Entertaining

Fall In Love With Your Home By Having Someone Over

July 26, 2021  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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Congratulations. You’ve made it to the final week of #CLJSummerSchool, “How To Fall In Love With Your Home in 30 Days.” We’ve been on a journey to find love with our homes and I’m so excited to make it this far, because this is where we get to reap all the benefits of our hard-earned progress.

It’s time to open the doors of your home, invite someone over, and fall in love with your home even more. 

I have to admit, I love hosting gatherings big and small. I love having one friend over or 45 family members! It’s just how I’ve always been, and when I really think about it, it’s because of the memories created in those moments (the laughs shared, inside jokes formed, sentiments given). It’s what made this move so scary at first–scared of losing the memories attached to our home, and it’s exactly why inviting someone over shouldn’t be delayed.

We’ve spent time decluttering, organizing, and cleaning in week 1, creating rituals to ground us in week 2, and last week we got out of our comfort zone, but in all honesty, you don’t have to do any of those things before inviting someone over. You don’t have to wait until your home is perfectly clean, or until you’ve created the perfect firepit moment in the backyard, and you most definitely don’t have to wait until your home is designed to your satisfaction before inviting people in. In fact, I highly encourage you to stop this perfectionist, restrictive thinking ASAP. It’s not serving you to wait until “the right moment,” because every time we spend near the ones we love the most, is the right moment. I mean that. I feel that, deeply.

However, I want to acknowledge that inviting someone over can be a really scary thing, especially if your home isn’t exactly in the state you want it to be in. It’s sort of an act of vulnerability because our homes typically represent us more than anything. Home is where we sleep, where we make and eat our meals, where we skip laundry day/week at times, but it’s also where we spend our time creating memories with our loved ones, and to invite someone in, takes courage. Your home can be spotless and pristine, and you still might have butterflies awaiting a guest because your home represents YOU.

I think Brene Brown had it right when she said,

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.”

-Brene Brown

…and we do what Brene says!

Our homes can be the most personal things about us, but it’s also the easiest way to get to know someone. Every single time I decide to host someone or some thing at our house, I feel a surge of creativity, inspiration, and motivation. I’m reminding myself of all of these things in these early days at our new house. There’s boxes everywhere, we only have 2 chairs at our dining table, and our kitchen is non-existent, but making time to create memories during these early days is something we won’t regret making the time for.

This week, we’ll be talking about planning to have someone over. Start thinking about what that might look like for you and I’d love to hear testimonials in the comments from those of you who have opened your doors and you didn’t regret it!

 

What do you think?

  1. Val says:

    We just moved and we don’t have anyone to invite over besides a few neighbors we barely know, which makes me feel extra vulnerable to host. Thank you for giving me the gentle nudge to do it anyway!

  2. Raegan says:

    A few years ago, when we were living in our first home, I was so self-conscious that my house was too small, too out-dated, not stylish enough, etc etc. I read a book called Just Open The Door by Jen Schmidt and it changed my life! I started opening the door and we even decided to open our home to foster care (aka kids and a ton of random CPS workers coming and going). It was such a blessing and I realized that someone judging me for my home not being *perfect* said more about them than it did about me. I realized my fear had kept me from community many times and I was loving the freedom that came when we gave up that need to impress. Fast forward… we moved into our new house almost a year ago. It’s a major fixer-upper so of course it’s not the cutest thing (though we are working on it & are consistently inspired by you!), my kitchen is super outdated, but it still have everything we need for cooking, and we often have incomplete projects going all around the house… but a LOT more space for gathering. When we first moved in, I felt the need to get things completed but I swore I wouldn’t let the projects keep me from hosting so I started right away. I host a weekly book club, we host our church small group weekly, and so many other things! It’s been awesome and this is the most connected to others than we have felt in years. We realized our home is a resource to bless others, and it would rob us and others the joy of community by keeping our door shut because it’s not picture perfect or done. And I suppose I’ve learned that hospitality is mostly about the heart, the spirit of the home/family, and the feelings people feel and experiences they have when they are here.

  3. Kelly says:

    I just moved and this resonates with me so much. I love having people over and currently my new apartment is no where near where I’d like it. But I have had so many friends come through or hangout just wanting to see my new place! It helped me feel more at home! It’s so encouraging when friends comment how much they like the new place. When new friends tell me my stuff is cool. It makes me realize “dang, it took time collecting these things that reflect me”. I fall in love with my pieces all over again.

  4. Erica says:

    I love that you have an entertaining week after the ritual week of summer school. Now that it feels safe to have people over again, I’ve kind of started building a ritual around entertaining. I start prep earlier than I think I need so I’m not stressed about finishing everything as everyone is arriving. I have a playlist of songs I love to sing along to-Queen, ABBA, Elton John, etc. and I turn that on and sing and dance while I’m prepping food. This ritual makes the event prep fun instead of stressful. By the time our guests arrive, I’m relaxed and excited from dancing around the kitchen. It’s been making hosting feel like even more of a gift :)

  5. Glenda Begley says:

    I love have my friends over and I love cooking for them. They love my chicken and dumplings. So one of the women named our group “The Dumplings”. I love to have them a small gift to take home with them.

  6. Megan Lofgren says:

    When we first moved to our current house two years ago, we left the majority of our furniture at the old house for staging. We had a folding table and chairs for a dining room, and in the living room space we had two old chairs from the previous owners (not vintage cute, just old) and a 4” foam mattress that we use for camping on the floor. I piled on the pillows and we affectionately called it ‘floor couch.’ We still had people over, we’d give them the chairs and we’d sit on floor couch and it was great. The dogs thought it was the bomb too!

  7. Mary Ann Shimer says:

    We love inviting people o we after church on the spur of the moment. Saturday is for prep and setting the table. We put a quiche in the oven on timed bake, have a beautiful fruit salad made in the refrigerator. It is so fun to get to know new people, find out about their lives, and laugh. During the warmer weather we sit on the patio. Delightful!

  8. Nicole says:

    We had a party on Saturday for my daughter’s 3rd (belated) birthday. I was excited to host but also worried because it had been so long, and we’re in the middle of a few renovations that have made our home feel a little out-of-sorts. But we made sure our newly renovated backyard and patio was set up for everyone to enjoy (despite the rain forecast), put out great food & drinks, and set up cute themed decorations for her party. It ended up being a really, really great, sweet day that everyone enjoyed and was talking about the day after. We also got to have someone enjoy our newly furnished guest room- getting to quickly design a new room made up for the halt we’ve felt with renovation set backs and made us really happy to have people over with open arms. Even if our home isnt currently in perfect condition, giving it a good clean, lighting some candles and having people over changed a lot of my own feelings and got my excited about a few DIY projects that I’ve been a little discouraged to continue until now.

  9. So important to drop the perfectionistic mindset for having people over. For me, my biggest block hasn’t been my house as much as it’s been the food. Planning those details stresses me out. Years ago I read a blog post where the author realized she was never inviting anyone over because of the house and the overwhelm of cooking a meal for people so she and a friend decided they would have a dinner party where the rules were 1. no cleaning the house and 2. Serve cereal for dinner. They did it and it ended up to be a huge success that they repeated regularly. I’m too much a foodie to go the cereal route, but we were inspired by the principle and made pancakes and asked the guests to bring a bunch of bananas. It was so simple and stress free that we started having a different family over every month and I loved it. Over the years the perfection creeped in again, so I think it’s time to revive the practice and simplify to get momentum again. Thanks for the reminder to not wait and drop perfectionism.

  10. Andrea Speth says:

    We moved to a different community IN THE COUNTRY in our 50’s. We made a decision not to wait until the house was renovated before we invited people over. We’ve made a rule that any new friends we make will see us when life isn’t perfect. As a result, we’ve entertained more and met friends that feel more genuine. Highly recommend!

  11. Heidi Tumlinson says:

    I tend to nitpick my home constantly, thinking it’s not perfect. But I remember a time when I had people over and someone commented on the very thing I had just been complaining about and they said how nice it looked. It was a good reminder for me that I am so much harder on myself than anyone else would be, and that most people don’t even notice the things that drive me crazy about my home. Also, if I waited until I thought my house was perfect to have friends over then I never would. Plus this last year was a good reminder to not take these gatherings for granted, because we never know when things might change and it isn’t an option for a while.

  12. Laura says:

    I love having folks over! I think it’s the thing I miss most during this global health crisis. Unfortunately, where I live we are still not done with social distancing. Meanwhile, I’m planning and dreaming of the day I can fill my home with friends and family.

  13. Jody says:

    We moved a few weeks ago. The new neighbors had a little welcome party for us at their house. A few glasses of wine in and the ladies mentioned they had rarely seen the inside of my new house. I invited them over and we walked across the street, wine glasses in hand to tour my new home. I was up to my ears in boxes and nothing looked as I had hoped, but I realized that they honored my bravery. At least now I will never be afraid to let them in because it will never look as bad as it did that night. House pride has been a stumbling block for me in previous homes. I will not allow it to stop me from having people over in this new home.

  14. Elise Clarke says:

    After renovating our home in March of 2020 and then not having anyone over during covid, we recently celebrated my husband and daughter’s birthdays back to back by having 3 gatherings of friends and family in one week. Welcoming people into our home feels super vulnerable for me and I have to consistently remind myself that imperfection is ok. Our new furniture is back ordered and not what I ultimately wanted people to see, but needless to say, in spite of that it just felt SO GOOD (even better than I imagined when redesigning our home) to have our home filled with the energy and love of our people.

  15. Caitlin Rose Low says:

    I have learned to love opening my home with my own boundaries. I don’t like having a group over…I feel overwhelmed and confused how to give each person enough time. We also purposely live in a tiny condo, so it’s easier with just one guest. However, that guest still gets a table set with decorations, baked goods, and a small gift. I host these one on ones when my kiddo is at daycare or school. I love having 2-3 hours to connect with one person.

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