Cleaning in a Hurry
Because I fill two roles, the mother of a one-year-old and the wife of a man who loves to invite people over, my life is all about cleaning in a hurry. Each day I squeeze all my cleaning time into that one little nap my son takes after lunch. Without much time to work with, I quickly became an expert at cleaning quickly… and quietly.
One of my husband’s greatest skills is his ability to connect socially. He is an extrovert and balances my inclinations as an introvert I confess to reclusive tendencies. I prefer spending my nights at home with family, while he enjoys asking people over for dinner and board games.
The Stress of Entertaining
Slowly, I learned the lesson that inviting people over did not mean that the apartment needed to be spotless. The whole experience should be fun, not stressful. It is less about the stress of making sure the place looks perfect and more about spending quality time with friends and family.
I’m not saying you should completely ignore the sink full of dishes and ask your friends sit on piles of laundry. In my mind, that is the opposite of being a good hostess.
Webster’s dictionary defines hospitality as the “generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests”. This definition takes many different forms, depending on your personality. It could mean that you have a perfectly cleaned house and a fancy meal served only on precious china. For another, hospitality means making a person’s favorite meal and then serving them with a willing spirit.
Tips for Cleaning Up That Clutter – FAST!
While I write this, laundry sits on the couch waiting to be folded and the bathrooms need to be cleaned. Stuffed dogs and board books litter my living room floor. If someone called and said they were on their way over, I would be forced to turn into a cleaning tornado.
The Plan of Attack
- Scoop all the toys into laundry baskets and hide them in the laundry room.
- Take all the clean laundry (that’s not folded) and throw it back into the dryer. It will hold more than one load.
- Empty the bathroom trash, wipe the sink and counter and take a Lysol wipe to the entire toilet seat. Make sure there is a clean hand towel on the rack or in a pinch, place a roll of paper towels next to the sink. Check for toilet paper.
- Take a quick run through the living area and clear off all the chairs.
- Stack any dirty dishes neatly in the sink , or hide them in the oven.
- Pick up any visible pieces of trash on the floor.
So the next time you hear the doorbell ring, take a quick breath, order a pizza, throw those toys in a room, and hide the laundry.
Then, remember the words of Jesus:
When we spend time with our guests and choose to focus on them, we have “chosen [the] good part” and it “shall not be taken away from [us]” (Luke 10:42).