Don’t Panic: How to Prep for your Mom’s Visit

So, your mom is coming to town for a visit and your home looks like someone lives there? Don’t panic! Recently my mom and sister traveled from Boston to visit me in North Carolina. The last time my mother came to visit, I didn’t hear the end of how everything in my apartment was a mess, dirty, or not right. I had cleaned to perfection and my mother still came to my apartment and vacuumed the floor (again) and cleaned the bathroom (again). I took extra care to do it right this time. Here’s how:

The Bedroom


Start with the bedroom. This is likely where your mom will spend most of her time. Strip the bed and wash the sheets, pillowcases, and comforter, following the directions on the care labels. While those are in the wash, pick up anything you may have lying on the floor and either throw it in the trash or put it in its proper place. Hang or fold your clothing items and put them in your dresser drawers. Clear off your dresser. After doing this, you are able to wipe away any dust that may have gathered and clean the mirror. You can use paper towels and a window cleaner or diluted white vinegar (there are no harsh chemicals) for this. I use Pledge Multi Surface to clean my wood dresser top.

See 6 Organic Cleaning Solutions for the many uses of vinegar for cleaning.

When the bedding is dry, make the bed with care– tuck the top sheet and fold down the comforter. If you do not have a guest room, it’s best to make the bed with clean bedding the day of your mom’s visit because she can tell when the bed has been slept in. If you would like to make it before her arrival, try sleeping somewhere else (like the couch), or on top of the comforter with a blanket.

The Bathroom

Next is the dreaded bathroom which is, in my opinion, the most disgusting room in the house. First, shake out the bath mats and throw them in the wash. You don’t have to worry about all the dust and dirt that comes out of the mats for now. While your bath mats are being cleaned, clear everything out of the shower, then use a sponge and a cleaner with bleach or bleach alternative to clean the tub. Make sure to get the walls, cracks, and crevices. When finished, you can put all of your necessary shower accessories back in the shower such as soap/body wash, shampoo/conditioner, shaving cream, and razors. Put all of the extra accessories in your bathroom storage.

If the bathroom must be cleaned (and it must), the part I hate least is cleaning the sink. Like the shower, remove everything from the sink and use a sponge and cleaner to scrub the surface, getting into those crevices. When finished, put only the necessities back on the sink counter (hand soap, hand lotion, toothbrush, and toothpaste if you do not have a medicine cabinet). Put everything else in your bathroom storage.

Use a toilet brush and toilet bowl cleaner to clean inside the toilet bowl. Use a sponge and bleach or bleach alternative cleaner to clean the toilet seat (make sure to lift that seat and get under there too) and the back of the toilet.

Lastly, sweep and mop the floors, put the bath mats back in the bathroom, empty the trash can, putting a trash bag inside of it, and make sure there are at least two rolls of toilet paper available for use. Reusing old grocery bags as trash bags is a great way to recycle.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is likely the most important room to be cleaned since this is where food is prepared and improper cleaning could make someone seriously sick.

First, please throw all of the expired food in your refrigerator, freezer, and cabinets away. I’m especially guilty of letting my condiments expire and not even realizing it so check those too. Then either wash, dry, and put away your dishes or throw them in the dishwasher. Bonus: If you put the dishes in the dishwasher, you can avoid human error and blame the machine if your mom finds any spots.

Next, clean your counters, stovetop, and the inside of your sink. A sponge and kitchen safe cleaner will work well for this, but I like to use Clorox Disinfecting Micro Scrub Wipes because they are similar to the rough side of the sponge and I can just throw them away when I finish using them. You can also put a lemon wedge in the garbage disposal to freshen it up. Lastly, sweep and mop the kitchen floor.

The Living and Dining Areas

These are the easiest rooms, which is why I leave them for last. Clear all the surfaces (dining table, coffee tables, and side tables, etc.) of everything (except the tv if it is too big or mounted on the wall). Use this opportunity to wipe everything down with paper towels and multi-purpose cleaner, or your new vinegar cleaner, as well as dust off the tv. When you are finished, you can put all of the necessities in their places, throw the trash away, and put everything else where it should be stored (for example, dog toys in the toy box, shoes and jackets in the closet).

Entire Home

These are the last steps. Vacuum: vacuum any carpet you may have as well as upholstery, especially if you have pets that shed or you like to eat on the couch, both of which apply to me. Also, take out the trash, clean the windows, and do a once over to make sure everything is in its place. If you would like, and you’re not sensitive to scents, light a candle or spray some air fresher so that your home smells extra nice. My favorite candle to use is the Coconut Beach Woods Glade Atmosphere Collection Candle because it smells amazing, it’s inexpensive, and it’s soy which means it’s better for your health (there are no toxins, carcinogens, or pollutants) and it lasts a long time.  And you’re done!

What did your mom think of your home? Did she enjoy her visit? I’d love to hear about it.

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