I am currently reading a fabulous book on hospitality. It is titled A Life That Says Welcome. A very interesting survey was taken on hospitality. Two questions were asked: "What are the most common reasons that women don't readily open their homes to others on a regular basis?" and "What are some aspects of being a guest in someones home that are truly important to people?" The most popular response to the first question was that women did not think their home was clean enough to open it up for guests. Sometimes we think the home must be spotless before we open it up. But the answer to the second question, what truly is important to guests was not perfection, but reasonably clean and clutter free. In my home, I learned long ago, perfection or a spotless home is just not attainable with three sons. But, if the home was kept neater, it looked cleaner! But there always seems to be the struggle with clutter.
Here is a picture of my kitchen counter. This is my "hot spot" where clutter gathers QUICK! The mail is sorted here, any papers that need attention get placed here and everyone seems to know this is the place to put stuff if it needs to be dealt with.
But then there is this area where clutter not only gathers, but stays. Old hamburger buns, old Christmas cookies, candy canes no one wants anymore.. it just stays here!
I decided to do a before and after. It only took about 10 minutes to put things in the proper place, throw the things out that were old or we were not using, but look at the difference:
Here is one other "hot spot". This is the first thing you see when you enter my home. Now, not to complain, but my oldest son does his own laundry. That is a huge help to me. As any normal teenage boy seems to be, he only cares about his clothes! This load of laundry was in the dryer when he went to use it for his clothes. He simply deposits it on this table:
Not only is this the first thing people would see when they come in, this was done Sunday morning! What if we had church guests come home and we had our undergarments on the table for all to see????