5 Simple Tips on Keeping Your House Ready for Entertaining
I’ve often told my friends that if you want to keep a clean house, entertain every weekend. :) We don’t entertain every weekend, but we do often.
There’s just something about knowing company’s coming that makes me dig in and get myself organized, and spruce up the house a little bit, if I get a chance. Sometimes with last-minute guests, you don’t have the time!
While company motivates and inspires me to clean, what I’ve really learned over the last 22 years is to not sweat the big stuff. In other words, I’ve learned to keep a positive perspective and a healthy attitude on the reasons my friends are coming over in the first place — which would be to enjoy a delicious meal, to get to know our family, and for our family to get to know our guests in a more intimate way. So, I relish in the beauty of an imperfect house. But … I still get nervous.
It’s an honor to be invited into someone’s home for dinner, so if guests are coming to “inspect” or “critique” the state of your home, then I can assure you they really are not your friends.
Comfort is what people are looking for, not the most elaborate or perfectly decorated home or yard.
Here are 5 SIMPLE tips that help me to keep a healthy focus and balance regarding a house and backyard entertaining space that’s ready for entertaining:
1. Organize: Every night I try to pick up “stuff” and make sure the kitchen and patio area is clean.
2. Cleaning: Every day, I try to do one cleaning chore (sweep the kitchen, mop the floors, vacuum, blow the back patio, clean 1 bathroom, etc.) so I can stay on top of the housework.
3. Bathrooms: We always try to have one guest bathroom clean and ready for company.
4. Ambience: Make sure there’s one room or entertaining space where company can hang and mingle, a place you feel good about. Make it warm and cozy with color, pillows, candles, fresh flowers — make it you!
5. The table: Know where your tablecloths, napkins, extra dishes, candles, etc. are located. Make sure your dining room is ready for entertaining, or your patio or outdoor area.
Too often, families use their dining room tables inside as a place for bill and paperwork collections! (Ummm … guilty, but I’m working on it.) Outside, keep a bottle of cleaning spray nearby for a quick scrub before setting the table for outdoor entertaining.
Hospitality is a beautiful thing when we open up and share and become authentic and real and knowable with one another and it has nothing to do with the physical state of our home or yard. I’m glad my friends know me well. Sometimes I have it together, sometimes … not as much. But it’s okay!
You may be one to fight perfectionism, so here’s a little bit of wisdom for you: The best thing I ever did was to surround myself with imperfect people.
I found friends with messy houses, unorganized closets and cupboards–just like me–and better yet, imperfect kids–just like me.
There really is no perfect. I became healthier and more courageous to be myself when I realized that we’re all real people living real lives.
When you know company is coming, does it motivate or stress you out with the state of your entertaining space?
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It’s enormous that you are getting thoughts from this piece of writing as well as from our discussion made at this time.
great tips, thanks for sharing! i was glad to see i am already following you on twitter, so can’t wait to read many more tips and recipes from your website!
Awesome, Janelle, and welcome to RE!
Great tips! To answer your question, I get motivated and stressed. Many times I take a day off from work to prepare.
Great tips! We’re on week two of three with out of town company and loving it. Letting go of perfection and keeping things picked up allows for time to sit and sip coffee on the patio or lingering over breakfast. Keeping it all together takes a back seat to making memories…and that’s a very good thing.
It definitely motivates me! If I didn’t entertain then I don’t know when I would ever clean my toilet or scrub the grit that accumulates on the kitchen floor! Entertaining is like exercise. It is hard work but you must do it often, and you feel rejuvenated after it is over.
Loved, loved this! I’ve followed you for years for this very reason – it’s okay to just be us, and open our doors to those we love, or want to grow closer to. Anyone who sees the flaws isn’t someone who’ll love us back.
Thanks, Bev. I’ll teach it ’til I die. Hee hee. Too many people miss out on so much love and joy in life because of perfectionism!
Not gonna lie! I LOVE having people over and the process of getting ready for their visit! The feeling of doing something special always excites me.
and yes…My table ALWAYS has way to much junk on it. But, when guests are coming, I dump it all in a box for the gulity parties to deal with. In the hours before they arrive, my house is JUST the way I like it. And I didn’t even have to nag. :)
Same. My bar and table. Sigh …
I try to keep a “15 minutes to company” mindset. I want my house to be ready to accommodate guests in as little as 15 minutes! This motivates me to keep the clutter picked up and the dishes safely hidden in the oven ;) for real, though, “company” clean doesn’t mean white gloves inspection; it means sitting around the table with glasses of sweet iced tea enjoying a few laughs. My baseboards don’t have to be scrubbed for that!! :)
Your 15-minute mindset is a great reminder to all of us, Aleah! I agree about the baseboards …
Such a simple, do-able list that really makes all the difference in being able to entertain more often… and more efficiently! I’ve learned that perfectionism really can be the enemy!
Thanks for sharing :)
it doesn’t stress me, however sometimes my hubby can get stressed thinking things have to be a certain way. One thing I’ve tried to do is not portray that the people who deserve a put together house are our guests and who cares what it looks like when it’s just our family. I try to keep things regularly cleaned or picked up so that if company comes we are just maybe picking up a few extra things that I may have left out for a reason.
Good attitude, Kirstin! Thanks for the reminder!
Is it bad that I don’t own a table cloth:) I think I had one once… hehehe… but really these are great tips… I am sooo going to start doing this. We have a beautiful home that I hate to entertain in because it takes sooooooo much time and energy to clean/keep clean. But that’s why God blessed us with this place so thanks for the reminder today:) Hugs!!
You probably don’t need a tablcloth, Linds, I’ve seen your table! :) Love your entertaining space. Let’s host a party together after baby is born! I’ll hold the baby – you host! hee hee
I’m usually motivated to make sure the space is clean and comfortable. I’m like you- a little each day helps me feel more relaxed by the time the event arrives.
I try, Tara … hugs to you today, friend!
love this list, it totally makes a difference when you do a little each day.
I love your list of doing something every day – all the little things add up to one clean and beautiful house!
Great tips, Sandy! Happy Memorial Day! :)