One Spot You’re Forgetting to Clean That’s Actually Noticeable to Guests

published Apr 23, 2023
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As much as I try to strike that balance between allowing others into my home even when it’s not “perfect” and cleaning up enough that I feel like I’m honoring them and they feel comfortable, I still struggle with doing too much or too little when it comes to getting my house ready for guests. 

On the one hand, if I clean everything that I’d want to be pristine, I’d be cleaning windows, dusting blinds, and wiping down baseboards before their arrival. This is unrealistic; I’d either be cleaning my house full-time or I would never have people over.

On the other hand, I have had instances of letting things go and not stressing about them before guests arrive, but then would be distracted or embarrassed by the mess, which affects the quality of my time with them. For instance, when my family came for Thanksgiving, I didn’t clean the outside porch doors from the dogs’ muddy paws because I knew it would happen again within a few days. But every time my family members came inside the house from being out in the back I cringed and felt like I had to explain or acknowledge the unsightly mess. 

It’s an ongoing dilemma, and while I don’t have to have a completely clean home to welcome guests into, it’s nice to have most noticeable messes taken care of before they come over — especially when they are overnight guests.

Recently, I had some people stay for a few days in our downstairs guest room, which, when we don’t have guests, serves as my husband’s office and a place for our dogs to hang out because they want to be near him.

I got the room ready for them. I made sure the sheets were clean and the bed was nicely made, I dusted baseboards and vacuumed and mopped the floor, and I deep-cleaned the bathroom they were going to use. 

But there’s one thing I didn’t notice until they were here: the doors. On the door to the room, in about a foot-long vertical stretch underneath the doorknob, there was a brown and grubby strip a couple of inches wide. It was from the dogs rubbing their bodies against the door when they went into the room.

I must have just become used to the discoloration while going about regular life at home and my brain didn’t notice it for me to take action, even when I was preparing the space for our guests. But something shifted when they were here; I noticed it, hoped hard that they hadn’t, and then immediately cleaned it with a microfiber rag dampened with my favorite cleaning solution

The experience left an impression and now cleaning this dog-frequented door has become a regular weekly chore. I’ve become more aware of how dirty our doors get in general — especially since our doors are white! Even without dogs, the doors get fingerprints and other smudges, as well as dust. I’ve decided that in addition to the dog strip, I’m going to at least check the cleanliness of the doors when I do my regular chores.