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If you’ve ever worried that your neighbors might be judging your home, we’re sorry to tell you, they totally are. However, contrary to what you might assume, the things they feel most strongly about aren’t that front door color you agonized over for months or the cottagecore decor you’ve painstakingly perfected inside. According to a state-by-state survey conducted by Angi, respondents from 46 of the 50 reported they criticize the cleanliness of someone’s yard the hardest. And once you welcome them inside? Before people start pondering your sofa style choice, overall tidiness and the smell of your space will sway their opinions first. 

Because the strongest critiques have nothing to do with your personal preferences, they can easily be assuaged with some quick fixes. Here are a few ideas to keep the harshest houseguests at bay. 

Clear the Clutter

It’s been reported that 46 percent of houseguests “suffer quietly” when visiting a messy home. If you’re the type that likes to shove things in a corner at the very last minute, consider investing in a chic storage cabinet that can hold anything from nail polish to important papers. It also doesn’t hurt to spend about 10 minutes each evening putting things back in their place, be it returning the salt and pepper to their designated shelf or simply tossing dirty clothes in the hamper.

Freshen Up With Fragrances

Nearly 24 percent of the judgiest visitors turn their noses up to the smell of a house. Not only can scent be an indicator of how clean a space is perceived to be, it’s so impactful that certain aromas can even help sell your home. A sleek diffuser or a seasonal candle easily creates a more attractive atmosphere. 

Do a Landscaping Sweep

If mulching and mowing are some of your least favorite chores, you’ll be happiest to hear critical neighbors care less about the state of your grass and more about whether you’ve got tools and toys haphazardly laying about. Wrap up stray garden hoses, prop up toppled planters, bring in the trash cans from the street ASAP, and enjoy a no-judgment zone.