Clean Your Home… But Not Too Well
It is essential you have a clean and tidy home when entertaining and hosting guests at your humble abode. The downside to having a plethora of people walking through your home and using your facilities inevitably means you are going to have to clean again the next day. My tip is to clean as much as necessary but don’t go over the top. The basics that your guests will notice are a clean bathroom and toilet, floors free from dust and a tidy kitchen. The rest of the things you are worried about such as sparkling skirting boards, clean windows or yesterday’s washing on display will go completely unnoticed by your guests. Cleaning would be the least most enjoyable part about entertaining so try to make it as minimal and efficient as possible.
A home that smells welcoming, fresh and delicious will instantly put your guests in a good mood. I had a number of comments over the festive season about how lovely my home smelt and it filled me with so much joy! I always have a signature reed diffuser in the living room that keeps my home smelling nice at all times. Opt for something fresh and Summery that is welcoming for you and your guests, my favourite is coconut and lime. About half an hour before your guests are due to start arriving ensure you light a couple of scented candles in the spaces you will be entertaining. Not only does the warm glow create a cosy atmosphere, but scented candles have the biggest impact of all. Also, make sure you have a lovely organic room spray in the bathroom ready for guests to use in case of emergencies (The last thing you need is any unexpected scents wafting through the house while entertaining - eek!)
Having adequate seating for a dinner, drinks, a party or get together is crucial. The best tip is to over supply seating options as you never want anyone to be awkwardly left standing. When hosting a party or drinks it is great to have a few different seating areas to allow guests to have the option of where they want to sit and if they want to sit privately with a few people to have a catch up. Make sure you have a few cushions and blankets on hand and within easy access for your guests to grab when necessary. I find that if I have some throw rugs hanging off the end of a sofa or chair a friend is much more likely to help themselves than uncomfortably ask for a blanket when they’re cold. Have a few extra chairs on hand in case extra guests turn up or as a backup for peace of mind.
Leave Room In The Fridge For Your Guests
You want to make sure you have enough food and drink for everyone to be satisfied and well catered for, but you need to make sure you keep some spare room in the fridge. Guests will often turn up with their own drink of choice or sometimes even bring food to share if you’re lucky. Make sure there is adequate space left on the shelves in the fridge, so you don’t have to start sorting out and re-organising when your guests are arriving (this is a mistake I have made before!). Another great option it to fill up an esky or two with some ice so your guests have somewhere to put their drinks straight away without needing to ask.
Over Stock Your Snacks
Snack food is something you can never have enough of! When doing your grocery shop before entertaining, make sure and grab a few extra packets of crackers, chips, dips and cheeses, just in case. All these items last weeks in your fridge if not used on the day and can be used on another occasion or enjoyed the next day by yourself! It’s always best to have some extra food on hand in case your guests get hungry later in the evening or you underestimate how much people eat! I also recommend buying a few bottles of soda water and tonic water to have on hand in case people need to mix drinks or want a refreshment that isn’t as boring as water.
My biggest tip when entertaining and having friends and family over is to relax and enjoy the time spent with the people you love. You guests will automatically pick up on your stress if you are whizzing around making sure nothing is out of place, cleaning up or constantly filling up snack bowls. Entertaining should be enjoyable for you as well as the people you invite over, so relax and don’t take entertaining too seriously.