Okay, it’s time to get down and dirty. Let’s talk about the bathroom. As weird as it is, the bathroom really can make or break your guest’s experience in your home. It can enhance their comfort or greatly detract from it. We’ve all been there, dirty clothes on the floor, spots on the seat, toothpaste caked onto the sink. So, how do you make your bathroom a sanctuary for your guests and not a chamber of horrors.
Keep it Clean
This is probably one of the very few times I’m going to talk straight up cleanliness. I firmly believe that if you wait for your home to be “clean” to that mythical level we all strive for, you will never welcome people into your home because it just isn’t possible to get there. But, Americans especially, are very particular about bathrooms so yours needs to be clean. Once again, we aren’t talking about Pinterest perfection here. It does not need to be perfectly styled. You do not need to gut it down to the studs and put in designer fixtures worthy of Sunset Magazine. It just needs to be clean.
This can be really hard, especially if you have little kids, but it can be done. I’ve learned to keep a company tidy bathroom by cleaning it every day. I know that sounds kind of excessive but it really takes about 30 seconds if you do it every day. I keep a “clean with water” rag (like the kind you’d find from H2O at Home or Norwex) in each bathroom. Part of my morning routine is to wipe down the counter, sink, the mirror (if spotty) and the toilet and then use the toilet bowl brush to do a quick twirl around the bowl. That’s it.
If you’ve ever heard of the Fly Lady method of cleaning, she calls this the “Swish and Swipe.” It is a game changer! Then, once a week, I use actual disinfecting spray instead, sweep and mop the floor and replace the hand towel for a total of 10-15 minutes that day. My bathroom always looks great. There are never “surprises” when gentlemen guests lift the seat, there is never toothpaste petrified to the sink, and there are never weird splatters on the mirror.
Keep it Stocked
The bathroom your guests use should always be well stocked and extra supplies should be kept within easy reach. The obvious culprit here is toilet paper. In general, you should make sure you always keep at least one (but preferably two to three) extra rolls of TP your bathroom. Make sure you store them in an obvious location (preferably one you can reach while sitting on the toilet). If you’re having a big group over, you may want to check the current roll of TP and replace it if it’s low. If you find that the extra rolls are always being used by family members and not restocked, I’ve found that having a little tray or bin for it in your cabinet is a great reminder. If they pull the last roll but don’t have time (or inclination) to replenish, they can just leave the bin out on the counter and you can refill it during your next daily cleaning. Other things to check regularly are hand soap and tissues. To be honest, the best way to stay on top of these things is to use that bathroom yourself at least once a day. Then you’ll notice if supplies are starting to run short.
Supply Some Extras
If you really want to go the extra mile, stock your bathrooms with some extras that guests can use discretely. I always try to have an assortment of feminine hygiene products readily available. You might also want to have band aids, headache, indigestion and allergy medication (especially if you have pets) easily locatable in your guest bathroom. These items don’t necessarily need to be on display on your counter but can tucked together in an obvious cabinet so guests aren’t rifling through all your personal belongings trying to find what they need.
Think about the last time you ate at a restaurant and visited the restroom. Was it tidy and well stocked, or did it need attention, or was it a complete pit?! Chances are, the bathroom left more of an impression than the food. So, if you need to sacrifice a little fanciness in the kitchen to make the time to have a clean bathroom, do it. Your guests will thank you!
READ THE WHOLE SERIES:
Introduction | Creating a Hospitable Home
Your walk, porch and front door | Beckoning in your guests
Your entryway | Helping guests feel at home
Your bathroom | Creating a comfortable “intimate” space
Your pantry | Making impromptu entertaining a breeze