Having house guests is always fun. Lots of quality time, lots of laughs, and lots of extra hands to steer your children away from the stove.
The challenging part is the preparation leading up to guest arrival day. When you have little ankle biters trying to thwart your cleaning, shopping, and organizing efforts, the challenge level increases exponentially.
But there is a solution – just break the preparing for house guests process down into manageable chunks. May I suggest seven days?
7 Days Out
Count the beds and pillows in your house. Recount the number of people who will be sleeping your house. Consider how badly the 2 year old needs her pillow. Feel badly that you didn’t first consider how badly you need your own pillow.
Call your mom and ask her to bring a pillow.
6 Days Out
Clean your bathrooms. Find raisins in the bathroom and ask yourself a lot of questions. Double down on your efforts and scrub the bathrooms top to bottom.
Tackle the guest room next. Otherwise known as the room of shame, full of items you forgot to put into the donation bin. Stand there for a while wondering why you you have so many blankets, and broken crayons, and random power cords. Will your guests be impressed by your Paint Bar sunset from 2012 or should you replace it with the garage sale oil painting of a winter scene?
5 Days Out
Go to the grocery store and stand in front of the almond milk display for 20 minutes half enjoying your quiet time and half wondering why there are so many different kinds of almond milk.
Google “do vegans eat fish?” (No, they do not.)
While you’re there buy snacks for the guests. This way you can attempt to hide them from your children until the weekend, fail miserably, and go back to the grocery store 10 minutes before guests arrive.
4 Days Out
Wash all your towels. Realize that 2/3 of your towels are cartoon beach towels. Wonder if anyone will notice. Strategically place the good towels in the front of the closet to give the appearance that you have your act together.
Congratulate yourself that you’ve checked many things off your to do list and you still have four more days. Crack open the chocolate that you hid in the back of the cabinet as a reward.
3 Days Out
Vacuum three years worth of crackers out of your rugs and walk around muttering that no one is going to eat crackers ever again unless they are wearing those big “don’t bite your stitches” dog cones.
While you’re at it sweep and mop the floors. Because your kids probably won’t want yogurt, or watermelon, or jelly anytime in the next three days. And if they do they’ll clean up after themselves probably…
2 Days Out
Find yourself back at the grocery store. But go to the one with a liquor store attached because you’re hospitable but also you need an adult beverage for when you are going to be vacuuming your rug again because everyone was eating crackers. Sans cones.
Come back home and start scraping the stickers off the sliding door. Immediately regret your decision. Swear off stickers. And sliding doors.
1 Day Out
Go to work in the morning. Panic because you realize you are in no way ready for guests.
Call your mom and remind her about the pillow situation.
Clean the bathrooms again because “WHY IS YOUR TOOTHPASTE ON THE CEILING???”
Go back to the grocery store knowing full well you’re going to be ordering pizza tomorrow.
Wonder why you had the audacity to sit around eating chocolate during stage 4.
Remop the floors. Hide the jelly.
Look around your house. Realize that your guests aren’t there to see your house. Realize that your guests aren’t even really there to see you. The kids are the real draw.
Wash the kids.