If someone called and said they were dropping by what would your reaction be? (house cleanliness)

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Posted 1/29/2013 by toaojs in NSBR Board
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PeaNut 203,557
May 2005
Posts: 4,079
Layouts: 23
Loc: Beautiful Canada

Posted: 1/29/2013 12:52:43 PM
My BF just called and said that she and our teenage babysitter (who we both are friends of) were going to drop by. I am thankfully sick (like pile of kleenex in the garbage bin that is right beside the couch which I have spent the last 2 days living on, snot dripping, coughing, fever, nasty sick)and she decided maybe she doesn't want to risk getting sick as well. Sadly, I was happy I have this excuse because my house is NOT guest ready AT ALL!!! I have laundry on my couch from last week when I was an eager beaver and washed all 8 loads of it (it is folded just not put away)...my sink is filled and it is spilling out onto the counter...my floors have not been mopped this month, and I could go on and on!!!

I have had a LOT on my plate lately and the last thing I have wanted to do is clean and sadly my house is showing that.

So if someone was to stop over would you freak out, or would you be ok?!?

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PeaNut 562,203
July 2012
Posts: 1,239
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/29/2013 12:59:11 PM
My house is about as perfectly clean as it can be. I still never think it's clean enough for company. At least she called and didn't just drop by!

Pea Who Should Be Cleaning!

PeaNut 145,006
May 2004
Posts: 11,487
Layouts: 92
Loc: at home in front of the computer

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:00:13 PM
If I had 15 minutes, I'd be fine. I'd shut the doors to the other rooms you can see into (ds' room and the study) and finish the dishes (most in dishwasher) so I'd finish loading and then wash the couple of pans that can't be put in the dishwasher.

Then, I'd do a quick febreeze spray run just because....

Happy now?

PeaNut 156,993
July 2004
Posts: 46,562
Layouts: 13
Loc: Connecticut

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:00:14 PM
I'd freak. My house is never company ready. Unless I know I'm having company.


PeaNut 31,845
March 2002
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Loc: Poconos PA

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:06:22 PM
For reasons like this I make sure my house is guest ready at all times. My mother is a borderline hoarder and I was always embarrassed to have anyone stop by ever and so as an adult (and a parent) I want my house to be clean always. Every night I vacuum/mop/sweep and nothing is ever left out.

Friends stop by without calling and I've only been "caught" once or twice in the middle of reorganizing.

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PeaNut 40,147
June 2002
Posts: 24,330
Layouts: 2
Loc: Flowood, Mississippi

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:07:16 PM
Ditto what Peabay said.
Occasionally it's presentable but right now, it's a wreck. My kitchen isn't dirty, but it's a bit cluttered and messy with mail, my daughter's schoolwork, etc. She has some blankets piled on the couch and shoes scattered around.

Her bedroom and bathroom are disaster zones.


I sense impending mayhem.

PeaNut 51,520
October 2002
Posts: 19,670
Layouts: 47
Loc: Beautiful BC

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:08:16 PM
I'd be fine with it. The common areas seen to guests at the front door are usually fairly presentable.

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PeaNut 53,328
October 2002
Posts: 6,323
Layouts: 2
Loc: Bellaire, TX

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:12:08 PM
If it were my bff, I would not even care. We've known each other for over 20 years. I think I can handle her judgment

For anyone else, I would need 15-30 minutes to get things ready.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 220,508
August 2005
Posts: 5,593
Layouts: 54
Loc: IL

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:12:45 PM
My house is never ready, but we don't have people just stop by. And the few that do know how we are and don't care. I've stopped worrying about it.

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PeaNut 308,331
April 2007
Posts: 1,323
Layouts: 0
Loc: Southwest

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:14:29 PM
I have people just stop by multiple times a week so it's never perfect but it's always friend ready.

Magical Pea

PeaNut 62,544
January 2003
Posts: 11,672
Layouts: 31
Loc: Brandon, MS

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:16:16 PM

Today, I'd be OK with it. I would just close the bedroom doors. I've been trying really hard to keep the public areas of the house company-ready, but some weeks it is a real challenge.


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 142,870
April 2004
Posts: 13,238
Layouts: 102
Loc: MN

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:16:29 PM
If it was my BFF and I had 10-15 minutes I would do a quick clean up and call it good. However, I hate when neighbors stop by for a few minutes unexpectedly. Our entryway and kitchen (what you see from the front door) are the messiest/dirtiest parts of the house. I have been working hard to improve on how it looks every day so I am not so embarrassed but it is a struggle.


PeaNut 104,457
September 2003
Posts: 3,094
Layouts: 12
Loc: Where The Grass Is Blue

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:17:03 PM
It depends on who it is. If it is someone I know well then they already know I'm a disgusting slob so it wouldn't bother me a bit. If it were someone I didn't know well I would freak, hurry up and hit the high spots, and then get over it. I'd rather have the company than put them off cause my house is a mess.


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PeaNut 518,644
August 2011
Posts: 185
Layouts: 0
Loc: City By The Bay

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:19:07 PM
5 minutes and I'd be ready

** Mom to two sweet boys **

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 134,808
March 2004
Posts: 6,434
Layouts: 4
Loc: East Coast

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:19:38 PM
I realized long ago that people who's opinions I cared about were coming to see me, not my house. So come on over.

Those who would judge me because there might be a few dust bunnies in the corner or dishes in the sink don't really matter and I couldn't care less what they think.

I will admit to doing a quick spit shine on the house (sweep the floors, clorox wipe/windex the main bathroom, stick the dishes in the dishwasher) on Wednesdays before DD's flute teacher comes for lessons. I just consider it my mid-week clean-up.

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PeaNut 297,141
February 2007
Posts: 11,811
Layouts: 31
Loc: South Carolina

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:21:44 PM

I'm a neat freak married to a neat freak, so we are pretty much always company ready. Which is not to say "perfect." There may be stuff out from whatever project is currently going on, but it's contained. And, really, I'd rather have someone come by even if it's not perfect than to turn them away.

Tragically Flip

PeaNut 141,872
April 2004
Posts: 6,363
Layouts: 0
Loc: midwest

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:27:48 PM
I'd hang up and put on the coffee pot. I'm always company ready. I'm a neat freak, so is DH. If my house is a mess I can't even think.


PeaNut 539,539
January 2012
Posts: 3,850
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:35:16 PM
I'd be totally fine. My husband is a neat freak of epic proportions. Everything is picked up, every surface is wiped down and there isn't even a single drinking glass to be found by the time we are ready to wind down for the night.

The only room I would close the door to is my office/craft room. I am in the middle of several different projects so it is pretty messy. My husband stays away from that room.

What if everything is an illusion & nothing exists

PeaNut 82,319
April 2003
Posts: 15,081
Layouts: 39

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:35:52 PM
Honestly at this point I would cry or tell them no. My house is a disaster right now. I'm too tired and too big to do a whole lot every day. I am praying that I can get the downstairs clean enough to have my aunt come over to babysit Friday morning so we can go too the doctor.

(And when I say messy I mean cluttered and toys everywhere, not dirty).


PeaNut 273,602
August 2006
Posts: 3,993
Layouts: 99
Loc: Phoenix, AZ area

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:39:29 PM
well, we live at least 30 minutes from anyone who might just drop by so for us, it really doesn't apply. BUT, neither of us is okay with the concept of someone 'just dropping by' at all... we might have plans, we might not want company, plenty of reasons for it. I think it's only courteous to call first and arrange a time to come over- that way, we can clean the house, and contain the dogs and cats.

"Accepting anything without question is the antithesis of critical thinking and education. ~wren*walk, 8/20/12"


PeaNut 319,348
May 2007
Posts: 532
Layouts: 1

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:50:00 PM
My mother-in-law stopped by unanounced on Saturday. It was NOT pretty!


PeaNut 116,261
November 2003
Posts: 25,809
Layouts: 102

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:55:35 PM
It would depend on who it was. Someone I know well, try to straighten up a little before they come. Someone I don't know well, I'd freak out and have everyone here in a tizzy helping me get as presentable as possible!


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PeaNut 224,352
September 2005
Posts: 24,004
Layouts: 0
Loc: Right here

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:56:26 PM
I'd be AOK...but I have not been sick, so that is a big difference! When I have been very sick, my house would not be fit for visitors.

Dog people are a special breed!


PeaNut 275,594
September 2006
Posts: 3,447
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:56:44 PM
The house is generally company ready so it wouldn't bother me.

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PeaNut 64,257
January 2003
Posts: 19,264
Layouts: 88
Loc: Your Mom's house

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:56:46 PM

If I had 15 minutes, I'd be fine. I'd shut the doors to the other rooms you can see into (ds' room and the study) and finish the dishes (most in dishwasher) so I'd finish loading and then wash the couple of pans that can't be put in the dishwasher.

Then, I'd do a quick febreeze spray run just because....

Same. My house is fine in the public areas.

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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 151,660
June 2004
Posts: 13,597
Layouts: 38
Loc: KY

Posted: 1/29/2013 2:03:04 PM
As long as they stayed in the living room, I wouldn't freak out. Now if they took a tour or had to go in other parts of the house, I'd be sweating!

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Peaing under the Radar

PeaNut 61,691
January 2003
Posts: 12,447
Layouts: 0
Loc: In the Middle

Posted: 1/29/2013 2:19:15 PM
I'd prefer to have at least 5 minutes notice to do a quick once-over, but I'm basically OK. I'm not super picky - I don't mind a little clutter and I don't mind if my guests see a little clutter.

Wannabe FNPea!

PeaNut 82,318
April 2003
Posts: 10,228
Layouts: 35
Loc: In my garden

Posted: 1/29/2013 2:23:51 PM
It would be totally fine.

Never mind, I forgot what I was going to say.

PeaNut 40,938
June 2002
Posts: 8,767
Layouts: 45
Loc: Middle of the Monterey Bay - Ca.

Posted: 1/29/2013 2:25:35 PM
I'd need about 10 minutes to fold throws, pick up shoes,etc. The kitchen is a little cluttery right now but never has stacks of dishes or anything. I'd be ok most of the time.

XOXO, Kristi ~
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PeaNut 180,283
December 2004
Posts: 3,159
Layouts: 18
Loc: California

Posted: 1/29/2013 2:34:42 PM
Generally it's good enough for people to stop by, but I'm much more comfortable if I have 10 minutes notice to do a quick clean up.

What concerns me a lot more is how I look! In public, 95% of the time I'm a full makeup, hair done, dressier clothes type of girl. As soon as I get home, it's no bra, PJ pants and a messy ponytail. I have had to make an awkward dash to the bedroom for appropriate clothing more than once when someone stops by!


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PeaNut 34,268
March 2002
Posts: 14,189
Layouts: 0
Loc: Calgary, Alberta

Posted: 1/29/2013 2:34:51 PM
My main level is usually OK ... just a few dishes in the sink to quickly do up right now ...

I do not invite people to the second level though


PEAsed to be here

PeaNut 88,667
May 2003
Posts: 23,917
Layouts: 283
Loc: NJ

Posted: 1/29/2013 2:42:31 PM
Yeah it depends on who it is. One time I was still in my pajamas. I was cleaning my bathroom before jumping in the shower. And yeah my house was a mess. A friend called to see if she could stop by. Ordinarily I would be all but...

1. She cleans houses for a living. It's not like she doesn't know people's houses aren't spotless at all times.

2. She is close enough to know the messy parts of my heart and love me anyway. So I don't think a messy house or a messy me will phase her.

I brushed my teeth and called it good enough. She stayed for two hours and shared the messy part of her heart with me in my messy house.



PeaNut 196,615
March 2005
Posts: 4,599
Layouts: 2
Loc: in front of my computer - where else would I be?

Posted: 1/29/2013 2:44:11 PM
My house is lived in so there is usually something that is not perfect. The kitchen floor could use mopping again because of rainy weather. Don't open the microwave because someone exploded something in there today and didn't clean it up.

Almost anyone that would just drop by is someone that I have been to their house quite a bit. I know those houses aren't perfect either.



PeaNut 211,963
June 2005
Posts: 2,383
Layouts: 0
Loc: SW Virginia

Posted: 1/29/2013 2:50:12 PM
My motto is If you are coming to see me, come on. If you are coming to see the house, make an appointment!

the lunatics have taken over the asylum

PeaNut 25,135
November 2001
Posts: 25,984
Layouts: 349
Loc: Maryland

Posted: 1/29/2013 2:50:27 PM
People stop by here unannounced all the time. I've learned to just go with it. The house fluctuates from completely presentable to well lived-in, depending on the day. I have 4 boys, so I think I'm doing pretty well that we never reach hovel stage.


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PeaNut 163,613
August 2004
Posts: 78,773
Layouts: 236
Loc: *Sunny Southern California*

Posted: 1/29/2013 2:52:50 PM
Oh heck I have people drop by practically every day. I'd prefer a call first but it never happens.
I try to keep my house picked up and vacuumed all the time. Sometimes though it's a mess and needs picking up.
There are only two people I would be bothered with seeing my home not completely clean. And they rarely stop by

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PeaNut 475,028
July 2010
Posts: 5,673
Layouts: 0
Loc: Northern VA

Posted: 1/29/2013 3:00:17 PM
I think my response would be Lol. But, it would depend on who it was. I have two friends who live the kind of life I do (work, kids, pets...) so they wouldn't mind. Besides, I know what the insides of their houses look like.

That said, I'd still like maybe 10 or 15 minutes because I'd love to get rid of the following:
-- the boots that are all flung in the entry from the snow/ice we just had
-- the Costco stuff that hasn't been carried down to the basement yet (coffee, canned goods, TP, etc.)
-- the sleeping bags that are flung on the couch -- they were out on the deck rail airing out from a weekend away in a college dorm and I dragged them in hurriedly when it looked like rain and just flung them because I was heading out the door.
-- the dog toys that she puts all over the living room -- anyone ever teach their dog to pick up their own toys? lol

Otherwise it would be okay. Doors to kids' rooms are shut, and no one except one very good friend would ever be allowed in the basement. And that's only because her basement looks the same.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 163,728
August 2004
Posts: 5,024
Layouts: 41
Loc: Connecticut

Posted: 1/29/2013 3:02:05 PM
Hopefully they will know you are sick and clean up a bit for you!

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PeaNut 285,775
November 2006
Posts: 2,688
Layouts: 31

Posted: 1/29/2013 3:02:24 PM
Today it is ok.. I am taking the last of my Christmas decorations down so I have boxes and paper on tables..a stack of boxes that need to be taken to the basement. But the dishes are done and I swiped the guest bath last night. Not really company ready but ok if a close friend stopped in. I could close doors to the laundry room which has at least 6 load in various states of dirty\ clean, folded.
My Mom always said keep your dishes done and swipe your bathroom and you are good to go.

Proud Pea-lice Wife!

PeaNut 41,743
July 2002
Posts: 8,609
Layouts: 3

Posted: 1/29/2013 3:14:33 PM
My floors are always what bugs me when people come over. I've got tile that is pretty darn close to white (not my choice) and I've got livestock and kids. Therefore, I always feel like my floors are a mess. Other than that, I'm usually ok with the condition of my house.

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PeaNut 11,942
March 2001
Posts: 20,489
Layouts: 39
Loc: Midland, TX

Posted: 1/29/2013 3:16:48 PM
My house isn't party clean but I would not be embarrassed to let anyone in.


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PeaNut 335,105
August 2007
Posts: 3,691
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/29/2013 3:18:25 PM
It all depends. Family and friends who cares. My house has a lived in look but it's clean so a few scattered school sheets and shoes are fine.

The little grey haired ladies from church who show up at my door I might look around quickly and toss a few toys into a always on hand basket.

Then again I might not. I can't imagine living in a place where things were no unkept I couldn't handle a surprise visit from a friend.


PeaNut 574,604
December 2012
Posts: 3,746
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/29/2013 3:20:06 PM
For years, I struggled with keeping the house presentable.

Then, two things:

1. I began decluttering with a vengeance. When you have less, it's so much easier to put away stuff away and put it away properly and in the right place the first time you touch it. For example, my linen closet and vanities were always overstuffed with linens and bathroom toiletries. It was such a hassle to find anything or put anything away. It meant opening the door and trying to figure out where it should go and then trying to find room to fit it in there, "oh boy, I have to move this and put that there, now I've got this in my hand and where should that go...." Too much trouble, so let's just put it on top of the vanity. Or we bought more of some product because we couldn't find it in the storage space. Now it's easy not only to find stuff, but there is so much more incentive to put them away because it involves simply opening a door and putting it on the proper shelf. So everything gets put away fast and for good.

2. My oldest dd moved out and all of a sudden, it was a breeze to keep the house looking good. LOL I never put two and two together and realized what a whirlwind of stuff she left everywhere and/or how much of my time was spent with her (which, of course, was a good thing, but time is not infinite). Now there's less stuff everywhere and I have more time to deal with what is there.


PeaNut 568,351
October 2012
Posts: 1,593
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/29/2013 3:20:57 PM
I can be company ready in 15 minutes usually. Just enough time to pick up the clutter kids leave lying around. Except probably for the sink full of dishes. We have 5 kids and no dishwasher so there are usually dirty dishes which get washed sometime in the afternoon each day by one of the kids.

With that said, I always like to prepare if the landlord is coming over. I don't like a surprise visit from him. I like it extra clean when he comes by because I want him to know we are taking good care of his house. So I do the full clean up before I see him.


PeaNut 446,722
November 2009
Posts: 2,649
Layouts: 5

Posted: 1/29/2013 3:22:35 PM
Our dishwasher is broken (the top rack isn't getting clean) so I am behind on dishes. My kids are messy and I have a cold and no energy so I probably would try to convince someone they did not want to come over!


PeaNut 140,176
April 2004
Posts: 2,259
Layouts: 0
Loc: At Work

Posted: 1/29/2013 3:28:25 PM
I'd be fine with it. But I decided long ago that I don't care what others think, I care what my family thinks. Why should they live in conditions that I wouldn't be comfortable hosting others in?? So I decluttered and made a chore list for the entire family. I also made new rules about countertops and table tops (former drop spots). Between all of us and our busy schedules, our home is always company ready.

FWIW, I'm not a born organizer, and I'm packrat and procrastinator by nature. I got rid of stuff, quit being a door mat to the family, and got better at keeping up on top of stuff. It's not as hard as I used to think it was.

PEAceful Pea

PeaNut 14,521
April 2001
Posts: 37,572
Layouts: 31
Loc: Washington State

Posted: 1/29/2013 3:28:28 PM
Give me time to shut dd's bedroom door and then come on over!

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Thrift Whisperer

PeaNut 114,407
November 2003
Posts: 22,729
Layouts: 66
Loc: At the intersection of Hooterville and Stars Hollow

Posted: 1/29/2013 4:27:12 PM
On our worst days - I'd lie and say someone was sick.

Lately, I'd have to do a quick clean sweep of some shoes by the door and probably fluff the couch cushions but with 5-10 minutes leeway I could have everything fluffed and fresh enough. I like to wipe down the bathroom real quickly.

We don't have much clutter as I tend to pick things up constantly.

"Surrounded by thugs."

PeaNut 16,228
June 2001
Posts: 33,204
Layouts: 71
Loc: SW Chicago suburbs

Posted: 1/29/2013 4:34:10 PM
I appreciate a heads-up even though my house is pretty presentable 9/10 days. If someone is stopping by, I will use an antibacterial wipe on the bathroom surfaces, put out a fresh hand towel and check to see if there's a shoe mountain in the foyer.


PeaNut 87,007
May 2003
Posts: 3,339
Layouts: 18
Loc: QLD, Australia

Posted: 1/29/2013 4:36:32 PM
We'd be fine here. The bedrooms aren't always great but the living areas are presentable.

Hope you're feeling better soon. It sucks to be sick and surrounded by things you want to get done.


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