Let’s talk about cleaning.
Ever since I first started opening our door to family, friends, and yes, even strangers, this has been the hardest obstacle for me to overcome. I’ve always dreamed of a perfectly clean and organized home where everything has its assigned place. I’m still in awe of my friends that seem to have been born with the orderly gene where everything falls into place effortlessly. My mom has it and somehow our eldest daughter received it, but it may have skipped me a bit.
As a young mom, I mistook the notion that our house needed to be deep cleaned and spotless before anyone came over, because heaven forbid, I wouldn’t want it looking like five children lived here, right? (Even though they did.) Wrong!
A warm and welcoming home where others feel comfortable means different things to each unique woman. Through the years, I have embraced the “good enough” mentality. Our home needs to be clean enough that your family and guests know you care about them, but not too perfect that they’re uncomfortable. Have you ever walked through a museum with a young child — continually nervous that they might get something dirty or break something?
Why would I purposefully create that environment for my guests?
Let’s be honest. When you are at someone’s house, do you wander into every room? Do you go upstairs and peek around? (If you do, that’s another discussion.) Unless you’re specifically invited for a housewarming party, that doesn’t occur.
Once I realized that my guests only see a very small portion of our home (the front door area, kitchen, family room and half bathroom), the pressure was off. I didn’t worry about the other rooms (which had the lights off and doors closed). I stopped meticulously scrubbing floors before people arrived (and did a cursory spot check to make sure oatmeal wasn’t stuck to the floor) because undoubtedly within minutes, floors were dirty again. Now I only focus on a few main areas, and even then, I’ve been known to have random boxes stacked in a corner.
Take a deep breath. It really is ok if that happens.
Recently, I chatted with (in)courage Community Manager Becky Keife about this concept (and more!) Take a listen:
Remember, our homes — no matter how imperfect — are the most likely location for changing the world around us.
This was an excerpt from Jen Schmidt’s new book — Open-Door Living: Easy Ways to Share the Gift of Hospitality. This beautiful book is full of easy, practical how-to tips for living an open-door life. From food and recipes, to cleaning and creating conversation, it’s all in here!
For an even deeper look into this brand new gift book, sign up for this five-day email series from Jen and (in)courage! We will send you five days of content just like this, including several free printables. Whether you’re a seasoned host looking for renewed inspiration or a nervous newbie not sure where to begin, this email series will give you fabulous, practical ideas anyone can implement! And the best part? We can do it together. Sign up below for the series, then leave a comment that you’re ready to “open your door” to your friends and family. We’ll be here with you!
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