Company Coming

cleanliness is next to godliness

cleanliness is next to godliness (Photo credit: 2-Dog-Farm)

“We labour to make a house a home, then every time we’re expecting visitors, we rush to turn it back into a house.” ~Robert Brault

Spring cleaning. Now those are not words that trip off my lips often. Not even every spring. In a conversation with my sister recently, I said, “You have to make the trek from Ottawa down here soon, my house needs cleaning.” She knew what I meant. Not that she needs someone to visit for her to clean her house—I swear you could eat off the floors in her house—even when no one is coming to visit.  You cannot eat off the floors at my house—ever. Even the five second rule is a bit dicey most of the time. (You know the rule—if food falls on the floor you have about five seconds before really disgusting things happen to it—I think we have at the best of times, a two second rule at my house.)

It is not as if, in my heart of hearts, I am not a neat and clean person. It is just that my inner Martha Stewart is bogged down, or if truth be told, nonexistent. Jane Wells, author of the book “Definitely Not Martha Stewart” says that “deep in the heart of every woman lives a Martha Stewart. It doesn’t matter how liberated or non-traditional we are, the only difference in any of us are the circumstances of life that have nurtured or sublimated or completely eradicated our nesting instincts.” Okay, Jane seems to be a bit on the fence about Martha. I am not. I have no inner Martha Stewart, which is probably why she does not get on my nerves.  I love things to be neat, clean, and organized—I just do not care for the process it takes to get there.

My mom was big on spring cleaning. Wash down all the walls and the ceilings in every room in the house. No piece of furniture was unturned, undusted, unbuffed, or unpolished in the quest to clean the house when the first robin appeared. She took her talents for granted, and felt that there was no creativity in keeping a clean house—it was something everyone could do.

Cleaning takes hard work. Second, it takes hard work, and a plan of attack. Since my mother was already a fastidious housekeeper, it was not much of a job to do her spring cleaning, as on a daily basis, the house was dusted and vacuumed and the bathroom cleaned  (something I do on a weekly, nay–monthly basis). Her weekly cleaning jaunts were about what my spring cleaning is, when I choose to actually do it.  I learned from the best. It is not that I do not know how to clean—it is just I use these talents on a much more limited basis than my mom did—with, I might add, her approval.

She told me that keeping up with the Joneses in the house cleaning department was not something I needed to do—she did it because she said “it was expected”. Now, do not get me wrong, I do not live in filth, and when I am expecting company, I clean my little heart out. For me cleaning the house when company is coming is part of the respect I show for them. I am glad they are coming, and to show it, I clean up the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life, plus a dust bunny or two, and the occasional tumbleweed.

I have been to homes where the housekeeping is somewhat relaxed, (as is mine generally) and I do not judge, as I figure the homeowner just has more important things to do, like curling up with a good book. In fact seeing how laidback others are about house cleaning has made me more relaxed in my own “getting ready for company” practices, which makes the whole process a little less harried (though admittedly, I do get a little unwound when doors I have deliberately  shut get opened and the flotsam and jetsam I have hidden from sight are revealed. The solution: get some locks.)

Easter is coming and so is company. I think I must be goal oriented and need an actual reason to clean up. As the author of  “Definitely Not Martha Stewart” observed: “If it weren’t for Christmas or company coming, some jobs would never get done.”

About these ads

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: http://onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/company-coming/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I can attest to the fact you have a lovely and welcoming home, and isn’t that the best we can all do?

  2. I’ve been in Peggy’s house many times and know exactly what you mean. Even during a kitchen renovation (command central in most homes) her house was 10 times tidier and cleaner than mine on any given day. My favourite greeting when friends drop by unannounced is “don’t mind the mess”! I have good intentions but always fall short. I much prefer to be outdoors and I can’t find any housework on the golf course or cross country ski trails – but I’m looking.

  3. Thanks Peg – only a sister could say such loving wonderful things–even if she had to exaggerate ever so slightly.

  4. Out and about is better than not – and you know, nobody minds “the mess” at all. I know a lady who said that the people who visited her were coming to see her and not her house–I think that is a great attitude. When I visit Peg, I come to see her, but I must admit I do like the lack of chaos at her house–and it is always welcoming.

  5. I think having company over is the ultimate motivator to get things done around the house. That, and having a baby :)

  6. I agree- I work to deadline with everything–


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 614 other followers

%d bloggers like this: