Have you all read the If You Give a Mouse A Cookie books by Laura Numeroff? Well, you really should. They are great, also, really good lessons on just how quickly things can snowball in life. Things like clutter and laundry. And, there might be a day, when your neighbor rings your doorbell and asks to borrow a cup of sugar. If this ever happens, the neighborly thing to do is to open the door, and let her in.
If you had to let someone in, with no notice or with 10 minutes’ notice, would you be able to do it? Would your house be ready? Would you feel comfortable with how it looks right now?
First off, I want to say that I just heard an amazing speaker and writer, Shauna Niequist, whom I respect greatly, say "The goal of having someone over is not to make you feel better about yourself, but to make them feel better about themselves." Being hospitable and inviting others over to your house is not about having organized closets and clear countertops. It is about devoting your time and energy to bless someone else.
With that said, most people do not want to have company over if their house is a mess. So here are some quick tips on getting company ready in just a few minutes.
I know I have said this before, but everything has to have a home. Return items to their home whenever you are done using them. Put your remote in the basket, not on the couch. If you take off your shoes when you walk in the door, keep a small basket by the door to corrall all of the pairs.
Take ten minutes at the end of the day to wipe down your counters and sinks. Carry a small laundry basket around the house to help you declutter, picking displaced items up, and returning them to their homes. Before you leave the house, make sure the dishes are washed and the breakfast table is wiped down.
Even the youngest children can put toys away in a basket and dirty clothes into a hamper. Teach your children how to make their beds, and then let them do their best at it every day. Hang up backpacks and purses. Place hooks at your child’s level so that they can hang up their coat without your help.
Remember to be okay with good enough. Perfection is overated. And praise anyone who helps. Everyone enjoys a good compliment, and your family members are much more likely to help you next time if you thank them and tell them how much you appreciate it.