Early in our marriage, John realized that I became anxious if someone would drop by when things were out of place in the house. He told me that I needed to stop perpetuating the myth of the perfectly organized home. (Bless his heart, right?!) I love "a place for everything, and everything in its place," but I have learned to be a little more patient with myself.
Years ago, my messy house was able to make someone feel better. She had a houseful of children, plus she was in the process of remodeling. She commented to me that she was so embarrassed by her home, and felt so bad because everyone else seemed to be able to balance housekeeping with everything else. She was sitting in my clean living room, basically telling me how she was getting depressed comparing her house to mine. Well, my living room was momentarily clean because I knew I was having company come. My "wreck" room, however, was downstairs in the basement. It was, quite frankly, a disaster. With John's admonition of "Don't perpetuate the myth" ringing in my ears, I knew what I must do. I invited my friend downstairs. I swallowed my pride as she gushed that she felt so much better after seeing the rec room, and told me I was welcome in her home anytime.
The people behind the messes--whether they be our children, our friends, or ourselves--are so much more important than a potentially spotless room. Of course, I'm not advocating living in squalor, but I am advocating patience with temporary messes. Let's suspend judgement, and be supportive of each other. Real life is messy sometimes.
Oh, one more thing--feel free to drop by. The things in the entry may or may not be put away by then, but friends are infinitely more valuable than an uncluttered space (just don't trip on your way in!).