When getting to know someone new, there are things we are willing to accept and others that will send us running in the other direction. The first home visit can be a deal-breaker for many of us, especially if one enters a time warped studio filled with an absurd collection of Snoopy dolls or posters of Elvis in his later days.
We each have our own tipping points, as we weigh the good from the bad that can lead us to make a no-go decision at this key time in every relationship. Yet there are a few simple adjustments that any of us can do to make our homes more accessible to others, and even for ourselves.
1. Clear Out the Clutter
If your closets are akin to Fred Flinstone’s, with junk you have amassed since the Stone Age, it’s time to tidy up. Nothing can be more off-putting then an over-aged pigsty. If you cannot motivate to do it yourself, you can always hire a helping hand to get things in order. There is a new breed of professional organizers, some like Erica Eckert, founder of the Spacialist, who will even talk you through the process of taking your space from chaos to calm. “All you need to reach your organizing goals is a digital camera and a telephone,” reports Eckert, who has phone sessions to help individuals throughout the country get organized at their own pace.
2. Bare All Necessities
Remember that it’s not all about you, so having an assortment of personal care products is a good idea in the event of house guests. To guest proof your house, do a drugstore run and stock up on essentials like makeup remover, contact lens solution, and personal care products that people other than you rely on.
3. Decorate Your Age
If you are waiting for the perfect relationship to come along before you invest in your surroundings, it’s high time to rethink your strategy. A bed bedecked with lacy pink pillows or a couch that came out of your parent’s basement sends off signals of arrested development. Your home is a reflection of where you are in your life, and furniture companies like Ethan Allen  will even send over their design consultants to provide you decorating tips at no extra charge. If budget is an issue, check out CB2  and West Elm , the more affordable offspring of Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn.
4. Handle Hair Hygiene
Lets face it, we all go through dry spells, and it is too easy to neglect grooming, no less justify the time, cost and pain of regular maintenance. But tackling stray strands is a personal must that, in the interest of fair (and fore) play, both women and men must tend to. With so many home hair care gadgets and hair removal services to choose from you don’t have to break the bank or lose your dignity every time.
5. Shed the Shedding
While your hair care (up top and down there) is critical, so too is tidying up after house pets. Your guests may want to pick up Fido but don’t want to wear him home. Take a vacuum to the couch, and also consider whether you want to close a door or give a warning before your eager pet jumps up to greet a startled guest.
6. Think Outside the Box
As far as entertaining is concerned, delivery at your door does not offset an empty fridge, and bento boxes hardly count as serving ware. To survive unexpected visitors and still come out looking like the perfect host keep some gourmet style staples in your cupboards (nuts, olives) and a few nice bottles of wine on hand. For servingware do something fun, yet inexpensive a la Fishes Eddies  or Overstock .
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