Most people enjoy having visitors occasionally, family or friends who stay longer than just a fleeting few hours. As a result we also like to be able to cater for those visitors with enough room and household items to keep them comfortable during their stay. A comfortable bed, clean linen, bathing facilities, crockery and cutlery items and food to keep the tummy grumbles away.
There is nothing wrong with this in fact it is preferable to not being able to keep your visitors happy and comfortable or worse, not being able to accept visitors at all. But my experience is that many people over cater for these occurrences rather than just satisfying a need. Resulting in linen closets, pantries and kitchen cabinets literally bursting at the seams with enough household items to cater to a small army.
Lets take linen for a start. An average household of two adults and two children require no more than three bath towels each to satisfy their bathing needs. If two of each person’s towels are washed at one time that makes a full load of eight towels with one each left for their immediate needs. Given that most households have only one guest room that is inhabited for less than one month a year on average there is no need to permanently possess three more towels per visitor for these occasions. If four people are to visit at once two towels per person spread across the entire household would be enough the wash a load of eight with one each left in use. Therefor four extra towels is enough to be visitor ready at any time which is a total of sixteen towels.
A similar equation works for sheet sets. Given that visitors rarely stay longer than one week two sets per permanently occupied bed with one per spare bed ought to be enough. The once a week washing of the sheets could be alternated between family and visitors so there is always at least one spare set available. That is if you have two queen beds and two single (twin) beds in the house three sets of queen sheets and four sets of single bed sheets ought to be enough when catering for the family plus another couple.
Even if a family has no dryer and the weather turns foul it is always possible to utilise a neighbours dryer or use a local laundromat.
Kitchen cutlery and crockery also need not be over catered for. With the extra people in the house either the dishwasher will be turned on more often or you can utilise the extra occupants to assist you in hand washing the kitchenware. Both options give you a regular supply of clean dishes without having to own an over abundant supply. While the hand washing option is yet another opportunity to chat with your guest and before you know it the task is done.
As for food, with grocery stores never far away and in some cases open 24 hours a day seven days a week there is no need to overstock. This may not be the case further out in the country but even in that circumstance a little forward planning should make it possible to bring in just enough to be adequately stocked for the duration of the visit without having to plough through the leftovers for weeks after the visitors have moved along.
If you have a tendency to overstock give some rational thought to how much you really need verses how much you feel you need. Take into account what is the greatest number of people who would normally visit you at any given time and how long they would usually stay for. Keep in mind that if you have other family near by you can always borrow some extra provisions if necessary.
Coming around to a new way of behaving may take a little adjusting of long held traditional thinking. My advice is to aways question such thinking as that is usually what causes homes to become cluttered in the first place. I am constantly questioning the way I do things, testing new ideas and adapting to them or rejecting them as the case may be. As the saying goes “Nothing ventured nothing gained.” I feel liberated in my ability to question how I do things and adjust where necessary. It is so much more interesting to experiment with ideas than insisting on being set in my ways.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter something that has been relegated to the garage because it has been replaced with a better model or has broken down altogether.
Today’s Declutter Item
This item had been relegated to the garage where it sat on the top of the shelve while I procrastinated about decluttering it. The reason behind that is because my dad made it for me. But the truth is I no longer have a need for it so I am ignoring the guilt of letting it go and sending it on it’s way.
Eco tip of the day
Try some home made environmentally friendly cleaning solutions. There are plenty of recipes to be found on the internet so why not give it a go. I am experimenting with a vinegar solution as an all-purpose surface cleaner at the moment.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast