Photo Credit: JeremyOK via Compfight cc
So I took a little break from this challenge while I was getting ready for, going on and recovering from vacation. To be honest I wasn’t sure I wanted to pick it up again. But at the same time, I hate undone projects. (Having abandoned Project Simplicity and 52 Weeks to an Organized Home still gnaws at me. I still tell myself that I plan to return to the latter).

The focus of this week isn’t just on making your home clean, but inviting. This means that you house can look lived in and should make others feel at ease. I once heard someone say that when someone leaves your home they should feel better about themselves, not about you. My house cleaning goals have certainly relaxed over the years. My husband, who has a much higher tolerance for clutter than I do, suddenly becomes embarrassed if he knows anyone is coming to the house; even if it’s just my parents or sister. He suddenly goes around cleaning up messes that I’ve been wanting to deal with for weeks, if not months. That being said, having a bi-weekly small group meeting in our living room does help us to keep things under control a bit. Otherwise we’d have to invite someone to dinner every week just to keep the health department away.

But making others feel comfortable is about more than a decluttered house. It’s how we conduct ourselves too. I want to make sure the couches are clear but toys on the floor are OK. I used to apologize if things were out of place. I try not to do that anymore. I’m not hosting a state dinner, just welcoming friends.

Mary Challenge

“Invite a friend over to ‘put their feet up.’ Don’t worry about things being perfect, focus on enjoying their company. “ I love this. We definitely need to do this more. As an introvert who is home with two kids all day married to an introvert who interacts with others in the course of his job, sometimes having guests can be draining. But part of that is the pressure of entertaining. But if I lower my expectations it will be easier. We have friends coming in from out of town this week. I know the house won’t be perfect. The meals will be simple so we can focus more on being together than cooking or cleaning up. They will be camping out in our living room so there is no doubt that things will be crowded and messy. But this is what life is like and I’d rather deal with all of that than forego a visit from dear friends. I want them to feel at home.

Martha Challenge

Clean your oven and microwave. Yuck! One of my least favorite things, but also very necessary. At this point it probably would be easier to throw out my oven than clean it. We hope to replace it soon as it fast becoming poorly functioning. But I will give it a shot. Microwave is another one I’m terrible about doing, but I’ll tackle that as well. It will be nice to avoid the smoke-out that happens whenever I turn my oven on.

Well, my house isn’t magically cleaner, though it is a little less cluttered in places. But it feels good to make strides, even if they are small ones.

31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way

Why Clean?: 31 Days to Clean

Created to Give Life: 31 Days to Clean

10 Ways to Give Life to Your Home: 31 Days to Clean