Day 29 – An Open Door Policy

One of the best ways we can share Joy! with others is to open our homes to them. From big family gatherings on a holiday, to a cup of tea and some muffins, to a bed hastily made on the couch because the roads are icy… Hospitality is always appreciated. And it’s not about being the perfect hostess, or having everything “Pinterest Perfect!” (I LOVE Pinterest, by the way!) Hospitality is about making room for others in your life… Offering some comfort and some friendship… Taking the time to read a story to a little person or making a shy teen feel like they’re important. It could be a warm cup of coffee or a cool glass of ice water. It’s all about sharing Joy!

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers:
for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Hebrews 13:2

Since our nest became empty, Hubby and I have had this feeling deep down that we’ve been blessed with our home for a reason, and that it needs to be shared. It needs to be open… ready for family, friends, neighbors, strangers… and maybe even some angels. It’s been a lot of work to clear out twenty-some years of clutter and make some room in our home and our lives for the “whoevers” that may come along. But we want to be ready. We want the door to be open.

I know that our house is not “company ready” every day… With a busy life, lots of art orders, and a variety of home update projects, there have been days that our house looks like a Michaels/Lowes/packing supply explosion, but I’ve found a few things that can help keep me keep a ready-for-anything attitude when it comes to someone popping in suddenly…

Morning Chores
Since our girls were little, we had a list of chores
to run through each morning. I’ve found when I’m
consistent with this, the house doesn’t get too messy.
I can even skip some of the chores on many days!

Parlor Mentality
Back in the day, our grandparents kept the parlor ready
for guests… often to the point of not letting the children in!
I don’t believe in going to that extreme, but it does help to have
a room that stays relatively clean when unexpected guests arrive!

First Impressions
Something else that has helped me over the years is to stand at
the doorway and look in the entry to our home as if I’m a guest
or the UPS guy. That usually has me gathering up a few stray things
or grabbing a vacuum to give the entry rug a once over!

Five Minute Pick-Up
If you do get a bit of warning that company is coming,
it’s amazing what you can do in just five minutes to make the house
ready for guests! We’re talking triage here… gather your stray coffee
cups, straighten the stack of magazines, fluff the pillows on the couch,
empty the trash, and put away that last load of laundry!

Clear the Table
For some reason, our dining room table seems to catch things that
come in the door… purses, groceries, receipts, important papers…
…and for some reason, the dining room table is where guests congregate!
It’s helped to set up a receiving station near the door to have a place
to catch the entryway clutter, but I often still need to make a point
 to clear the table so there’s room for good conversation!

Most of all, remember that any guests that come to your home do not usually come to “see” you home… They come to visit with you! Forget the little piles of clutter when they are there and share some Joy! with your company. Open up the door and say “Come on in!”

Speaking of sharing Joy!
Click here to sign up for a free
framed papercutting!
Winner to be announced on Day 31
of the Take Joy! series!

Click below to read the entire series…

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