Being “Company Ready”

I have really been struggling with my home not being “company ready” lately. I’ve realized it’s a function of my personality (INFJ) to compartmentalize, so when I get busy with work or a project, I can only focus on that, and I tend to tune out other things like housework. (And vice versa – when I get focused on cleaning, I can organize and clean all day to the exclusion of other things). I really want to learn how to balance all this better – keep up with work, volunteering, projects, enjoying motherhood (although that’s the easiest…it doesn’t take much for me to set aside everything else to play with the cutest child in the world), AND have a generally company-ready house.

With the Red Sox heading toward the World Series and now being in the World Series, and the fact that we have a projector-theater-room now set up, our home has been the hub of much baseball watching. Tired of being embarrassed by dirty dishes and baby toys everywhere when hordes of guys suddenly “drop by” to catch the game, I’ve been working on keeping things more straightened up. Matthew and I have been busy running here and there in the evenings, so it’s been a long time since we actually sat down together for dinner, and that was another thing I wanted to change.

Yesterday I texted him and cordially invited him to a sit-down dinner at home. I’m so glad I was getting prepared for a nice dinner when he called from his racquetball league and said, “A friend is in Rhode Island tonight…can I bring him to dinner?” While the bedroom is the messiest it’s probably been since college, the kitchen, living room, and dining room looked pretty good, and I was already cooking stroganoff.

“Sure, that would be great!” I said. I finished clearing off the table, set plates, and lit a candle. Our upstairs neighbor was able to join us as well, and later, two other guys came by to watch the game.

I feel like I’ve had a lot of hospitality failures lately, so it was wonderful to feel like a success last night. Matthew even made sure to tell me several times that I had been a great hostess. Last night reinforced my desire to keep our home company-ready…not to mention that those of us who live here deserve a peaceful, clean environment as well.

Now I have to run, because another long-distance friend is flying in this afternoon to spend the weekend with us, and I need to tackle our bedroom…

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  • Mistress_Kath

    For the record, I think you’re a terrific hostess. Anyone who’s willing to host a sweaty, dusty, tired rennie who arrives for one night with an armload of costumes and instruments deserves a medal!!

  • Liosliath

    Congrats on the success! I hope I have some of that tonight since we are having people over. Seems like I’ve been having an opposite problem lately: I’ll clean a little, but not enough for it to look good, and then something else will catch my attention and I’ll be off to do a little of that before getting distracted again. It’s hopeless. I’m wandering in circles!

  • simply_nikki

    I would like that for my home, too. I tend to compartmentalize as well. I might work on the house for a month but then work on paper stuff or errands the next. I was doing so well with my weekly routine but then I started working 8 hours a day and had just enough time for dinner, laundry and sorting mail before I went to bed!

    I know you’re a great hostess no matter. You make people feel welcome at all times!

    P.S. Which is your new theatre room?

  • daniellehanley

    Don’t forget to balance the INFJ perfectionist tendencies and don’t be too hard on yourself. People do remember your attitude more than your house, and I know you love having guests and generally being with people.

    But I think that a loose schedule is really the key to balancing daily routine things that must be done (like dishes) and projects. Ours is sort of – breakfast, general cleanup of house, school, lunch, cleanup, projects, cleanup, dinner, cleanup, movie or reading. If you have lots of natural cleanup times scheduled it’s much easier to keep things generally neat.

    Also, it helps to do all the messy things in one area. I just realized this. We have our school, toys and computers in the kitchen now. This means that when I cleanup I’m only picking up one room, not every room in the house. Those get a tiny bit messy, but that’s taken care of by the general morning cleanup. Compartmentalizing means that I tend to close a door or a drawer and forget about a mess. Sometimes that’s ok, but sometimes it’s not.

    RYQ: I don’t think her hair is very red, but it’s hard to tell since she has so little.

  • naturalmomma1

    Reading that makes me realized that I totally compartmentalize too. I think I’m an INFJ…I don’t remember the exact letters but if I’m off it would only be by one…the N is the only one I’m unsure of. But perfectionist tendenecies like daniellehanley mentioned….oh yes i have those. So all that to say…you sound just like me! It is frustrating because things do tend to get out of balance. It’s kind of ironic because I think we focus just one one thing trying to make it perfect while everything else is then falling so far away from perfect so we don’t meet our never-gonna-reach-it goal of perfection anyway! Danielle’s suggestions are really good…I used to have a good weekly routine in place for cleaning, and my house looked good all the time and I felt like I did less. I need to get back into that. :)

  • UntanglingTales

    Did you re-take the test again? In a comment you left on my site earlier in the year you labeled yourself as an INSJ.

    Not that I know the difference. I still find it fascinating how different tests give me *utterly* different answers. Makes me more uncomfortable than ever with standardized testing…

  • UntanglingTales

    Sorry, miss-wrote that: ISFJ was what you wrote in my comments.

  • airborneschloss


    Becky, you were ESFJ on the test you took when we were at the War College.

    You are a wonderful hostess. I’ve been doing a room a day vs. an all-day cleaning. Works pretty well. That is until tomorrow when I start sewing flower girl dresses!

  • whomhavei

    Gosh, you don’t even know what personality you are. Idiot.

  • miller_schloss

    I vascillate between ISFJ and INFJ. I’m on the borderline between E and I and S and N and test differently depending on how I’m feeling (because those can go either way for me). However, I and N seem to be more consistently accurate for me based on the trait descriptions.

  • UntanglingTales

    I test INFJ (with the most accurate description) on one test and ESTP on another. Consistently. It’s a little creepy, really, b/c ESTP has so much in it I *don’t* want to be (no offense meant to you ESTPs out there).

  • Abbas_princess

    What is INFJ??

    Oh, and guess what?  It looks like Adam and I are watching the 4th live at the moment (we think, on Fox sports) … Adams going the underdog, a very Aussie thing to do, and is rooting for the Rockies.

    Don’t hold it against me, and tell me you still like me. *grin*

  • LadyOfNarnia

    Whoa, I keep finding out that the most random people were involved somehow or other with Teen Mania….were you an intern?

  • mmmattress

    Yeah, I’m trying to figure out how / if I can repay you.

  • hannahbarton

    You are awesome, and I can’t wait to see you next week.

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