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But just the word “company” can sometimes set our pulses to racing. The to-do list quickly fills with straightening, cleaning, and getting everything show-ready, right? White glove test? Ready for a photo shoot for the latest edition of Country Living magazine?
I used to launch into a cleaning frenzy when I knew company was coming, and especially when the time was short. (Did I just admit to procrastinating, too? Nah…) But thankfully I have come to realize a few important things over the years.
We live in our house.
And by “we” I mean all of us – kids, dogs, cats, fish and rodents. And we live here 24/7, because we don’t go to work and school all day. I do understand those who are gone have less time to clean, but we have more time to make messes, and don’t really want to spend any more time cleaning than anyone else… I’ve realized that it really is okay if it looks like we live here, because we do.
Our friends are coming to visit us, not our house.
Sure, there may be people out there who would look down on us for not having the cleanest house in the neighborhood, but our friends are not like that. And besides, how do I know that we don’t? I haven’t visited our neighbors to find out. It’s not a contest; it’s a visit with friends who want to see us.
Our friendship and hospitality are more important than a show house.
I would rather my friends come in and feel comfortable sitting to visit than to find a spotless house where they are afraid to relax lest they spill something. If I can let them know they are loved, isn’t that more important than showing them that I know how to clean a house?
It might be putting up fruit, or creating a handmade birthday card, while the kids are building their latest Lego creations or testing another scientific theory. That doesn’t mean we don’t clean up after ourselves, but sometimes our company comes in the middle, and it’s okay for them to see that we are working on something.
I’m not talking about living in filth, or ignoring basic cleaning that would become a health problem. I’m talking more about “clutter” that we stress over when we hear that company is on the way. It’s okay to do a quick pick-up of things that should have been put away and haven’t, but we really don’t have to have everything just perfect. Our friends love us just the same whether they are greeted in a spotless room or one with some things out of place because we’re up to our elbows in applesauce!
So, come on in! Can I get you a fresh slice of homemade bread with homemade cherry jam?