You only get one chance to make a first impression.  Here’s how to make your apartment’s first impression count, when someone special comes to visit.

What to throw out

You might not notice any longer, but trash can smell pretty bad, especially if there’s meat or fish scraps, pet clean-up, cigarettes or diapers in it.  Empty your trash. From every room. It only takes a few minutes and you might save yourself some embarrassment, or – even worse – a bad impression you don’t even know you’ve made.

What to wash 

Stinky laundry can also kill your mojo, so suck it up and run a couple of loads.  This is especially relevant to towels and washcloths which haven’t been washed in a while, or any laundry which has been left to soak for too long in the washer. Bad news.

Hot Tip: Sneakers or any kind of athletic or hiking shoe can also harbor some wicked smells.  At the very least, put them away or outside where they won’t be seen (and smelled!)

What to tidy up

Pick up any clothes laying around. Look at your piles – of mail, or folders, or paperwork – and at least straighten the piles. Check the floor and countertops for dead bugs and remove them. Sweep the kitchen floor. Run the vacuum, especially if you have a pet, and check the sofa cushions for pet hair, food or worse.

Now look around at what’s hanging on your walls, or laying on your tabletops.  What might someone surmise about you by looking at these items?  Are they offensive?  Do they reveal a bad habit or a nefarious past?  How could you put your best foot forward without going overboard?

first impression

What you might need to buy

You’re entertaining – even if on a simple level – so have some nice glassware,  and at least one thing to drink besides water.  Cocktail napkins are nice but not necessary. If you’re entertaining near a mealtime, it’s always a good idea to have a snack, but you’re better off with nothing than you are in offering stale crackers or some old leftovers.  A bowl of nuts is an easy option, as is a bowl of grapes or pitted olives.

Don’t forget the bathroom 

Clean the sink and hide the tub.  Empty the bathroom trash – it can be disgusting as well as revealing.  Put away your medicines.

Make sure you have toilet paper and a hand towel of some kind in the bathroom. If the words “hand towel” blow your breakers, then buy some disposal towels and put them in there. Soap also says you care, as do tissues.

 

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About The Author

A contributing editor and video producer at ApartmentGuide and Rent.com, Libby McMillan Henson has created award-winning content for radio, tv, print and digital for over two decades. Libby recently authored a book about her home base of Greenville, SC, and has also lived in Austin, San Francisco, Nashville, Boston and Sanibel/Captiva Islands. A lifelong traveler and photographer, Libby loves exploring new places and sharing her finds.

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