By Milena Damjanov
November 12, 2015

Companys coming, and your house is a mess? No worries. Follow this advice from Julie Edelman, author of The Accidental Housewife, and youll have a neat, party-ready place in no time.

Get out the baskets
Its OK to hide stuff in plain sight (i.e., magazines in a basket near the sofa, remote controls in a basket near the coffee table). Its a trick Edelman calls “reshifting,” and itll not only make your home look organized but also ensure that youll be able to find key things later.

Pretty up the clutter
Got junk everywhere? Make it a decorative element—stack books horizontally and vertically on tables and floor (very bookish London flat!), put cooking utensils in a cheerful water pitcher, fan out magazines in a fun way on the coffee table.

Dont forget about the bathroom
Pull out disinfectant wipes and quickly clean the key surfaces. For the toilet bowl, drop a couple of effervescent tablets (like Alka-Seltzer) or pour a can of soda into the bowl; let it fizz for 20 minutes, then flush.

Suck it up.
Sorry, but vacuuming is a must. Just run the vacuum quickly through the house. Itll pick up little pieces of paper and dust and make your place look more polished instantly.