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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Congratulations! Now Get To Work!

It is astonishing how many parties I have been to at a home that was filthy dirty. I’m not talking about someone who didn't dust the top of the refrigerator, I’m talking about homes that are covered in dust, debris, and pet hair, sticky floors that look like they haven’t been cleaned in years, dishes with stuck on food you are afraid to eat off of, or even kitty litter pans over flowing with a stench so bad that it burns your eyes (yes, I've actually had that experience!).  It’s horrifying to watch a mother pull a huge dust bunny out of her toddler’s mouth, or see a guest walk around with pet hair all over the back of their pants from sitting on the furniture. Cleaning your home well should be a priority before every party!

That being said let me begin the real topic of this blog. If you have offered to throw a party in someone’s honor (Bridal/Baby Shower, Graduation, Welcome Home/Farewell, etc.), it is NOT appropriate to ask or expect the Guest of Honor (or their spouse) to help clean before the big event. This exact thing has happened to two close friends of mine this past summer. Both had their Mother-in-law’s offer to host a party for them, and both Mother-in-law’s demanded they come and help rigorously clean in preparation before the party. Even thinking about the reality of my friend’s situations is still very shocking to me!

Hosting a party in someone’s honor is a wonderful thing. It shows the guests and the guest of honor how important they, and their celebrated event, are to you. Hosting a party is a great joy, but it is also very demanding of your time, and resources. Your hard work and sacrifices should not be taken lightly and hopefully the guest of honor will show great appreciation for all you have done. However, just because you have chosen to take on this event does not mean the guest of honor owes you a debt, and it is not their responsibility to prepare your home for the event. I honestly don’t know what is going on in these people’s heads! Do they feel that since they are opening up their home, spending their money, and dedicating so much of their time for the guest of honor then the guest of honor can at least come over and help them clean? By asking, expecting, or even demanding your guest of honor to clean your house for a party you have offered to host you are essentially saying “Congratulations! Now get to work!”

Furthermore, I would like to point out that it is equally inappropriate to invite someone over for dinner and expect them to help you prepare for dinner by having the guest set the table, cut up vegetables, or do the dishes in the sink, etc., or expect them to help clean up after dinner. The point I am making is simply this: You are the Host/Hostess and they are the invited Guest. Guest’s in your home should be treated no differently than you would expect to be treated at formal event, restaurant, or hotel. If this is more than you are willing to do, then just don’t offer to host. It’s as simple as that.


  1. Like in my bridal shower I helped my mother in law cleaning the house!

  2. I agree! Even more than cleaning before a party, I hate having to stay after the party has ended and help clean up. I've had to stay late at weddings (for which I was NOT a bridesmaid) clean off the table toppers, stack chairs, and fold up table cloths. Um, hello? I'm wearing a fancy dress, uncomfortable heels, I spent 3 hours doing my hair and make up, I bought you a gift, and now I'm working for you for free? In my uncomfortable heels?

  3. Your 1st paragraph made my stomach turn.

    But anyways when ever we are invited to any party, grouping or event we stay after to help clean and come early to help them set up. I've never been asked to I just do it. Because I know what hard work it is

  4. You are very generous, and I'm sure your friends and family truly appreciate how helpful you are! However, offering to help and being required to help, especially when you are the guest of honor, are two different things. Yet again, guests who offer to help are truly Heaven sent for any Host, and hopefully your graciousness sets an example for others to follow at future events.