Now, hosting can seem like a proper ordeal when you consider the fact that you are barely able to keep it together trying to organize the people who already live there year-round. And that’s minus the chaos of the holidays. With full days of work, kids’ activities, cooking, and running errands, who the hell has time to try and give the appearance that your house is picture perfect? And wouldn’t you rather use those few sacred extra minutes of time to read, or watch bad tv? Or even do…nothing! It’s enough to make you want to offer footing the bill for putting your guests up in a hotel for a few days. But before you do that, take into account that there are hacks for everything these days. And that includes shortcuts to prepping for house guests when you are just too exhausted.
Here’s a lazy mom’s guide to prepping your house for the impending arrival of your relatives.
Put the kids to work
The hallmark of having company is the hasty clean you do beforehand so you can open the door with a casual “Excuse the mess!”
But mama, you have things to do already. Time to teach your kids the value of a good old fashioned annual baseboard scrub. Supervise the troops with a glass of wine and a wedge of dark chocolate.
“Hey kid, you missed a spot!”
Buy toilet paper in bulk
You can drop the ball on almost everything else except this. You won’t impress your relatives by putting them in the position of having to drip-dry! Go to the nearest bulk store and load up on the toilet paper you think you’ll need- then double it.
Look at your home with fresh eyes
Sometimes when you have kids you don’t realize just how unusual your house may seem to an outsider. In order to cope with the kind of day-to-day problems that your kids create, you might have thing set up in a way that could seem bizarre to outsiders. Parents often refer to this as kid or baby-proofing. Your in-laws may view this as “weird”.
For example, having no toilet paper within reach of the toilet, or having all the very high surfaces in your house covered in sharp objects and confiscated objects. Although the members of your family might know how to function in such conditions, an outsider might not. This may actually force you to gasp – organize. Take the loose confiscated items and put them in a donate bin or sort the sharp objects and put them labeled plastic containers.
Ask about food allergies or special dietary needs
As a lazy mom, the last thing you’re going want to be do when company arrives is run out in search gluten-free buns. Find out beforehand whether you need to have anything special stocked and go from there.
Put out scented soaps or candles
Having a decent scented soap or candle can help make it look like you have it together with very little actual effort.
Sure, your towels are from 1986, and the shower hasn’t appeared clean since the Bush administration, but your houseguests will never be able to tell because they will be too busy marveling at their cinnamon sugar cookie scented hands. HEAVENLY!
Spend the first few minutes of their arrival getting them hooked up on the Wifi
This will save you from having to hook them up later, AND it will help keep them entertained. Which means less work for you!
Fill your house with snacks
The hope is that they will fill up on Cheetos so you don’t have to cook. Score! Also, it makes you look like a good and attentive host. A full belly makes a happy houseguest. Plus, when you tell them to “make themselves at home” by helping themselves to crackers, it saves you from having to get up off the couch.
Laundry baskets and garbage bins everywhere
Seriously. If you have garbage bins and laundry baskets available, people will be more likely to clean up after themselves. Genius right? While you’re at it, teach your kids to do laundry and take out the trash. You deserve a break, mama!
So although you may be hosting this year, there’s no need to panic. You can be a great host without compromising your lazy mom values with these simple tricks. Although it’s important to note that if you pull off a good host experience, you may get roped into doing it all again next year! NOT.