Monday, February 15, 2010

Making My Home Sing and Ready For Company

Making your home sing Mondays

Over the last few weeks, my middle son has turned into a full fledged welcoming committee for our home.  He loves social action and guests and is having a great time having company over.  It started out with having one boy over, and he was hooked!  Since then we've had opportunity to find a group of teenage boys gathered around in the yard or in front of the television!

Now I love company and opening our home, but usually fear strikes as I worry and stress over if the house is clean enough, or what will I feed them and what will we do to entertain them.  My son assured me that they did not care what the house looks like and any food will do!

If I am prepared for company, that is great, but recently I've received those calls, "Mom, can a few guys come over and play basketball?", while I'm out of the house and it is a quick answer - "OK, I'll be home soon".  Those are the times anxiety hits and I feel unprepared.  But, a little strategic planning can help erase those fears and fill my heart and home with a confidence to open up. 

There is a blessing in opening our home and it is biblical to offer hospitality.  I love it that these teenagers can come and enjoy a place to play and hang out.  It is a great blessing to know my son's friends and  to show them kindness and love through simple actions such as offering a snack, a drink or some small talk showing interest in their lives.

 I came across an article on how to prepare for unexpected company:  These don't necessarily deal with teenagers, as they are probably the easiest house guests to entertain, but for those like me who have this crazy need for order in the home before company comes, they are some handy tips.

"Clear looks clean."
Guests only notice "clear", they don't care if every corner is spotless.  A clear, neat home is pleasing to the eyes and welcoming to a guest.

Stash the stash:
Keep an eye on clutter prone areas.  Utilize drawers, baskets, organizers etc. to keep clutter from being an eyesore.

Be strategic:
Focus on keeping an area where guests may occupy clean.  Keep a "clean path" through the home.  Keep entry way and living area tidy, keep bathroom counters and mirrors wiped down so you'll always be ready for guests.

Focus on the center:
Clean the center of any room at eye level which is where eyes naturally gravitate.  Using wipes to keep countertops and dull surfaces shining makes the house sparkle.

Use the power of scent:
Spray air fresheners all through the house, spraying fabric refresher on pillows and fabrics are a quick way to freshen up a room.  Chopping lemons in the garbage disposal and simmering apples, oranges with cinnamon or cloves on the stove creates a natural and comforting atmosphere. 

Bring in the light:
Open the curtains and lighting candles bring in natural light which makes everything look cleaner and brighter.

Plan for the future:
Teach kids to put toys back after using them, keeping a handle on junk mail and paperwork by dealing with them immediately before they have a chance to collect.  Keep a basket with cleaners and rags handy for daily spruce ups.  Wipe the tub and sinks often after use.  Have two doormats, one outside and one inside to keep floors cleaner.  Have kids remove their shoes before entering.  Making little changes like these a habit will help keep a home tidy and prepared for company. 

Prepare yourself:
The most important factor in making a guest feel at home is your attitude. By greeting your guest with a smile and genuine welcome, they will enjoy being a part of your home. 

So, my plan for this week is to have an open home and open heart for any who may stop by!  May my home sing a song of welcome!

4 comments:

  1. Awesome ideas! Yesterday my home was a mess and a friend of mine asked if I'd go with her to "kidnap" another friend who needed some time away from her little kids.

    So I left my messy home with my husband's blessing. Later when I got back home I found out that my friend's husband had stopped by to visit my husband and so he saw the mess.

    Then, right after I got home my 21 year old asked if he could have some friends over.

    Guess what I'm doing today? Yup. Cleaning. The kids friends don't mind, and my friends don't mind the mess, but I do!

    Thanks for linking up today.

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  2. I love these ideas! So well thought out, I felt like printing it and putting it on my fridge. :) I love that you have learned to put hospitality before pride, something I first heard about in Karen Mains book on hospitality. You are able to bless so many other people that way! The Lord will continue to use you. I am so encouraged by your open door policy.

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  3. Its so wonderful that the boys want to hang out at your home - that, alone, says volumes...you are doing it right. And great advice too!

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  4. Good Morning! Just happened upon your blog and am thrilled to find it. So warm, so personal, so real and helpful. Especially this post. We are on February break right now and my 3 boys are home and terrorizing everything. How I must have failed them as they grew - always picking up after them. Always saying no they can't have anyone over 'cause they didn't do anything to help pick up and clean (and I hadn't either).

    I pray I am not too late in trying to mend the ways of my boys 13,17, and 18 years old (and myself).

    Have you every heard of flylady.net and her CHAOS *Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome? I always laughed at that ( and they really can get a bit obsessive too, but now find that it is all too real in my house!

    I certainly will be back to visit your site here again. You can find me at my 1st blog http://www.Composition-life.blogspot.com or the link in my name - for my Intelligent Expressions site (actually how I found you)

    I had never heard of Wordful Wednesday just happened upon it today.

    This year I wanted to do more with my pictures, so I endeavored to use 1 verse, 1 quote and 1 photo to create some daily inspiration for myself and my (few) readers each day of 2010. It's been a challenge, but a blessing as well.

    Sorry to take up so much space.
    I hope that you have a wonderful day!
    Valerie

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