A few weeks ago, my husband and I invited our life group to our home. I thought I had picked up the house and put away most of toys. But as one of the women sat down on our couch, she immediately jumped to her feet. “Ouch!”
Instead of a nice comfortable couch cushion, she landed on one of my son’s Hot Wheel Cars.
We laughed, and I was again reminded that my home doesn’t have to be perfect to be welcoming.
Tips for Hosting Without All the Stress:
1. Focus on the person instead of on your home.
It’s so easy to focus on your home’s appearance instead of on the person standing in front of you. In reality, though, that person doesn’t care if your home is immaculate. She doesn’t care if there are toys out or dishes in the sink.
What she cares about is that she feels loved.
2. Forget about perfection.
Hospitality doesn’t mean your home is perfectly clean. Instead, it means that when someone comes into your home, you welcome her with loving arms.
In some cases, in fact, perfection can actually make someone feel uncomfortable. She might fear that her shoes will track in mud or that she’ll ruin your coffee table by placing her drink on it.
Perfection shouldn’t be our goal; love should be.
That being said, though, it’s still important we keep our homes somewhat clean…to make sure that when people come over, there is at least a place for them to walk and sit comfortably. That brings me to point 3…
3. Keep your house manageable.
And by that, I mean pick up daily. Don’t allow the mess to become so huge that it will take forever to clean.
One great way to do this is to have a designated clean up time every day. Sally Clarkson recommends turning on some music and cleaning up as a family once a day for fifteen minutes.
Another great way to do this is to use baskets for toy storage. At the end of the day, just throw the toys into baskets and store in a corner.
4. Keep cheap drinks on hand at all times.
On a limited budget, it’s not always possible to have wonderful snacks available just in case someone drops by. But it is possible to have drinks.
Our pantry always has tea bags and Kool-aid. That way, when people come by unexpectedly, we can at the very least offer them something to drink.
5. If all else fails, pull your vacuum out when the doorbell rings.
Then the person will assume your house is a mess because you’re in the middle of cleaning.
Let’s talk: What other tips would you add to this list?
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About Lindsey Bell:
Lindsey Bell is the author of Searching for Sanity, a parenting devotional to be released in January 2014. She’s also a stay-at-home mother of two, minister’s wife, avid reader, and chocolate lover. You can find Lindsey online at any of the following locations:
Her blog: www.lindsey-bell.com
Her website: www.lindseymbell.com