Do you avoid having people over to your home because you’re embarrassed of the mess?
I hear from moms all the time who feel like they can’t get ahead on the housework and feel so overwhelmed with it all. They think they are the only ones.
“No one else’s house is as messy as mine.”
“If my friends saw my house, they would be disgusted and not want to be my friend anymore.”
Even though you may feel like the only one, you are not. All moms struggle with feeling not good enough, especially when it comes to our homes.
Let’s put things into perspective…
Recently, a sweet mom who I’ll call “Sue” wrote to me. A friend of hers wanted to come over and visit after having a new baby, but Sue told her not to come.
She was too embarrassed of how messy her house was especially compared to other moms she knew who seemed to have everything together all the time.
Shortly after that Sue’s friend died of natural causes in her 30’s. Oh, how Sue wishes she could take it all back and have her friend over even if there were dishes piled high and kitchen counters cluttered!
Because death puts things into perspective. Doesn’t it?
In the end, our houses aren’t a competition. You and I aren’t washing dishes and mopping floors to impress others or be better than another mom.
The purpose of your home is to serve PEOPLE.
It’s not to show off your homemaking skills or how much money you have or how well you have decorated your home.
When you remember the purpose of your home, it’s so much easier to have people over.
Knowing the purpose of my home also motivates me to do a better job at taking care of my home.
When I know that mopping the floor and doing the dishes serves the people in my home, I know that what I do has a greater purpose than simply cleaning.
Homemaking’s purpose is more than just keeping a clean home!
Yes, those other moms may seem like they have it all together, but their lives are not yours!
- Compare yourself to yourself and no one else.
- Be kind to yourself and do YOUR best.
- Stop comparing yourself to others and start comparing to yourself only.
What is one way you could improve today from yesterday? If you aren’t sure where to start, download your free copy of Clean House with Kids Checklist. You’ll know exactly what to do.
Let’s get practical.
Before doing anything, invite someone over. Say “yes” to the person who wants to visit with you.
When you keep your home’s purpose at the forefront of your mind (to serve people), you’ll feel less embarassed because the focus isn’t on you and your feelings. Instead you are focused on people.
As you think about how your home will help others, you’ll be more motivated to clean up a few things.
But you may be thinking, “Yeah, but my home is a complete mess. Where do I even start?!”
Now is not the time to worry about dusting or organizing the closet. We are going to do the things that will make the biggest impact with the least amount of work.
Start in the main areas where your guest will be most of the time. Most likely this is your entryway, living room, and kitchen. It really depends on how your home is laid out.
Once you decide where you will start, get an empty container. It could be a box, trash bag, or laundry basket.
Walk around each room and put clutter into the container. Anything that is out of place and cluttering up your surfaces, put it in the container. You’ll deal with this later.
If there are dirty dishes take those to the kitchen sink.
At this point the main clutter should be out of the way. So get out the vacuum or broom and sweep up the floor quickly.
You don’t have to clean under furniture or anything. Just get the visible crumbs.
Quickly tidy up throw blankets and pillows.
Your living room should be looking pretty good right now, and if that’s all you have time to do, you should feel good about welcoming someone in your home.
If you have time to do a little more, head to your kitchen. You should have already cleared out the clutter on the countertops. The main thing left is the dirty dishes.
If you have a dishwasher, fill it up and start a load. Whatever is left, hand wash.
I find it easiest to wash dishes by category. So I gather all the silverware and wash it. Then all the glasses, plates, and bowls. Finally, the pots and pans.
Don’t worry about drying the dishes. Let them air dry!
Having a stack of clean dishes looks and feels better than a stack of dirty dishes in the kitchen.
You may feel good at this point, but if you have a little more time here’s the final thing to do:
A quick clean in the bathroom.
Squirt some toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet. Put away any clutter from the counter top. Wipe down the mirror, counter, and sink.
My favorite time saver tip is to use an ecloth microfiber cloth (affiliate link). It doesn’t require any cleaning product. Simply wet the cloth and wipe away!
Swish the toilet brush around the toilet and give it a quick clean. Again, this isn’t time to clean every nook and cranny. Just a general clean.
If you have time, sweep the floor and empty the trash.
And that’s it!
Once your guests arrive, don’t apologize for your home or point out any messes that you didn’t get to. Instead, put the focus on them and your relationship. You’ll be so glad you had them over!
After they leave, choose a time to go through that container from earlier. Put on a timer and see how fast you can put it all away.
Then it’s time to get yourself on a cleaning routine, so you don’ have to work so hard next time you want to have people over. Here are some posts that will help you get ahead of all the cleaning.
And don’t forget to get your copy of The Clean House with Kids Checklist!