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Help! My Home is Too Small and Messy - Do I Have to Entertain?

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Question: Help! My Home is Too Small and Messy - Do I Have to Entertain?
"I've been part of a group of friends for many years and we all go out to do fun things together every few months. But there are a few times every year when we get together at somebody's home for a party. I've never had the gang over to my house because, truthfully, I'm kind of embarrassed. My house is smaller than most of their homes, and there's always something that needs fixing up, painting, or is torn apart because my husband is a do-it-yourself-er who never finishes his projects. Lately I've been getting hints that maybe I should host the next party for the group. Do I really have to do that?"
Answer:

Dear Reader:

I think you already know the answer to your question. If you've been making the rounds at parties hosted by your friends all these years, sooner or later you have to take a turn if you don't want your friends to speculate behind your back about what you may be hiding. Or, worse, they will become annoyed that you never accept your fair share of the work and expense of entertaining the group.

Yes, the work and expense of entertaining. I said it. Entertaining is fun and creates a more personal setting where friends can relax together. But it's also work and expensive. Don't fool yourself into believing that your friends' homes are in a constant state of perfection. I guarantee you that they are cleaning up their home and those messy piles of papers and shoes that litter most homes for days before they entertain you. And probably several of them had to create a special budget for their party.

That is why you too need to put out a little effort every few years. You don't need to plan a seven course feast, redecorate your entire home, replace the carpets and paint the hallways. With just a little extra effort, you too can be the gracious host.

First, plan as nice a get together as you can manage. Maybe it's simply a tea party for the girls. Or if you have enough space for the spouses too, plan a cocktail party. Few people mind kicking in a dish for a potluck party if you really need to watch your budget.

Look at your home and do a simple quick tidy up to clear the clutter. If your home is small, you can use a few tricks to make it seem larger and so that everyone feels comfortable. Clean the areas your guests will see, especially making sure the powder room is presentable. Then extend your invitations and enjoy the pleasure of opening your home to your friends.

Remember, if these are your good friends, they're not going to judge you no matter how small, or in need of repair, your home really is. They'll just be happy that you welcomed them into your life.

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