Although in-law jokes abound (and usually in bad taste), most families like each other, and spending time together is not a marathon, white-knuckling experience. Especially if it’s someone distant who you don’t see very often, of course, you want to make a good impression and part of that is ensuring that they have a good time at your house. So rather than taking a defensive position, anticipating negative interactions, treat your in-laws like any other guest and expect good things. If your mother-in-law wants to soil her white gloves by checking for dust in your bookcases, that’s her problem!
House cleaning doesn’t have to go into overdrive just because the in-laws are coming
The hustle and bustle of more people in the house is both fun and anxiety-inducing. Tailored Living® has some suggestions to help you get your whole home ready for the in-laws’ visit by eliminating clutter, enhancing organization, and creating an overall calm and comfortable home for everyone’s benefit.
One: Welcoming sleeping space
Nothing makes a guest feel more unwelcome than to obviously be a burden at bedtime. The “where can we stick you?” attitude would put anyone off. Making sure that your in-laws have appropriate, comfortable sleeping quarters will add to their appreciation of your home and you! If there are no extra beds, you can convert a home office, craft room, or playroom into a guest room when needed with a custom Murphy Bed that disappears when the in-laws do.
A custom Murphy wall bed can be the perfect solution for additional sleeping space
- Make up their bed with fresh, clean linens the day before they arrive.
- Have pillows of varying firmness so they can find what works for them.
- Even in summer, have an extra blanket available in case they have cold feet.
Two: Think like a resort hotel
A comfortable bed is the beginning of ideal guest quarters, but you can also add amenities that will make them feel like they are in a five-star hotel. Be sure they have closet and drawer space to use so they aren’t living out of suitcases. If there is no way for closet space, get a standing rack with clothes hangers they can use to keep their clothes accessible and wrinkle-free.
- Create a welcome basket with shampoo, soap, a new toothbrush, toothpaste—things they might have forgotten to pack.
- If sharing a bathroom, put the welcome basket in the guest room along with their towels and washcloths so there’s no question that these items are for their use.
- Have window treatments that block the light; blackout curtains help to ensure sound sleep for afternoon naps or all night long.
- Tuck in a side chair, table, and lamp for a quiet reading spot.
Three: Respect their morning rituals
This requires a little planning. Check ahead of time to see what they prefer in the morning—coffee or tea, and if they use milk, creamer, sugar, or sweeteners. We all have a preferred beverage for starting our days, and this small kindness will make them feel more at home.
Four: Have a user-friendly pantry
Take a moment to check out the pantry and see if a stranger poking their head in could find what they’re looking for. Are cereals in one place? Are drinks together? Are all the snacks in a snacks section? By organizing the pantry contents it’s easier for meal prep and your mother-in-law might just decide she wants to cook everyone dinner. A well-stocked, organized pantry invites everyone to help themselves when the need-to-feed strikes.
An organized pantry makes everyday life easier, with or without house guests
- Instead of fretting about what to serve, make a grocery store run together after their arrival and coordinate on meals taking into consideration favorite foods and any diet requirements like diabetic, gluten-free, or vegan.
- If it’s a long stay, give them a basket or shelf in the pantry for any specialty things they buy for themselves.
- Give a quick “pantry tour” so they don’t feel like trespassers and won’t be hesitant to serve themselves.
Five: Create a technology cheat-sheet
Every home is different with how technology functions for TV viewing, WiFi access, device charging, and smart home systems or assistants. Save everyone repeating instructions, frustration, and embarrassment when things don’t work by a written cheat-sheet about all your home’s technology with passwords and steps to make everything work. In-laws will have phones, laptops, Notebooks, or Ebook Readers so be sure to acquaint them with how to plug in and power up.
Empower the in-laws to enjoy everything in your home, especially if babysitting while you slip out to dinner
- Help them get set up where they are sleeping so they can recharge their devices overnight.
- If they have a TV in their room, make sure they can use it for late-night viewing on their own.
- Add power cords to the shopping list if they forgot theirs (#1 of the most forgotten things to pack when traveling).
Six: Have inviting outdoor spaces
Extra people in the house can sometimes create a crowded feeling so having your outdoor spaces ready as an extension of living space gives everyone a little more breathing room. For an early morning cup of coffee, a board game in the middle of the day, or a few minutes of quiet time in the evening, a comfortable patio gives everyone in the family some options for alone time or one-on-one intimacy and conversation.
- Invest in new cushions for the patio furniture to refresh the space.
- A patio umbrella will make the outdoors more appealing on sunny days.
- Barbequing and some meals outside are a nice change from always eating indoors.
Seven: Declutter and clean
There is no way around the house cleaning. It’s a fact of life whether the company is coming or not! But if you are constantly losing the war on clutter, instituting some storage and organization solutions will enable you to get clutter under control. Family rooms are notorious for clutter, and a custom entertainment center can provide storage for everything from gaming equipment to snuggle blankets. Eliminating clutter hotspots will make spending time together less stressful and you won’t be worrying about the in-laws entering any forbidden territory.
Where life happens, the right storage keeps everything organized and clutter a thing of the past
- Enlist the family’s help in collecting all their scattered belongings and returning them to where they belong (closets, bedrooms, the garage).
- Don’t leave all cleaning tasks to the last minute, do long-term cleaning like windows or the entryway well in advance of the visit.
- After Covid, most of us have upped our house cleaning routines so just relax … you’re good!
Turn to the pros for organizational help
If an impending visit from your in-laws has you seriously questioning the suitability of your home for company, maybe it is time to evaluate your space. Where storage is lacking, organization will always be a challenge and clutter will return. The design professionals at Tailored Living can help you create custom storage solutions for every room in your home to eliminate clutter by ensuring that everything has a place. Closet organization systems will keep bedrooms neater, laundry room storage can utilize space you never knew you had, and garage storage and organization can change your life! Call 866-712-3404 to schedule a free, in-home, or virtual* consultation or go online to www.tailoredliving.com to find a designer near you. Then just sit back and plan all those day trips you’ll enjoy with your in-laws!
*Virtual consultations may not be available at all locations.