by Susan McCarthy
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Everyday practice: If you don't play host to guests, don't feel obligated to keep extra blankets, sheets, and pillows "just in case."
Whether you have guests coming for a day, a weekend, or a week, you may find yourself doing some hurried “decluttering” that really involves sweeping stuff from tables and scooping items off the floor and tossing it all into bags and boxes that you then shove into a closet or room.
Unfortunately, that stuff tends to stay in those bags and boxes until someday in the future when you open it and try to figure out why you were holding onto such an odd assortment of items.
You can start decluttering when you invite your guest to stay in your home (talk about motivation!). Focus on the space where they will sleep as well as areas where you’ll be eating meals or spending time together.
Your home won’t be transformed into a perfectly neat space, but you won’t be left with a bunch of bags filled with odds-and-ends that you’ll have to sort through later.
How Do You Normally Use this Space?
Does your guest room also serve as your home office or craft room? If you have things that you’d rather your guests not touch, or even look at, then you’ll want to make them inaccessible. If you can lock a file cabinet, do so. Your guest may not be nosey, but if they open a drawer looking for an extra blanket and they find your high school yearbook, they may not be able to resist a peek.
If your guest will be sleeping on the couch in your living room, try to clear a flat space or two where they can keep things that they want close. If you’ll be having visitors who’ll be entertained in the space where your guest is sleeping, given them a space where they can keep their suitcase and other belongings safe during those times.
Prepare the Room for Your Guest
Remember that your goal is to make your guest feel welcome as opposed to feeling tucked into the corner of a storage space. You don’t need to create a perfectly neat space. Your guest isn’t there to visit with your stuff but to enjoy some time with you.
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Susan, chief (and only) organized squirrel at A Less Cluttered Life, pursues learning, practicing, and sharing information about the everyday habits that can lead to living a better life.