How Messy Is Too Messy or When Is It Clean Enough To Have Folks Over?

. at . 5 comments

“To be honest I’ve got over the ‘house isn’t tidy’ … I think it’s linked to pride … and recently the battle between the need to see friends has won over the house pride curse,” said See-through faith on comment #8 for the post Hospitality Field Trip Refreshes and Teaches.

I can see how pride can be a deterrent to hospitality. Maybe this is part of the Martha mentality.

But when is messy too messy to have people over?

On one hand, When my home gets to a certain level of “lived in” and someone comes over, I am embarrassed that I let the house get so bad. I am definitely distracted. Maybe this is pride.

On the other hand, if I pop over to someone else’s home and it’s lived in, that doesn’t bother me.

And if I may borrow another hand, there is a neighbor, Jo, I used to visit* often in the late afternoon. Her home was always picked up and it was restful to be there.** Because it was tidy I didn’t feel like I was intruding or coming at a bad time. Jo made me feel like I was the most important thing on her to-do list.

Maybe that’s part of the definition of hospitality.

I’ve always wanted to have that kind of home. I’ve always wanted to give my guests that kind of special attention.

As you can see I have too many hands and not much of a conclusion.

What is your take on the messy/tidy/pride issue? How do you feel towards it as the hostess? As the guest?

* This was when I lived in a small village in England.
** Jo and I had children of similar ages and it really was restful. I wonder if Jo remembers it that way?

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Entry filed under: Hospitality, Main.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Keziah  |  . at .

    I suffer from the same problem! I’m getting better though – I figure that it is better for me and my friends to spend time together rather than to stress about my house!

    That said, I much prefer to be in a house where things are in order and tidy. I find it so much more relaxing and peaceful.

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  • 2. doodah!  |  . at .

    Hmmmm… I do find order and tidiness to be more restful… But I have also been in houses that are too clean. You know what I mean. I can’t relax in those places either b/c its like being in a furniture showroom rather than a home.

    I guess there’s a difference (in my mind) between a creative, life-filled, busy home, and the stressed out, chaotic house. And so, I guess if my mess is the creative kind, rather than the chaotic kind, I’m cool with having people over.

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  • 3. Susan  |  . at .

    Keziah, you have some great priorities as evidenced by your replies here and on your own blog.

    It’s been a LONG time since I’ve been in a home that was too clean.

    Doodah, chaos disturbs me too which is one reason I am trying to declutter my home. The less stuff I have the harder it will be for there to be chaos in my home. At least that is my hope and flylady’s promise!

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  • 4. lennie  |  . at .

    Hospitality begins in the heart & ends with the beginning of newfound
    friendships.

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  • 5. Susan  |  . at .

    Nicely said, Lennie.

    I agree that hospitality is a heart issue.

    Richard Krejcir defines hospitality as, “the willingness to share, with discernment, what God has given us, including our family, home, finances, and food. . . He desires that we share His stuff and His love . . . In relationships, it is honoring the boundaries of others, and sharing all we have without strings attached.”

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