Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cleaning for Company

I don't like to clean for company.
I don't want to clean for company.
I want to live in our house at the cleanliness level we can endure enjoy, and joyfully accept the company as it comes ... without stressing myself by thinking that we need to "clean for them."

So Jane and the guys are coming. And Andrew harasses me because

we're cleaning.

For the company. (So HE says.)

I say, however, that we are cleaning because there's cleaning to be done that didn't get tackled yesterday or the day before or the day before that. If we are going to take a good 24 hours to play instead of do any work, then it's time to work now. It's not for impressing company. It's "work before play." Well, actually, there will be work after play too, because we sure ain't gonna finish the house-cleaning before they come. So we'll have plenty to do after they leave. Not because they're messy, but because I've been doing silly things like cooking and laundry instead of dusting. And the dust is getting to where it bothers ME.

Sorry, but dust (no matter how big those dust elephants bunnies are) ain't big enough to sully my reputation. I've done that on my own quite well enough without the aid of mere dust!

the hostess (term used quite loosely)
who welcomes you by showing you how to
make yourself at home and where the
glasses and towels are ... because I'm
so pitiful at serving the guests


  1. And that is exactly the kind of house I love to visit! When a house is too clean then it is hard to relax 'cause you feel like you can't do anything. I like to stress out about cleaning too...and I will never get my house clean enough. Well, I could, but I would have to give up so much it would not be worth it. Spending time with people is one of the most important things we my humble opinion. Get rid of the big stuff, don't fret the small stuff and have a nice visit!


  2. Hey! Remember that when you come over this weekend!! ;o)

  3. Yup yup yup, LW! I agree with Laura: perfect orderliness and cleanness make me feel like I'm afraid I'm going to mess something up. One of the warmest & friendliest houses we visited was also the home that was the second-messiest house I've ever seen in my life. The people were so glad to see you and have you there, and so fun to talk to, that it was okay that the house was really really dirty. I had second thoughts about the cleanliness level when they asked one of the kids to house-sit once, but even that would've been manageable with a good bathroom-cleaning the first day.

    Now, in return for my not caring how clean your house is, it is incumbent upon you to not care when I do rude things like open your cupboards to help set the table, or open a drawer to find a towel to help with the dishes. Deal? :-)

    Oh, by the way, should I bring anything other than buns?

  4. There is nothing I like more than when people jump in and search the cupboards as if it were their own home! I think it as a compliment when people come over and feel so comfortable that they feel a sense of freedom to get whatever they want from my home.
    As far as the meal...I will get back to you on that one. Email me your phone number please.

  5. The world is truly upside down when anyone is cleaning for me to visit. :) I dream of the day when I don't need to clean for company, but it sure isn't here yet.

  6. No worries, Jane. The world is still right-side up. All we did was bedrooms. And it wasn't because you were coming (regardless of what Andrew teased about).

  7. My roommate and I take it a step further. When we have company, WE make huge messes and spill things. Charlie even got in on the action and broke a plate the other day. See, this way, you're guests can't possibly feel embarrassed if they make a mess... they're just joining in the fun! :P

  8. See, I like when you open my cabinets or drawers...without even asking. Then you know me, my clutter and where things are. Families are like that. For some reason, you puttering around in my kitchen brings me joy...really.


  9. Laura, Miss Manners may not agree with us, but I say "amen." To me, it seems like how well I know somebody's kitchen is indicative of how well I know the woman herself. I used to know Barb's kitchen nearly as well as I knew my own, and could work in hers nearly as well as she could (and on occasion even told Ken where some things were located that he had trouble finding). I think what you said about "family" is right. I can get around in my mother's kitchen pretty well. And even though I seldom have been in Rachel's kitchen, the few times I have, it's obvious that she and I think alike about where things go. So if I can putz around in your kitchen, or you can in mine, that just goes to show that we've spent time together and eaten together and had the chance to get to know each other. And that we know the other won't be offended by the "rudeness" of poking through cupboards. :-)

    Which all reminds me, there's a post that has been rattling around in my mind for a few months on "kitchen fellowship." You know how some theologians talk about "table fellowship" a lot? Well, I've been thinking about kitchen-work fellowship.