Easy Entertaining at Home
Entertaining at home can be very stressful when you think of everything that has to be done. It doesn't have to be that way. Use the following easy entertaining tips to eliminate your entertaining stress so you can enjoy your own party!
- Break it up and focus one step at a time.
- Start well in advance of the event.
- Don't do it all alone if you don't have to.
Entertaining at home is always stressful. Whatever the event may be and however long the guest list becomes. These easy entertaining tips will break it all down for you into four manageable steps.
Step 1: Planning/Gathering
If you are interested in easy entertaining rather then stressful entertaining you have to do two simple things: start early and be realistic. As soon as you know you will be holding an event start a notebook or planner specifically for jotting down ideas, menus, things to do, and whatever comes to mind. A couple weeks prior to the event you can start arranging those ideas so the planning and gathering is not as stressful.
Before you even send out the invitations, make sure you aren't planning an event much larger than you can handle. Think through all of the following:
- Do I have enough time to plan and prepare this?
- Is there someone who can co-host?
- Is this the best time to hold this event?
If there is someone who would gladly step in as a co-host, then you can plan a bigger event while still experiencing easy entertaining. If you are going it alone, then be realistic about what time you have to plan and prepare for the event and when might be the best time to hold it.
For instance, a Saturday that your son has a big double header at the ball field is not a great day to be entertaining at home for twenty of your friends!
Easy and stress-free entertaining means you start planning as soon as you know you are holding the event and start gathering things together at least two weeks ahead. This way, you know exactly what needs to be done and have everything on hand to do it when it comes time to prepare.
Step 2: The Preparation Stage
Preparation does not start the day of the event! You can't clean the house, make yourself presentable, and have everything nicely arranged for your guests in one day, especially if you leave a lot of the cooking as well. To enjoy easy entertaining and eliminate much of the stress from entertaining at home, do as much of the preparation as you can a few days ahead. Deep cleaning can even be done a week ahead.
You should wake up the morning of the event to a clean home that looks at least halfway ready!
Determine the areas of your home to be used for the event and make sure they are spic and span, but don't worry as much about the outer lying areas. Focus most of your attention on cleaning and arranging the main party rooms. This includes making sure everything you will need is contained within this party area, including a place to store coats.
If you are holding an event with a lot of children who are prone to setting down their glasses and then going back for another one because they don't know who's is who's, control this clutter by using plastic cups and writing each child's name on the outside of their cup. You can even allow them to add some stickers when they first arrive, that way they have some fun and remember which glass is theirs.
Step 3: The Enjoyable Event
If you are running around trying to keep everything perfect your guests won't have as great a time as they would with you participating. Pick up quickly when necessary, ignore things that aren't just as you would like them to be, and leave thoughts of the clean-up for later.
Easy entertaining means giving yourself permission to enjoy the event like everyone else.
Step 4: The After-Party
You've thrown a successful party and everyone has left with full stomachs and smiles on their faces. You deserve to have a smile on your face as well!
If there are a lot of leftovers, use them as food for your family in the coming days rather than trying to force your guests to take it with them. This is a great aspect of easy entertaining that gives you a break the next day.
Unless you live alone, you have help cleaning up. Enlist every member of the home to get things in order. Delegate tasks and work together and it won't be near as intimidating as it looks.
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