Your apartment is your sanctuary. Your place of refuge from the hard knock world outside those well-dressed, crown-molded windows. A small nook you’ve carved out for you, yourself and only those worthy enough to enter and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Nothing can burst this "As-Is section of IKEA" bubble you dwell so comfortably in… nothing except a visit from your parents.
When your parents decide to “stop by” for a few days, the scramble to make your place parent-proof and the effort to provide them with the best experience possible should be considered an Olympic sport. Of course, you want them to believe you’ve got it all under control even though you haven’t made your bed since moving in and you’ve been using napkins you’ve been saving from Crown Fried Chicken as a dish rags for weeks. The judgment you are bracing your fragile world for can be easily avoided with some simple hacks that will fool any parent into believing you’ve somehow become at least a semi-responsible adult.
1. UPGRADE YOUR BATHROOM
Nothing says, “Mama, I made it” like a TUSHY bidet. Your parents will be immediately impressed by the sleek design. Not to mention your newfound environmental awareness and healthy lifestyle. You can brag about how much money you save on toilet paper and how much cleaner you are down there. One of your parents will absolutely make a joke about how they thought they would be the last one to clean your bottom. Laugh at this. It will make them feel nice. This will also give them a chance to try it out because that’s exactly what they’re getting for Christmas.
2. CLEAN, DUDE. IT’S TIME
You have a beautiful hardwood floor begging to be seen. You also have a lovely backsplash in your kitchen suffocating under months of bacon grease build up. Where should you begin? The best approach is to prioritize. Wunderlist is great app you can use to organize your day. Whether you want to start with scrubbing the plasma-like film that’s developed on all your kitchen surfaces or gathering the tumbleweeds of hair blowing about your apartment, you’ll be able to confidently and efficiently make time for everything you have to get done. If you don’t want to do it yourself, try Handy, a super affordable cleaning service for the lazy busy among us. As an added bonus, maybe you’ll finally find your cat. Hopefully, she’s still alive.
3. ARE THEY NOT ENTERTAINED?!
Now, you have to plan an entertaining evening for your parents that doesn’t involve taking them to a bar basement to watch your improv show. Show them you have sophisticated taste. Prove to them that you don’t judge a wine solely on it’s ABV and that you’ve eaten at a restaurant without styrofoam containers. Like A Local will help you find so many fun and parent-appropriate things to do in your city. You can give them a culture-packed tour of your neighborhood like a pro. They’ll believe you’ve been out and about socializing and networking all summer rather than vegging out in your apartment watching Family Feud re-runs.
4. REDUCE FRICTION
“With great responsibility of family, comes great drama”, some smart guy somewhere said one time. When families come together, the potential for a world war increases exponentially. As the host, it is your responsibility to defuse any bombs. Awkward conversations about why you and your live-in partner aren’t married yet are seemingly unavoidable. But you can avoid confrontations with the folks by avoiding tension. To help keep the climate moderate, reduce friction by making sure the logistics run as smoothly as possible. Know when to pick your parents up at the airport with apps like TripCase or Google Trips. They can share all of their flight info with you so you’re on time picking them up. Happy parents mean no screaming match about how irresponsible you are and how you should have gone into the military like your brother.
5. TAKE PLENTY OF SELFIES!
Lastly, just enjoy being with your parents. As much as you want to prove to them that you've grown up, they’ll always see you as their kid no matter how many sections your sofa has or how many TedX talks you’ve been to. So feel free to bask in the feeling that your parents are here and take plenty of selfies with them. They’ll LOVE that.