Thursday, March 17, 2011

Company Conundrums

It's always a difficult decision for me: how much should I clean and tidy before company comes over?  Certainly there are different levels of "company," a gap between how much I will clean for my sister and how much I will clean for friends coming into town from far away that will be staying the night.  Not that I don't want our apartment to be spotless for my sister, but I don't feel judged by her (and, really, we shared a bathroom for eighteen years: she's seen me at my worst).  If my parents or in-laws come over, the bathroom gets scrubbed (except the shower), and the kitchen will be spruced up, but the bedrooms can be a disaster.  If friends our age come over, the bedrooms are pristine, but I won't have taken out all of the garbages beforehand.

Of course, how long someone is staying dramatically effects how much I will clean for them.  A quick stop to pick something up?  I'll tidy the living room.  Staying for a night or two?  I'll clean the entire bathroom including the shower.

But sometimes there's the question of whether to clean before someone arrives or after they leave.  If I'm having a bunch of people over, forget the floors.  I'll sweep and mop after the party.  If those bunches of people use the bathroom, I'll do a quick wipe-down before they arrive and a full scrub after they leave.  It's our apartment, our living space with our germs, not theirs, and I don't feel like I need to live in after-party-yuckiness.

Sometimes I will judge myself as I think others would be judging me--the worst possible thing on an ego.  I'll watch people walk through our apartment and make mental notes, "I can't believe I left that book out!" or "Ugh, the pillows on the couch do not match anything.  Sure, they may be pretty, but they don't match." or "Look at that pile of clutter in the corner.  I know I've been meaning to clean it up, but why did I wait?"  The little devil on my shoulder (Murray? remember?) gets me going, and then I feel like a total failure with every purchase and decorating decision.  I have to remind myself that I don't have a personal decorator nor the money to spend on such frivolous things, and if my guests are really that judgmental, they won't be coming back.

1 comment:

Kristin Placek said...

You should know when I came over yesterday the place looked spotless :) Not sure if you cleaned for us or not, but I thought the place looked great.