Guests Coming? Let's Have a Reality Check

Sunday, October 4, 2009

You know that old saying “There’s nothing like the impending arrival of guests to make you get your butt in gear and clean/organize your house.” Okay, perhaps that’s not an actual a “saying”, but it’s true nonetheless (can I get an “Amen”?).

I am out-of-my-mind excited that my Dad and Step-Mom are coming to visit this weekend!

…and I was initially in deer-in-the-headlights-panic-mode over the list of procrastinated projects and cleaning that need to be done before they arrive.

I created a to-do list that would rival the list of to-do items for the 100+ staff members of Buckingham Palace to tackle before the Queen of England arrives.....And then I came to my senses.

There's a difference between cleaning up a bit, and going out of your mind - tearing your hair out like a loony person to make things "perfect". And honestly...who's really comfortable in a "perfect house". Personally, I'm most comfortable in homes that don't take themselves too seriously...where it's more about making the guests feel at home than obsessing about what's "imperfect".

Most people are relieved and most comfortable in a home that doesn't take itself too a home that is lived in and filled with love....a home that has a personality and reflects the family that lives there. There's nothing worse than a host that's nervous the entire time you're there...worried and apologizing about everything that's "wrong" with the house.

In a nutshell...relax and focus on what's spending quality time with your guests. Reality checks are a wonderful thing :).

11 Suburbanites Said:

TheOldPostRoad said...

I agreed that a High School club can meet at my house in 10 days and 21 hours from NOW. I have a huge list that the Buckingham Palace staff will need to help me accomplish, as well. I know I am in for a reassessment, fairly soon.

The DIY Show Off said...

Ha! Great post! :)
So, if I don't have guests...I don't have to clean, right? Good. I didn't. lol

Have a great week!


Holly said...

This was very timely for me; my dad arrives tomorrow! Thanks for the reminder not to kill myself getting ready. He's really not going to notice anyway if there's some clutter and/or dust.

Anonymous said...

Oh so your saying that I didn't have to wake up in a panic and clean my PANTRY at 1:30 am? My in-laws are coming on Friday. It's Monday (2:26 am now) and I can't sleep. I should reassess.

Esther said...

AMEN! I've been very guilty of that. I don't have guests over very often, but I certainly do that if I've got a party coming up or something.

Anonymous said...

I frequently have people over and often with a few hours notice. My magic....windex. Shines up bathrooms FAST. Food....make a casserole. It's all about the relationships, not the house or food.

tiffany said...

I recently hosted a shower and decided to really just chill out about having everything perfect. It wasn't even close to perfect in terms of the house being in perfect shape, and you know what? NOBODY CARED and we all had a great time!

Heidi said...

Oh my gosh, everyone (by everyone I mean me) should read this post before guests are about to arrive. I finally think I have a handle on the cleaning mania that starts, last time I had a party I realized that the cleaning should be saved for afterwards, when everyone leaves and there's the gigantic after-mess to deal with! Candles and good food create the perfect ambiance, so what if the room isn't perfectly perfect?!!
Thanks for putting this our there in words - esp. now as we approach holiday (entertaining)season!
Heidi- Heart and Home

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

I needed this reality check because I've got a bunch of my in-laws coming to visit at our house for the first time next week. I always want to make everything perfect and tend to go overboard.

I did learn a lesson about that a few years ago, when we were in our first house. We were having lots of out-of-town family in for a big party, and I killed myself trying to get the outside of the house painted in time. It was a wishy washy gray color, and I hired someone to paint it a pretty yellow with white trim. The paint was still wet when they started pulling up, but at least it was done (and looking fabulous, I thought!).

The kicker, though, was that NO ONE noticed. Not a single person in the entire party of 25 or so people said, "Wow, your house is yellow now! Looks great!" Nope.

So now I try to keep in mind that even though I think I've made some big, impressive changes to the house, it's likely that my guests won't notice anyway. Ha.

Struggler said...

Well said! I went through the same thought process last time my Mom & Dad visited.
My husband has a wonderful mantra: "If they don't like it, they don't have to come again".

Struggler said...

And I just read Julia's comment on painting the trim - so true - the things you think are vital, nobody else will notice.
My Mom's friend had her entire house painted in order to host her daughter's wedding reception. The sad truth was, the paint lasted longer than the marriage.... Go figure.