Dinner parties are wonderful.
The candles are lit....the music is playing in the background....and the stage is set for another wonderful evening filled with loved ones, laughter, and a fabulous feast.
But let's face it, they are also a lot of work.
I think one of the best things about me hosting dinner parties regularly (aside from sharing my home with good friends and family) is that my house gets a really good cleaning!
I always spend a little extra time on the 'regular' chores when I have company coming.
And there are always a few extra tasks tossed in at the last moment when you take a moment to look around and view your home as others will see it.
There's no harm in that....for me, it helps keep my home running smoothly.
And at the end of the day when the guests have left and there have been big hugs all around and the promise of 'lets do this again real soon' you turn around and survey your kitchen and dining room and just think....
Where do I even begin?
And heaven forbid you sit down for a minute....you may never get back up again.
But there is a very good reason to keep at it for another half hour and get your home in order before you turn in for the night.
Because in the morning you wake up to this:
Instead of this:
There are times at the end of a wonderful evening when I just don't think I can wash one more glass.
No more pots, please!
Maybe I'll just deal with it in the morning after a good rest.
But I change the Pandora station to something relaxing and keep at it for just a few more minutes. It truly doesn't take that long once you get up off that chair and get going.
First things first, I clear the table and load the dishwasher. I love my dishwasher!
My good crystal glasses get hand-washed, as do the pots and wooden salad bowl.
I take the leaves out of the table again and store them away under the guest bed.
The table gets cleaned with Murphy's Oil and re-dressed with clean linens.
The counters and stove top get sprayed down and cleaned thoroughly.
The throw pillows are fluffed, the blankets are folded over the back of the chairs.
And it makes all the difference when you finally go to bed with a sparkling clean kitchen and the dishwasher humming away happily.
The difference between a feeling of peace and accomplishment rather than a feeling of being overwhelmed and anxious.
And in the morning when you awake, you can relax with a hot cup of coffee and know that all that remains to get your house truly in order is to put away the dishes and give the counters another quick wipe.
And perhaps you'll have a few minutes to curl up in your favorite chair in a puddle of sunshine and relax in your cozy, clean house before you head off to work.
And relish in the afterglow of another successful dinner party.
It's truly a wonderful feeling.