I have this problem, I always hurry to clean up right before someone is coming over and I usually just carry everything into my bedroom to hide it? Have this problem? Where do you hide it?
We all do this. Everyone gets a messy house once in a while. For some of us, it's more than once in a while, and for others of us our homes feel out of control. My house gets untidy on a daily basis, but there are major problem areas... My room, the office, and the closet under the stairs.
These are pictures of the main living area of my house. From left to right - table at entry way, couch, dining table dining room/hall. Click to enlarge to get a better view of the mess. The entry table ALWAYS has my purse on it. There is a hook for the purse in the closet four feet away. Do I EVER hang it up? No. The couch has Sam's homework all over it, plus some mail and stuff that I need to put away. It will eventually get put on the dining table. The dining table almost always looks like this, or worse. When it's time to eat we either shove the mess to one side or move the mess to the side table. We can't do that now because the Christmas Chotschkies are over there. And the laundry, it's never ending. I don't even try to hide it. I could go on and on about laundry so I'll save it for a separate post.
This is the kitchen. I can't hide this mess. If I want it to look clean, I just have to bite the bullet and clean it up. But, I have heard of people who throw everything into a large tub and then put it in the oven until company leaves... I'd forget about it, move on with life and then pre-heat for something and end up burning my house down.
This is the closet under our stairs. It's great for stashing and hiding messes. The problem is it's pretty much already full. Notice the basket on the middle shelf. It gets a lot of stuff put in it and I feel like I am always cleaning it out. One of my biggest problems is papers, what to do with all the papers, when to toss and when to keep, etc. They always make a stop in the basket or on the far left of the bottom shelf. The pile is supposed to be notebooks and coloring books, but it almost always ends up with a stack of already paid bills, papers from the school, papers from church, etc. stacked on top of it. Also in this closet is: a box of cassette tapes (I don't have a cassette tape in my house), a stack of owners manuals, an exercise ball I never use, and a bag of blankets we never use.
The office, where in, no "office-ing" ever gets done. Again with the papers stacking up on the desk and dresser tops, waiting to be filed away. And that desk top computer.... We never use that dinosaur. The closet speaks for itself. I put the changing table in there to help with the stacking of the junk. I would really love another built in shelf just like the one that's there. There is plenty of waisted junk space above all that stacked up junk. And look inside the dresser. Most of it is MaryKay stuff. I haven't sold MaryKay for 2 years but I don't know what to do with it and I don't want to think about it, so it's all hidden in there.
My room is the worst. The first picture represent the primary black hole... And this is cleaned up. The second picture is the book shelf. It's a mess. Too many books and other stuff that doesn't have a place and LOTS of dust. Notice the suit case. That's still there from when I went to St. George back in October. I'm not sure what's in that box. My dresser top is home to the TV, that I don't want in our room - bedrooms are for reading, and the fan. The fan (also very dusty) gets turned on every night no matter how freezing cold it is in our room. We need the white noise or we would hear too much and wake up (the freeway, the neighbors, each other breathing, Sam crying for help, you know, stuff we don't want to hear). There is another catch all basket behind the fan, lonely socks who can't find their match, a broken turtle waiting to have his arm glued back on, hair elastics, bobby pins, barrettes, deodorant.... And again, the closet speaks for itself.
I wish, like I'm sure many of you do, that it wasn't this way. But honestly, I have other things to worry about and obsess over. I've never been one to worry much about the problem spots as long as the main living areas are fairly clean. And for that matter, I don't like dirty. There is messy and there is dirty and they are two different things. But, do I wish the problem spots would go away? Heck Yes! Are they going to go away without me becoming a screaming banshee to my family and a cleaning Nazi to myself? NO. I yell at them too much as it is and my inner critic talks enough already. So is it going to happen? Heck NO!
Let's all just learn to live with it and worry about other things such as:
is my family comfortable?
is my house inviting?
do people like to be here?
I wonder if my kids/husband wants to play a game with me?
what can I do for my neighbor?
what should I make for dinner?
what shall I plant in my garden next spring?
what is that smell?
where is my book, I want to read it?
it's time for a nap?
when was the last time I blogged?
(I just realized that the top three could be questions to ask if you think your house is too messy as well, sorry)
If this didn't answer the question and a valid question it is, then let me just say this: If someone wants to come over and spend time with you and your family, and you are kind enough to tidy up before they arrive, then you are a beautiful, thoughtful, charitable, and loving person and gosh darn it, people like you, and that's why they are comin' over. So I say, don't even worry about WHERE the mess is stashed, just enjoy your company.