Time Management

Making Entertaining Easy


Last week I mentioned that we did some spontaneous entertaining, and a few of you were so impressed with my ability to be so flexible and prepared. First of all, I will clarify that we simply invited a friend whose wife was out of town to join us for an easy meal of pasta and tossed salad. I didn’t even serve dessert!

We don’t do that often, but I do make an effort to always leave the house in a way that wouldn’t embarrass me if someone showed up unexpectedly. Here are a couple things that make entertaining not so intimidating.

#1 Keep your home presentable by implementing morning and evening routines

Your house does not have to be spotless and pristine from top to bottom when you entertain. That’s why there are doors that can be closed to hide the laundry room, playroom or office! Just set up and maintain routines that keep the main areas of your house as presentable as possible.

In my approach to entertaining, I strive to give my guests two main feelings when they enter the door – “I was expecting you” and “Make yourself at home!” A couch covered in unfolded laundry doesn’t say “I was expecting you,” and it certainly is difficult for someone to make themselves at home on that couch!

Read More —> My Morning Routine

#2 Deal with main zones before company arrives

If you do end up with last minute guests, don’t worry about reorganizing the linen closet in the 10 minutes before they arrive. Just hit those main areas – vacuum a rug, empty a few trash cans, turn on some lamps and make sure there is a clean, dry hand towel in the bathroom.

Kids can be helpful with this too, depending on their age. Have them divide and conquer while you head to the kitchen or greet your guests!

Read More —> 10 Steps to a Tidy House

#3 Offer snacks before the meal

If you need a few minutes to get things going in the kitchen, set out some simple snacks for your guests. In my recent entertaining situation, I set out a bowl of grapes with some pretzels and hummus alongside a stack of pretty paper napkins and small plates.

I always do this for holiday meals – it keeps people occupied and gives me plenty of time to get things going without worrying that everyone is starving to death. I’ve found that easy snacks are the best options. Baked dips and hot appetizers are fun, but they kind of defeat the purpose on your end.

Read More —> Easy Spring Brunch

What’s your best entertaining secret?

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11 thoughts on “Making Entertaining Easy

  1. Leaving the house in a way that you wouldn’t be embarrassed if someone stopped by is such a great thing to keep in mind! And I love your idea of easy appetizers. That is something I often forget to do, and then I end up feeling rushed to get the meal ready. I’m going to remember your tip next time we entertain!

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  2. Snacks are lifesavers, as are bedrooms that are off limits to visitors (so good for stashing last-minute clutter in a pinch! :)) My guests always love fun, seasonal mugs/plates and napkins, as they make even low-key meals more special.

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  3. Nice tips! I try to do the same – leave my house in a way that I’m excited to come home to. I notice that I feel stressed and am snappy with my family if I come home to a mess. So we clean up before we leave. I also love your tip about offering some yummy apps before the meal.

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