″]Vacuum Often[/heading]
Vacuuming often is the key to easy cleaning. Vacuuming creates a nice lift on the carpet and makes everything look sparkly – even if it’s not sparkly. Select a vacuum that is easy to use, easy to store, and simple to pull out for a quick clean. For our daily vacuuming, we are utterly in love with the Neato Robotic Vacuum. It’s a “set it and forget it” type of daily clean.
For deep cleans, we love the Bissell Deluxe Pet PowerGlide Vacuum because it is all of those things.
These two items makes it look as though you spend your life vacuuming the floors.
[heading style=”2″ color=”#006666″ style_color=”#006666″]Plan Ahead & Create A Schedule[/heading]
We are all busy people, but with a little planning, you can have a clean home that is still easy to live in. It doesn’t take a lot of work if you just do a deep clean to begin with and plan on some weekly maintenance. If you’re in fortunate position where you can afford a housekeeper, take advantage of that option and save yourself some time. You can get someone to come to your home once a week for some basic cleaning while you go enjoy a massage. (We have yet to reach that level in life, but paws crossed!)