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07-04-2018 12:09 AM
@NYC Susan wrote:
I think I'd be your idea of a perfect house guest. Over the years I've been invited into people's homes and they've varied from everthing from a virtual hut, homes in the middle of remodeling (one with a hole in the center of the upstairs bathroom floor), rustic cabins and posh, sparkling clean showplaces.
What do I remember most about them? I enjoyed the company because I was made to feel welcome and comfortable (once sitting on a packing crate), while being served the best tasting antipasto platter I ever had. Good conversation, laughter and a little wine doesn't hurt either.
That reminds me (and this might make the OP feel a bit better) of the time I went to visit a friend who had invited me for lunch. She wasn't a close friend and I had never been to her home before. When I arrived, I had to walk thru a maze of toys that her toddler daughter had left in the living room. Her apartment was clean and pretty, but definitely lived-in. She served a simple lunch of mac & cheese that I'm pretty sure came from a box, and bottled ice tea, and she was pretty open about having decided on the "menu" last-minute. She was completely unapologetic - just warm and welcoming.
I have always been the type who wanted things to be perfect for guests in my home. The meal had to be pre-planned, with several courses, and of course homemade, and I had to have a variety of drinks and desserts, etc. My home had to be spotless - not only clean, but no clutter anywhere, not a speck of dust, not a toy in sight. But I had such a good time with my friend that day. She was so casual about everything, but made me feel welcome, and I realized then that fussing is just so not necessary. She was relaxed, and I felt relaxed too. We had a wonderful conversation, lots of laughs, and I left with a smile on my face.
It was a very long time ago, but I remember the day clearly because it changed the way I thought about entertaining. I'll never be as casual as she was - I'm a planner and I'll always fuss more than most people. But I realized then that it's entirely possible to be a great hostess without obsessing over every little thing and trying to be perfect.
That is a great story!
It reminds me of a great aunt I had.
My mom said that they went to her home only twice (invited, out of state, and for a big meal). The home was lovely, the table impeccably set, the food was to die for. But everyone there was uncomfortable because the hostess was up and running and fussing constantly.
I tried to remember that as I became an adult and would have people over. I often choose the menu based no on what I really would like to serve, but what might be easy enough to allow me to be with and enjoying my company, not fussing because the meal is too complicated. The idea/plan served me well for years. I think everyone that has enjoyed a meal here was spared that uncomfortable feeling of a hostess that fusses too much and is too over worked to enjoy the day.
Thank you, @Mominohio! And you've reminded me about my MIL, who worked so hard to be a good hostess. She was very set in her ways re what was "proper", so everything had to be perfect. Beautifully-set table with elaborate centerpieces, meals with many courses (all delicious - she was a great cook!), and the dishes cleared away immediately, dishwasher, loaded, etc. Heaven forbid there was a stray plate left on the table because we were listening to someone tell a funny story or simply enjoying each other's company. She was totally focused on presentation and how things looked.
What ended up happening every time was that she would be fussing in the kitchen both before, during, and after the meal, and not spending time with her guests. It was uncomfortable because she'd shoo people out of the kitchen which made them feel guilty. It would have been far better for her and for everyone else if she'd simply relaxed. That's where I'd rather be - a house where the mood is relaxed and the hostess is having a good time too.
I was brought up to believe that a good hostess makes her guests feel good. Obsessively focusing on how things look does not accomplish that. :-)
07-05-2018 10:06 AM
Even if I hate it, I'll try to find something about it I like, or I'll just plain lie. No need to make someone feel bad if I don't have to.
07-05-2018 12:51 PM
When I first read this it made me stop and think. Before I met a new friend about 18 months ago, she lives across the courtyard from us; I had not visited someone in their home for the first time in a long, long time. Several years. I suppose we don't make new friends as much as we get older. Then I saw that OP hadn't had any visitors in 25 years and that really stopped me. But, whether it's frequent visitors or rare visitors, we always feel the same way and there's always some anxiety. We want the house to be clean and tidy; we want it smell fresh, we want our guests to feel comfortable. I like to have light refreshments if it's not a lunch or dinner. I think cleaning is easy but if you live with a lot of clutter; that will be harder.
@chrystaltree Thanks for sharing. I think most of us have clutter that we are use to. That is why when you sell a home, people will put lots of stuff in storage just to make the home look nicer for the home buyer when they enter your home.
I will de clutter the front room and kitchen area over the next couple of days... just for the visit.
Can you suggest cold beverages to have in the fridge to be able to offer these guests? flavored waters.... soda? maybe bottled ice T? I will not have coffee available.
07-05-2018 01:08 PM
I notice if it smells nice and not alot of clutter. I dont think anything of someones place that is not up to date. Mine is not as no money to do that. I have been in homes that are SO cluttered and have so much stuff you cant even notice the house, just the stuff. That seemed overwhelming. Try to relax and not worry about it. Dont sweat the small stuff Hope it all goes well
07-05-2018 03:56 PM
I pulled out my rug shampooer and cleaned all the rugs and the stairs. The shampoo has nice scent! That might be enough just getting all the dirt and smells out of the carpet to freshen the air! They will arrive at 10 AM on Monday. I am freaking out. Any suggestions for cold beverages to offer? Bottled water? Bottled ice T? I am not a great hostess.
07-05-2018 03:56 PM
My motto is.....if your coming to see me come anytime. If your coming to see my house make a appt.
07-07-2018 04:37 PM
UPDATE..... So I am just a day away from my company showing up on Monday at 10AM.
Got the kitchen cleaned good yesterday....got the front room cleaned today. Did the carpets on Friday. I wiped down all the woodwork with Murphy's wood soap, and decluttered the front room...got rid of all the dust and cobwebs( just a part of normal life!)
Tomorrow I will clean the guest bathroom. Also go to the store to purchase a coffee maker...and a few other things to offer them for beverage and snack. Then try to put some time aside to make sure the yard is in order.... sweep off the front deak, blow off the driveway......DH mowed the lawn yesterday.
Thanks everyone one for all the great suggestions! If nothing else my house got the best cleaning it has had in 15 years! 😆.
07-07-2018 05:49 PM - edited 07-07-2018 05:57 PM
Wow....You did great!!!
After reading all the posts you seeemed to choose the best advice from each, and all you decided on sounds perfect!!I
I didn't have a chance to post earlier, but DEFINATELY would have suggested EITHER purchasing a "cheap" coffe maker or buying pre-made coffee to heat up, cream and sugar available, and perhaps some boxed tea bags for hot tea (need boiling water). Also would have advised to purchase a variety of "breakfast muffins, breakfast breads, packaged coffee cake, or other breakfast cookies or snacks, especially since they are traveling a long distance to visit. I know all you have done, and are planning to do tomorrow will be appreciated by all.
You did much more "deep cleaning" then I would have suggested or would expect, but it's nice that you are happy about having your house is so clean now!!! I believe it makes a person feel better in general when they de-clutter and clean their living space.
I think you've got it covered my friend!!: Now you can relax.
Before they arrive, take a few minutes to have a cup of tea (or whatever you drink) so you can unwind and enjoy your visit!!!
07-07-2018 06:48 PM
It sounds like you did all the right things and your guests will feel welcome. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it after Monday, Please update us.
I don't know how anyone can say they don't care what others think of their home. I don't have a big impressive house or expensive things, but I'd be very upset if anyone left my home thinking I was unclean, messy or ungracious to my guests. I agree with @fourpaws56 - I roll the same way.
07-07-2018 10:37 PM
Done with this post....these are contractor's coming over to apparently give a bid on outside work to the OPs home. To the OP - be very careful about what you agree to. This is not a social visit.
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