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Hosting guests and parties of any sort come with its stresses. Guest count, menu planning, house cleaning, food, and decor shopping. There is a bunch of things to do in the weeks leading up to your party to ensure it runs smoothly. I want to share 5 secrets for hosting guests and I want you to do them before the doorbell rings.
In this post, I want to talk about the day of your party. There is bound to be a lot of prep going on and not enough time before people start arriving. Someone always shows up early and I don´t know about you but I hate running around looking like I’m not ready. Your gathering will be a hit with these 5 secrets for hosting guests.
I love hosting guests for any occasion. As a stay at home mom, I actually host all our family gathers, plan all the birthday parties, and hold all the holiday dinners because I enjoy it so much. Through my few years of hosting, there are a few important things that really make things easier for the whole event and will leave you feeling WAY LESS STRESSED!
Try doing these 5 secrets before your guests arrive to create a great first impression and lower your anxiety. Doing these 5 things will have you looking like the perfect party host in no time.
Secret #1: Clear your Kitchen
Before your first guest arrives, clear your kitchen.
Notice I didn´t say clean.
Clear your sink, counters, and dishwasher.
Chances are your kitchen will become a gathering place for your guests at some point during the party. Whether you’re prepping the meal or cooking the day of like on Thanksgiving, people tend to gather around food… Literally.
You might have pots and pans you just cooked in or plates from dinner last night you haven´t gotten to yet. To ensure less stress and avoid an avalanche of dishes your guests have to stare at during your party do it before they arrive.
Empty the dishwasher or wash the dishes this way as your guests create new dirty dishes you can easily conceal them by putting them right in the dishwasher or empty sink.
Clear your counters. Clutter is an eyesore to your guests. Anything that doesn´t belong to the party should be removed. I leave my coffee bar out for guests but the kid’s homework and markers on the counter, gone. My dish drying rack next to the sink, gone. Toaster, flash fryer, and Bread box, all stored out of the way.
The more counter space guests can see the cleaner your home will look and overall make your guests feel more comfortable. To keep in simple, the party is the focus, so anything that isn’t party related should be out of sight.
This secret also counts for coffee tables, end tables, tv stands, and any other catch-all areas around the house. Clear them off to create inviting space for your guests.
Secret #2: Guest Bathroom Check
Another important room to check right before your guests arrive is the bathroom they will be using. Even if I clean the bathroom yesterday it always needs a touch-up before the guests arrive.
Pick up clothes and toys off the floor, close the shower curtain, wipe the counters and mirror so your guests don´t have to look through the toothpaste haze while washing their hands.
TIP: Clean the mirror with WATER ONLY and wipe it dry. You´ll never have streeks again.
Check the toilet too, I have boys so there is always a few drops of pee that I do not want my guests to see or sit on! #boymomlife haha.
Again I clear the counters of anything that doesn´t belong to the party. Ie. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, water cup, q-tips, and empty the trash can if needed.
And finally, add a fresh clean hand towel to the sink next to the hand soap and light a candle before you walk out. Your bathroom will be guest-ready. You´ll be confident when asked ¨where is your restroom?¨ that its all tidied up and your not sending them into a war zone. What a relief.
Secret #3: Arrange the Seating
The last thing you want to be doing with a house full of people is trying to walk through the crowd with chairs. Make sure you have plenty of inviting seating for your guests before they arrive.
Clear off couches, bring in chairs, or bring chairs out. Whatever you need to have adequate seating for people to conversate and enjoy.
I ask the children to help by picking up everything off the floor. Ie. toys, clothes, etc. Basically you don’t want your family and friends walking over legos to sit on the couch.
Set up seating inside and outside depending on the type of party. People like to ¨get some air¨ so having an area where they can gather outside keeps the mood going even if they step out.
Likewise, for a backyard party, make sure there is a place inside for guests too. I know my Papa Andy gets hot being outside too long so keep your guests in mind and have seating everywhere!
Secret #4: Set Out Drink Station and Appetizers
Setting up your drinks and apps gives your family and friends something to do. It is a way for them to interact with the party and they really enjoy that.
Designate an area with cups, ice, and few different drink options so they can serve themselves. Set the appetizers, little plates, silverware or toothpicks ( if needed ) and napkins nearby. It’s way less stress and you can ensure all your guests won´t get restless if the main course is still being prepared.
When guests arrive and settle in their next thought will be to grab and drink and snacks.
Set out a drink station and apps BEFORE the guests arrive, even label it if you want. Something that eliminates the question ¨” what do you have to drink?¨. Coolers of ice and drinks are an option but for whatever reason, doesn´t someone always sit on the cooler? Then you have to ask them to get up so you can go bobbing for your water. I don´t like that.
I make my apps usually the night before for easy set up the next day. It´s perfectly acceptable to be preparing the meal while your guests are there because everyone likes hot food, but set out your apps be before your family and friends arrive.
Secret #5 – DONT FORGET ABOUT YOURSELF
My last of the 5 secrets to hosting guests is to take 20 minutes to get yourself ready. If you’re like me, the first guest arrives and your still running around preparing the party. So whatever you’re doing, take a moment and go get ready. You don’t want to be inviting guests in and running away to change your outfit and do your make up.
You want to give the impression that you have everything under control. And bedhead is a telltale sign of AHHHH I’m not ready for you to be here yet! Speaking from experience hahah.
Even if you’re nowhere near ready. Greet your guests with a smile and enjoy the party. Remember your guests are there because they love you, so don´t stress.
All In All For Hosting Guests
- Clearing your kitchen
- Checking your Guest Bathroom
- Arranging the seating
- Setting out Drinks and Appetizers
- And Getting Yourself Ready
These 5 Secrets for hosting guests will help you channel your inner party host and have a low-stress party you and your guests will enjoy.