Having a new baby, it seems everyone just swarms to my house. I know the attention won’t be on my house (it’ll be on the baby I’m sure) but I still always get nervous about just how clean and organized the house is and if my guests will enjoy their time here.
For me as a stay at home mom, having company over is a huge event. It doesn’t matter what type of company I have over, whether it is some friends or family, I still have this burning desire to have everything perfect.
While everything may not be perfect, there are a few things that you can do to make your company feel welcomed and enjoy the time they spend at your house.
#1: Prepare your guest areas
Think about what your guest will see when they enter your home and stay a while. Are they going to use the patio to smoke? Will they likely be using the bathroom?
When you are cleaning your house for company, pay close attention to these areas that guests see the most. Make sure your guests are prepared for anything that comes up. Being stocked and prepared will eliminate your guests from having to ask you for something and taking you away from company while they are there. To prepare the guest areas, I would:
- Get fresh hand towels
- Make sure there is extra toilet paper in an easy to find place
- Have an ash tray outside
- Put out paper towels
#2: Serve your guests food
It is always a good idea to have some food in the house. You never know how long your guests will stay and it’s good to break up the time with some snacks.
The last time I hosted company, I had a cake and I made sure I had a choice of beverages. You don’t have to have a cake, but it is good to have a few snacks that your guests can help themselves too. I would make sure that I have several types of foods and food serving items handy:
- Paper plates and cups – so you don’t have to do too many dishes
- Napkins and plastic silverware – nothing is more annoying than having to ask for a napkin
- Snacks – pretzels, chips, cheese, fruit – finger foods your guests can munch on
- Coffee – make sure you have both powder creamer and milk to appeal to your guest’s preference
- Tea – some guests are not coffee drinkers and prefer tea, I usually have both hot tea and iced tea
- Something sweet – everyone has a sweet tooth and having something like cake, cupcakes, or cookies is not a bad idea
Get my Be My Guest Serving Tray
Most guests won’t say anything if they are hungry or thirsty. Ask periodically if your guests would like something to eat or drink. You can choose to leave a dish of snacks out on a coffee table and tell them to help themselves. Use paper plates and cups so you can keep them out on the counter and your guests don’t have to search for a place to put their snacks.
To avoid being constantly distracted, when your guests arrive, walk them to the kitchen and let them know where they can find snacks or drinks. Empower them to help themselves.
#3: Have enough chairs
If you guests are eating food and having conversation, they will need a place to sit. If you don’t have enough chairs, go and get a few fold up chairs and put them on the side of the room. You want your guests to be comfortable and relaxed.
Having a close knit area such as a patio table or circle of benches where everyone can face each other will promote conversation and allow your guests to get to know each other.
#4: Have Entertainment
To be a boss at hosting company, you will want your guest entertained. The worst thing that can happen at your get-together is people stop talking and are just sitting looking around at each other. Guests who are bored will probably snack on a little bit of food and then make an excuse as to why they have to leave. You do NOT want to be that host!
Entertainment can come in all forms. If you are not hosting company for a particular event or holiday, but just for a casual get-together, here are 7 ways you can entertain your guests:
- Pick out some multi-player games to play – charades, UNO, poker
- Put on some music – get people jammin
- Get a dart board or pool table
- Take a tour of your home
- Shoot off fireworks – if allowed in your neighborhood
- Start a fire pit – sitting around a warm fire is ideal for socializing, make sure to bring the marshmallows and sticks
- Play drinking games – if it is that kind of party
Make sure whatever you do to entertain your guests, you are being respectful to all guests. Don’t play a game that a guest feels uncomfortable playing. Also, make sure that your guests don’t get out of control and start destroying property. Make sure all entertainment has a limit and that all games have a way to get to a winner.
#5: Have close parking
Make sure your guests have close parking and don’t have to walk down the street to get to your house. If your driveway is usually packed with your family’s vehicles, make sure you move them down the street so your guests can park in your driveway. This just gives your guests a good experience when they are coming to your home.
#6: If staying overnight, a few questions to ask your guests…
- Do they need Wi-fi password?
- How is the temperature of the house?
- Any food allergies?
- Anything you can do to make them more comfortable?
Also if your guests are staying overnight, make sure that you have essentials in the guest bedroom such as: fresh sheets and extra blankets, a trash can, clothes hangers and closet space or a drawer to keep clothes, a blow-up mattress, a fan, curtains for windows, etc…
Make your guests aware of how you run your house and your plans for the day. If you have any requirements of them, make sure they are known, such as no eating in the guest room. Things like this are better said up front to avoid conflict later.
#7: Hosting guests with babies or small children…
When hosting guests that have babies or small children there are a few more things to take into consideration. Not only do you need to have essentials and entertainment for their parents, but also for the children too. A few tips I can give you when hosting babies or children:
- Have sanitizer available in a common room
- Have tissues available as well
- Make sure that parents of babies have a place to change them apart from the main room
- Do not have small items or appetizers that can easily be choked on
- Make sure children have toys to play with or TV to watch
- Do not let any guest who has been drinking hold other guests babies (eliminate drinking games from the entertainment list)
- Watch children when they play outside – set up some chairs for parents to sit in outside
Do not leave children unattended outside or in another room where they can’t be seen. Keep children away from babies. Make sure guests sanitize their hands before holding and touching a baby as you don’t want an illness passed to them. Keep all glass, sharp objects, silverware, small items, and alcohol away from children.
Hosting company is enough to get anyone stressed, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. When you are not prepared for company, you take yourself away from your guests by doing things for them while your party is going on. If you are prepared you are able to enjoy your get-together and keep people at your party longer. By following these 7 simple steps you will be on your way to hosting company like a boss.
Any other hosting tips? Feel free to share them below.