Maybe it’s not your mom, maybe it’s your mother-in-law. My mother-in-law would never believe that birds actually fly into my windows on occasion. They really are clean enough for the birds, I would like to tell her. But I don’t. Instead, I rush around the house and do some extra cleaning before she visits. It’s different when my mom comes to visit because she stays over. Before mom comes to stay, there are some places I remind myself to clean. It’s not that I don’t clean the kitchen and bathroom every day, it’s just that some places are easy to forget.
10 Things to Clean Before Mom Comes to Visit
The silverware drawer
Remove everything from the drawer and dump it into a sink filled with hot soapy water. Wipe down the inside of the drawer as well as the sometimes-neglected handle. Line the drawer with a fresh sheet of shelf liner. Don’t worry about playing with the adhesive on the back. The sheet can be cut to size and placed in the drawer. In a pinch, use a piece of wax paper or pages from your favorite food magazine. Wash and dry the silverware, paying special attention to polishing serving silverware which may not be used until company (read: mom) comes to visit.
The entire garbage can
The garbage can and the indoor recycling bin need to be cleaned inside and out. It’s best to do this each time they are emptied, but it’s a job that many are happy to forget. Clean the inside of the garbage can and scrub down the outside. Don’t forget to clean both sides of the cover. Before you put it back in its place, wipe down the wall behind the garbage can. Pour a tiny amount of your a fragrant liquid cleaner in the bottom of the garbage can before lining it with a fresh garbage bag. Skip the extra cleaner if you have pets or kids or will forget about it when you remove the next bag, to save yourself from a mess.
The fabric softener cup
It’s not a laundry tip jar, which is why you only find bits of dirt and lint inside. Remove it and scrub out the mess inside.
The bottom of the oven
I would rather use a piece of foil in the bottom of the oven (which someone who shall remain nameless) keeps removing. Apple pie spills, lasagna spills, and the time I dropped a whole pan of cookies in the oven didn’t help either. Of course I cleaned it up, but there are still spots down there which look like baked on tar.
The inside of the drawer under the stove
The place where the big pans play can accumulate crumbs from above and dust from below. Remove the pans and wash the ones you will need for mom’s visit, including baking or roasting pans. Give them that extra scrub to make her proud. If you have no scrubbing pad. A wad of aluminum foil with some dish detergent is your new best friend. Line the drawer with a sheet of cork liner before neatly replacing its contents.
The bottom of the crisper drawer
You may not remember buying that zucchini or eggplant which has now turned to mush, and yet, there it is. Remove the drawer if you can and wash it in the sink. Remember to wipe down the surfaces now visible thanks to the removed drawer. Non-adhesive grip liners can can be cut to fit the bottom of the crisper drawer. They can also be washed the next time something mysterious deteriorates in the drawer.
Any glass or vase near a window
Moms have a keen eye for streaks and dust. Either remove any vase or glass item away from the windows, or inspect them when the sun is the brightest. Clean what needs to be cleaned and consider minimizing any dried flower arrangements to reduce dust collection. If you don’t mom will be cleaning something when you turn your back.
Clean the mop and any other cleaning tools including the dusty vacuum cleaner. Your mop head may finally need to be replaced if it looks like it swabbed the deck of a pirate ship at world’s end.