Everyone enjoys being liked and respected. When your name comes up in conversation among other people, you hope that the reaction is pleasant, that people will say they are better because they know you. There are numerous ways to foster that feeling. One of those ways is to give people a positive experience when they visit your home. You can invite people to come over for a formal dinner or party, a holiday gathering, some afternoon snacks or drinks, a casual birthday celebration, or many other occasions. You may think this will involve many, many hours of planning and may create a great deal of stress. You can employ some simple ways to ensure your guests have a great time at your home and can also allow you to enjoy the gathering as well. Here are 10 simple ways to ensure you and your guests have an enjoyable time.
10. Clean efficiently
Cleaning the house is one item that can cause anxiety, but it doesn’t have to. Keep in mind that you really only need to thoroughly clean the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, and the bathroom, as those are the rooms where your guests will be. Don’t sweat the other rooms as much. When cleaning, look for shortcuts like this one: Take salad tongs, wrap them in tissue, and secure with a rubber band. Then use the tongs to dust the window blinds. You will clean both sides of the blinds at once and get done in half the time.
9. Have enough seats
Do your best to ensure you have a good idea of how many people are coming and have enough seats for everyone. Folding chairs can be purchased at reasonable prices and provide flexibility to add seating to different rooms and can be easily moved from one room to another. Make sure your dining room chairs, sofa, and other seats have no objects on them that would prevent their use.
8. Stock the bathroom
Guests will want to wash up before a meal, so remember the clean towels and plenty of hand soap. Have a new roll of tissue installed in case some guests have to… shall we say, have an extended bathroom visit. A mildly scented candle helps handle those situations as well as establishing a comforting atmosphere.
7. Have a warm, welcoming atmosphere
Make sure the rooms are well ventilated and that there is plenty of space for people to move around. If you are playing music, it’s better to start with it at a higher volume, then lower it as more guests arrive. This helps guests hold conversations without having to shout at each other. Ensure your guests’ safety by making sure all paths are clear, and there is a non-slip mat in the bathroom.
6. Welcome guests with food and drink
A small appetizer and drink are a wonderful touch when guests first arrive. Nothing elaborate is required, especially if a large meal will be served when everyone arrives. Make sure you know your guests’ alcohol preferences (some may not want any alcohol) and serve appropriately.
5. Remember small details
If people will be sitting at the dining table, some flowers in the center are a nice touch. Whenever you finish a bottle of wine, rinse it out and save it to use as a flower vase for your next party. A bowl of oranges or tangerine peels or coffee can also be used in other rooms besides the bathroom to enhance the atmosphere.
There’s nothing worse for a dinner party than running out of food. Of course, if you’re hosting 10 people, you don’t want to prepare enough food for 25, but you do want to have enough that if there are 1 or 2 more people than you expected, or if the party goes on for a while and people go back for seconds. You can also have the supplies for people to make a plate to go – plates and plastic wrap or foil, or disposable containers with multiple wells to keep food items separate.
3. Remember names
This is a challenge for some people, but it is a great way to make guests feel special. If one of your guests is bringing someone along that you have not met, ask for the name ahead of time, so you will know, then after you are introduced, remember the new person’s name so you can address him or her properly for the rest of the event. Take note of any unique quality or quirk the guests have – not just ones you are meeting for the first time, but those you already know. Use that knowledge when you serve or interact with that person throughout the event.
Who says you have to do everything? If the cleaning is too overwhelming, hire a cleaner to do it for you. If this is a gathering where food will be served, most of the time the guests will ask, “should I bring anything?” Take them up on their offer, so you have less food to prepare yourself.
1. Use a theme for decorating
If the event is near a holiday, that is a nice, easy theme to use. You can add small details that will make a difference. For example, if it’s a Christmas theme, add cinnamon sticks, pine cones, and tangerines onto your wreath. Your home will have a pleasant Christmas aroma that your guests will love.
Hosting a gathering does not have to be a high-stress, worry-inducing affair. By putting a few simple ideas in place like these 10 simple ways, your guests will enjoy themselves, you will create a good experience, and when someone mentions your name in the near future, those that were present for your event will have nothing but glowing things to say. You might even have some friends say, “can you help me put on an event?” You will make a great impact on people.