Sunday, June 1, 2008

Is your place ready for company?


We had some family over for an impromptu round of drinks last night. Our place was a palace of filth. There has been no time to clean the last few days.

Then again, my house is rarely clean. I hate it. I would say about 5% of the time, my place is as ready as can be for guests. Generally when we have drop-ins, I am wondering if there is just one sheet of toilet paper left in the bathroom and I stay busy attempting to keep people out of the kitchen before they see a sink full of dishes and other horrors. The only good news is that since I have been trying my Drink of the Week program, we now have a nicely stocked bar. I figure if I can get 'em drunk, they won't notice the dog hair everywhere.

Is your place generally ready for company? If you were out with a group of friends and everyone suggested to wrap up the night with a few glasses of wine at your place, would you be ready for showtime?



Photo from Domino, via This is Glamorous

39 comments:

maison21 said...

ready for guests? always. free of dog/cat hair? never. even right after the cleaning lady leaves, dog and cat fur dust bunnies start reforming within hours. it's one of the reasons i like to keep the lights low!

so i'm in complete agreement- liquor 'em up, and they won't notice a thing...

Tara said...

It used to be and I'm working on getting it back that way by organizing the basement studio/office so the dining room, living room, and kitchen don't have to be studio/office space in my teeny, tiny house.

I'm accepting in my mid-late thirties that if there are people in my home, there's a pretty good chance that they already like me, maybe even love me, so if there are a couple drifts of cat hair and a few dishes in the sink, so what? If they don't already like me and they're going to choose not to because of this or because they don't approve of my furniture or paint colors, eff 'em.

Anonymous said...

The best times I've had have been in houses that are more or less pig-sties.

It's the immaculate, spic-n-span homes that buzz-kill a party before it ever gets started.

I think this is Martha Stewart's secret: She genuinely hates people. Keeping her house so antiseptic probably drives guests away, and she's happiest that way.

modernemama said...

always ready for guests, come on over. We supply alcohol and keep a supply lint rollers to take care of the copious amounts of dog and cat hair you're sure to take away as a souvenir of your visit,

Kwana said...

Ready for guests? Hardly! I can't lie. I'm working toward that but I'm no where near there and don't know if I'd ever fully be. The thought of surprise guests gives me heart palpitations.

Sarah's Fab Day said...

Ugh! Now that I'm a stay at home mom, I more of a do-it-yourselfer and it totally blows! We used to have fun things like a cleaning lady, so now things are not quite so tidy. Never is everything clean all at once. I try to take it as it comes but with 2 kids there is always some mystery sticky spot and random tiny toys tucked in every nook and cranny. So NO, but I do always try to have booze on hand at least (mostly for me) and for any guests.

perchance said...

My house was put to the test Wednesday when friends called wanting to stop over, and it wasn't ready. After a deep clean this weekend, I now resolve to be (mostly) guest-ready. And Anon 12:33's Martha assessment made me snort!

Leslie said...

This is one of those things that I REALLY want to change about my apartment and the way I live. One of my biggest goals for my apartment as I put it all together is wanting to entertain and have my best friends feel like they can stop by any time. Like the tv show Friends except we're all not the most annoying human beings in the world.

Why would people want to come over to my house when I have 25 empty bottles of two buck chuck littered all over the place and the furniture is booby trapped with pins and needles from when I've been sewing. Fuck.

Anonymous said...

No, and I've sort of stopped trying. Our entryway comes directly into the kitchen/dining area and my partner never helps me with dishes. Therefore the kitchen is always a mess, because I don't have time to stop and do a giant pile of dishes all the time.

If it weren't for that, we could be fairly ready for guests. We've always got some bottles of wine and plenty of tea on hand. Liquor is too expensive in this part of the world unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

I have a nearly full bottle of morphine and some chopsticks.

Decorno said...

Leslie - you kill me. :)

jen said...

I am a HUGE fan of friends dropping in and here's what I have decided: instead of worrying about having my house "ready for company," I've decided to obtain friends who couldn't give a rat's ass if it's clean or not.

How many times have you busted your ass cleaning the kitchen floor before a big party, only to have it be a sticky icky mess an hour into the fun?

I used to worry worry worry and now, thanks to being a little older and to my prescription for Celexa, I'm much more interested in being a host who's having fun--because 99% of the time, your guests will too.

Great Dame said...

Ready, as in clean? Um, no. Ready as in, 'come on over and turn a blind eye to the dog hair and possible dust'? Sure, once I get over my initial anxiety about it!

Fifi Flowers said...

We have something in common... today a friend of my hubby Jon dropped in... hadn't seen him in 10years... he actually drove by our house a few times... he thought he was on the wrong street, but eventually knocked on the door. We did MAJOR remodel 3 years ago... so he wanted the FULL tour... UGH... not one bed was made and today was laundry day... MESS MESS MESS... so I guess I would have to say NO, I'm not always ready for guests.

katek said...

My husband is very, very, very tidy--and aside from my office, which tends to run towards neat(ish) stacks of miscellany, the whole apartment is very tidy, too. To be honest, I'm much happier since we moved in together and his inability to cope with clothes heaped on a chair forced me to start putting stuff away, and I was always psychotic about having a clean kitchen.

We get a cleaning lady twice a month for the heavy stuff--floors, bathrooms, etc. Oh, and we always have lots and lots of booze.

It's not for guests, the neatness, though it is nice to be able to have people over on the spur of the moment. It's for us--the house is so relaxing to come home to when it's all clean and there are fresh flowers.

icouldkllher said...

I just returned to work after a two-year hiatus being home with my daughter. The first thing I realized, after being offered the position was "Thank god! We can now have a housecleaner come twice a month." It is so worth the money - and we have a dog who sheds like a a mofo. Go for it girl! It will change your life.

Christine (the one in DC) said...

I'm about 40-60, ready-not ready. Usually it doesn't matter because no one comes to my house unless they're invited well in advance. I'm somehow considered difficult to access (nevermind that I live right in the city...)

I have to say, though, I was at someone's house the other night that kind of grossed me out and she was hosting an event--so she knew. I mean, the kitchen floor looked as if it hadn't been cleaned in ages. My how my standards have changed in the last 10 years!!!

Anonymous said...

Other Elaine is right: Get a cleaning person.

mrlfvl said...

I'm right there with D-no, M21, anon 12:33, leslie, and others... One could actually knit a very beautiful sweater from the dog hair on my floor. I'm so tired of trying to "polish a turd" as my father in law says...My house is not, and never will be a showplace. We both work full-time and cannot begin to address the decor issues both inside and outside our house. But, we're both "ok" with it...We know who our friends are and they love us no matter what...at least that's what they say, so I'm good with that...

Jessica said...

I saw a coffee mug yesterday that said, "A clean house is a sign of a wasted life." Nuff said. I'm never ready.

Suzy said...

mmm...my bar has been stocked for a while, but like you, I have animal hair all over the place. Plus, my husband simply refuses to put his dirty closthes in a laundry basket - he simply leaves yesterdays clothes where he took them off before bed. Ready for guests...maybe as long as they don't go into our bedroom (which at the moment they have to to use the bathroom), or sit on our couch...

kristinimartini said...

hell to the no. pssshaw. the only peeps coming back to my house don't care that i have dog hair tumbleweeds the size of their heads(from a dog the size of most of my girlfriends=130lbs) because i break out the wine i get @ cost from my hell 2nd job. let the bugrandy's flow like, well, wine and no one cares that i haven't done dishes in 3 days as long as their wine glass is clean.

Anonymous said...

Funny you bring this up. till last month i was this fairly messy - 'please announce your entry' - sort of householder - but something made me totally turn it around. a visit to a friend's house that made me jump out of my skin - i couldnt concentrate on the food she had so lovingly prepared knowing it came from that dirty kitchen - sad but true! i feel guilty alright. sort of made me introspective about the whole thing. and i realised if a spanking clean house was a choice we all had - then yes was going to be my new answer. to the detriment of a lot other things in my life that will need to be de prioritized.

CSS said...

True story, when I lived in NYC my closest friends husband was in town and wanted to say hello, and was literally standing on the corner...The house was a mess, so I did what all resourceful girls would do, shoved everything in my closets and the dirty dishes in the oven! Yikes.....But it worked!

CSS said...

True story, when I lived in NYC my closest friends husband was in town and wanted to say hello, and was literally standing on the corner...The house was a mess, so I did what all resourceful girls would do, shoved everything in my closets and the dirty dishes in the oven! Yikes.....But it worked!

pve design said...

ready for you anytime!

OF THE PICKLED HUTCH said...

God, it sounds like most of us are all in the same place, literally. Having a store means that it is sparkly and clean, and my apartment a complete disaster. The kind where you have a closet you can throw things into just in case but now the closet is throwing up into the hallway and you can't close the door. I would love to have it ALTOGETHER but instead, I have altogether HAD IT with trying to keep it clean. So I don't worry as much about a well stocked bar. I just bring a good bottle over!
Lisa & Alfie

Jules said...

Housekeeping has never been my thing, but with my son's allergies I've been forced to do things like vacuum everyday, dust, laundry, etc. It's weird, but now that I am over the initial disgust for my new plot in life, I have to say I am enjoying the benefits of a clean house. It's inspired me to do even more. I spent 5 hours outside on Friday clearing out our patio. And, no, our covered patio wasn't so stuffed that it took five hours to clear it. It took more. Five hours is what I spent on Friday. All told, it took about 8-10 hours of going through boxes covered with an inch of dust.

Disgusting.

Kimberly Y said...

I grew up in a house where we were perpetually waiting for the day when we could do EVERYTHING at once...172 hour days do not exist, thus the house was NEVER in good shape; we who lived there had to move piles of newspapers and magazines to sit on the couch. Now that I've had my own living space for almost 4 years I am closer to my goal of being "15 minutes from guest ready". Usually a couple hours gets everything from the mountain of clean laundry sitting on the kitchen table to the floors swiffer-mopped. That aside, I am pretty much always ready to have people come over and play. And I have wine and liquor enough for more people than could actually fit in my house at any one time, so bring 'em on!

Laura @ Shore Chic. said...

I, too, suffer from Random Pet Hair syndrome. We adopted our first dog last year and I had nooooooo idea that actual dog hair tumbleweeds would form. Daily. That, and we don’t like big black dog on the furniture so we pile stuff up on it when we leave. So, you may come over to overturned seat cushions where you’d otherwise like to sit, and fur balls swirling around your feet. But like many other posts, we have a fully stocked bar that’ll help you forget the other things.

Anonymous said...

It's not having a constantly immaculate home that counts. For the most part, the only people that will drop by without notice are your close friends or family (especially in Seattle!) What matters is how quickly you can RECOVER from a mess.

So, like anyone else with a life, your house will get trashed from time to time... but is it set up under all of the rubble so that you can whip it into shape in 15 minutes before someone comes over? That's key.

Stocked bar/ alcohol on hand goes without saying!

1. Before frantic 8-limb tidying up, get the beverage tray ready and easily accessible--you know that you can hand a drink to your guest and distract them right away. No idle time for them to look around at the dirty floor while you are looking for the muddler.

2. Take your shoes off and put a tank top on. You will be less inhibited to crank out the tidy. Drive it like you stole it. *Absolutely NO deep cleaning--only picking up and shining things to give the appearance of cleanliness:)

3. No matter how close to being "done" you are, give yourself five minutes before the guest drop in: pour yourself a drink, change your shirt and put your lipstick on. Then you can greet them lovingly with sass regardless of how your house looks. They'll be looking at you! That's why they are coming over anyways:)

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Anon 12:29 has it right; that's a fine schedule for a last minute to-do.

Mrs. E. and I make sure to keep the lights low, the jazz smokey, at least one room relatively debris free and the drinks tray stocked. Besides, if they're coming back to our place for a drink, chances are they're er..."pretty well on the way" at any rate and could care less. All I expect are clean glasses and sparkling conversation.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

I am deeply ashamed to say ... No. It isn't. We don't even have enough liquor in the house right now to get even mildly buzzed ourselves! How pathetic is that? At least the apartment's clean. That much I can vouch for. But any spur-of-the-moment event would have to be strictly BYOB.

my little apartment said...

you know how anorexic girls never think they are thin enough? and they keep looking in the mirror, horrified by all their imaginary fat?

thats how i am about my house. it's guest-ready about 99% of the time, but whenever someone stops by, my brain's all "omigod, they are going to notice that i haven't dusted under my dvd player! and the flowers in the bathroom are like 2 days old! and, and, and!"

but yeah, i just pour us both a drink and its all whatevs. i have learned to accept that my carpet will always be covered in dog hair. but everyone loves my dog so much, they could care less...

Anonymous said...

I always feel sick when friends drop by unannounced because there are inevitably fraying undies lying on the floor 3 feet from the laundry hamper and crusty dishes languishing in the sink.

But I hope that my true pals are actually more at ease when my place is, like me, slightly dishevelled and topsy turvy. I tell myself that they find it easier to relax in a bit of a mess than an impeccably ordered show-house.

alis said...

Hell no. It is relatively clean if not a little dusty. No alcohol, no food other than instant soups and raw veggies, no snacks. A gigantic exercise machine in the middle of the living room. A big pile of dishes in the sink and on the kitchen table. Some used glasses scattered around the house. If I left the house in a hurry(which is always), make-up and cotton balls on the bathroom counter. Inside-out clothes everywhere. Hand-washed panties lef to dry in the bathroom. Last week a friend offered to continue the night at my place, I just had to say no.

Anonymous said...

For all the dog owners who have shedding dogs, try the furminator. you'll laugh when you see the website furminator.com... and think that it's BS, but OMG it works like a dream. I have a yellow lab and i take off bags and bags of hair from him. It's expensive and works best on breeds with double coats, but it's worth every penny in hair that's not on everything.

{this is glamorous} said...

As I'm about to say, "Why, yes, of course", I realize that it's been two and half days since I've been back from our trip, and things are still in suitcases . . .

Anonymous said...

The public rooms - living/dining/kitchen - are usually pretty tidy, but the beds are never made. That's why God made doors.

I'm really forgiving about other people's messy houses though. I don't care if you have dust or cat hair and am just honored to be invited.