Friday, May 29, 2009

Having overnight guests: preparation!

If the thought of having someone over for dinner really scares you, then the thought of having an overnight guess might cause a stress-induced panic attack.  Don't worry.  We'll take this is small, manageable steps.  

Right now, let's just get the house organized.  (Oh, that will take all summer, eh?  Perhaps, you can have your first overnight guests in August or September)  

I must confess ONE of the main reasons that I attempt to get/ keep my home organized is my love for hospitality.  It is insane enough around here with 3 teens, one tween, and a busy preschooler.. why would I want to add to the confusion by adding hospitality into the mix?  

Well, I am a little nutsoid, but I also take that old Bible command, "show hospitality without grumbling" thing seriously.  Without grumbling?  It's very easy to grumble when you feel that your home is going to burst with the confusion of your own family, let alone someone else's!  

So, back to getting organized.  Maybe the Lord gave us a hospitality command in order to get us organized? Either way, it's hard to show hospitality when the house is bomb... (believe me, I've tried).  Yes, I have and probably will continue to show hospitality when the house is a wreck.  Life is NOT perfect, and the desire the show hospitality is greater than my need/love for a perfect home.  But I feel the stress of it being chaotic, and that makes me grumbly...  so I have no other choice than to get organized.  

1) Declutter the common living areas and the guest room:  Even if you feel the entire house, garage, attic, and storage shed needs help, start with the main rooms of the house that guests will normally have access.  In my mind these are:
bathroom (guest)/linen closet
laundry room
kitchen/dining area
living area
guest bedroom

De-cluttering is the easiest form of organization.  It just involves getting junk out of there.  Less is more.  If you have to have a lot of stuff in one room, conceal it with adequate storage facilities.  

Why do we need to de-clutter for guests??

1) Visual tranquility:  When someone enters your home, you want them to feel welcome.  Think about the last time you went to someone's home.  First impressions are huge, aren't they?  

Think of a home with stuff bursting out of garage to greet you.  What if you have to walk in sideways, in order to get in the house?  Or what if you can hardly hold a conversation with the person because there is visual stimulus overload--everywhere???  Do you feel welcome there?  Is it fun? or stressful?  

O.K. now.. think of a home.. a simple home with run-down furniture and average accommodations.  In this home, there is just enough furniture and things in the room, even if they are a bit shabby.  There's a happy vase of flowers on the crude coffee table and a clear path to the house.  Things are orderly.  They are not fancy; they are just orderly.  Wouldn't this be a fun home to visit?  Now, if the home were larger and fancier, it would be fine but not necessary. Instead of fancy works of art, the hallways are lined with framed pictures of the childrens' artwork.  The bathroom needs a remodel, but the guest towels are easy enough to find!  The closet in the guest room has a little space carved out in which to put hanging items.  Splendid! 

This is a great place to start for having overnight guests--decluttering the main living areas of the home. 




Mrs. Parunak said...

I love your description on the shabby but comfortable house. So true! And so inspiring, too, because it relieves so much pressure to be magazine quality.

momstheword said...

oh absolutely! I always think it's more stressful to have everything in chaos! It gives the eye no place to rest!

I thought it was funny you posted this the same day I posted my Summer cleaning frenzy post, lol!

Colored With Memories said...

great tips. i have 5 family members coming to stay in 3 weeks. stressing out! we don't have a "guest" room!