I recently invited a group of friends over to my house for the first time. My partner and I immediately panicked when we realised what this actually meant. The house was a mess, clutter everywhere, stuff strewn across every surface etc. I know, I know…that’s not exactly minimalist which brings me to my main point. If you feel the need to do an excessive clean up before having people over? You probably have stuff to get rid of that you definitely don’t need anymore.
The need to clean up for company is a great motivator, it’s also a great motivator for getting rid of stuff you don’t need. It really makes you question your need to keep something that’s been sitting on the coffee table or kitchen bench for six months when you are suddenly faced with the prospect of having to find a more permanent home for it.
I managed to get rid of a lot of packaging that had somehow ended up in the spare bedroom, a broken fan, old receipts, expired or mouldy food from the fridge or pantry and actually put items away in cupboards and drawers where they belonged. The process took days, but was a perfect reminder to get rid of things constantly, as you go, on a daily basis, even to be careful about the items coming into the house. It was overwhelming to do things the way we did. Over the past say… six to eight months we’ve certainly acquired stuff and not had the heart to find proper places for everything (eg: did we really need to say ‘yes’ to the free gift with purchase?), as a result, a lot of our nice clean surfaces were soon – cluttered!
Moving forwards? This is a great question that I will be asking myself on a weekly basis. Is my house guest ready? Would I be happy to invite someone in if they dropped in unexpectedly? Or do I feel the need to do a fast clean up? If the answer is no then why not? Have I let the house become cluttered? What items are superfluous to my life?
Put something away immediately, don’t decide that you can’t be bothered or it’s too hard to find space for something. After all, if it’s too difficult, perhaps the item isn’t needed in your life.
I look forward to the next time I have people over and I don’t have the same level of panic or stress, but rather a sense of looking forward to the experience. After all, catching up with friends should be a fun and relaxing experience. Our current goal is to maintain our clean home and the feeling of calm it brings.
So, ask yourself, is your home guest ready? Or should you be looking to live with less?