Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lacking the Character Quality of Hospitality

I had a get together at my house and made dinner for everyone.  I purposefully had it yesterday because I wanted a goal of finishing my project.  Technically I'm not done because I still have the office, but just knowing that every other room was done in the house was good enough for now.  I needed a boost to make me want to finish decluttering the bathrooms (under the sinks) and to do some detail work.  Sometimes when you've been working on a project every single day for 9 days, you can feel worn out mentally.  Not so much physically for  me because my energy level is oddly always so high.  Just a hyper person in general.  The past few days I've woken up with a smile on my face knowing that my work load has been 80% lightened because of a decluttered house.  I haven't been waking up with a sigh of heaviness having to think about the huge workload ahead.  I even had a party last night at my house so there was 5 adults and 8 kids.  Normally the cleanup is huge but this time it took me about a half hour to get everything back together again.  Whooooa, maybe I can have more of a social life again.  :)

Some things I've been doing lately have also helped.  My kids were constantly going through cups throughout the day.  I got an idea from the Duggars to just use paper stuff to throw away.  I've been buying paper plates and plastic cups. At the beginning of each day I get out 8 cups, put their name on it, and that's their cup for the entire day.  They stay in the kitchen in one spot and they get thrown away when everyone goes to bed.  Even if we had a different cup for each meal of the day per person, that would be 24 cups a day I would have to wash.  I just get them in bulk from Costco or Sam's Club so it'll last awhile.  Of course in the picture there are 9 cups because Ivy's friend was over.  :)

Another reason I wanted to declutter was I knew I was lacking in a certain character quality.


Cheerfully sharing food, shelter, and spiritual refreshment with those God brings into my life.
Hebrews 13:2

How could I do that if my house was never in order?  I mean, I had really busy days.  Waking up with the kids, feeding them breakfast, getting the little ones dressed, having everyone do their chores, clean, homeschool, make lunch, clean, throw clothes in the wash, homeschool, lay baby down for nap, homeschool, clean till Charles comes home, make dinner, clean up mess, get kids in bad, throw another load in the wash, deal with phone calls, lay kids down.  I mean, the process can be pretty heavy the larger your family is.  If someone called and said, "Hey, I'm in the area, do you mind if I stop by?"  That would normally throw me in a panic.  I'd either have to make up some excuse and turn them down, or stop everything my family is doing and clean really fast.  90% of the time I couldn't have them come because it wasn't enough cleaning time.  Is that hospitality?  No way.  In the middle of my Declutter One Room a Day project, my sister called.  She and her daughter wanted to stop by since they were in the area.  I paused and looked around me.  I had torn the whole house apart and literally, it looked like we were moving.  You couldn't even see the floor.  We were taking each room at a time and dragging it all out to the living room to go through.  I desperately wanted to tell them yes but I was too embarrassed and said no.  After I hung up I cried while I worked and then I was angry.  That was the last time I was gonna have to say no because my house was messy.  Even though I was so angry at myself for it, it motivated me even more to continue my daily project till I was finished.  These days people can be so exclusive and my grandma amazes me because she always has an open door.  I want to be that person too.  I don't mean allll the time, but in reality, how often does that really happen?  But when someone does call me, I can finally say, "Sure, I'll see you soon."


Motherhen said...

“Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing” ~ Phyllis Diller. That's one of my favourite quotes, and it really is true, but imagine if we didn't clean until they were grown? YIKES. I do understand what you mean about an unexpected visit throwing you into a frenzy. Even though I am sure that most people would understand that the cleaning never ends when I have 6 kids at home, the perfectionist in me wants my guests to be greeted by a magazine-worthy home. Congratulations on your decluttering progress. I hope that you have an easier time opening your home to others in the future.

momto9 said...

WellI think true hospitality is welcoming someone into your home even if it's a disaster and lettign them see the real you! But of courswe there is nothing wrong with a clean house:)In fact as you saw on my blog I am also far 8 garbage bags full of stuff out of the house!!

ZONE F DG TEAM said...

Your blog is so sweet. Happened apon it quite by mistake, but could sit here reading for days.

Unknown said...

My house could use a good de-cluttering too...want to come over and do it for me when you are done with yours???? LOL!

I saw the cups idea and thought of what my parents did. They took stickers and adhered them to the end of the counter. Each sticker was different and each had a child's name (and mom and dad had their own too) written somewhere on the sticker. Every child put their glass on top of their sticker where their name was. When you wanted a drink, you would get your cup from your "spot", take a drink and replace your cup immediately after. It worked GREAT and mom still uses it today!

Virginia Revoir said...

So true, Motherhen! :) At least now it's doable and not impossible.

You are right, Momto9. I just wanted to make my house for comfortable to be welcomed in. I don't want to have to worry about someone wanting to just stop in. Now I feel so much more relaxed about it. :D

No Reason Needed, Thank you for stopping and reading!

Sally, such a neat idea! My little ones tend to drift away with their cups somewhere but I like your idea for when they get a little bit older for sure. :D

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

I am surprised the paper/plastic cup thing works for you. We have sensory issues and they get accidentally squeezed and stuff. You would think we would be breaking dishes all the time, and we do if they are not SUPER HEAVY pottery ones. Not one has broken YET. And had for over a year now!! Yay. Though... you're right, it's a lot of washing... but I figure fewer spills and accidents too.