Rushing around—throwing toys into baskets, tossing coats on hooks, hurriedly moving dishes from the sink to the dishwasher—all while listening for the resounding ring of the doorbell signaling your impending guests’ arrival. Does this sound familiar? This is a common scene in our house as either my husband or I will inevitably invite someone over last minute and rush home before they arrive to pick up whatever messes have been created.
In these moments I have found several go-to practices that have aided in creating a welcoming environment for guests without causing too much stress on my part.
- Pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers on your way home, or even better, grab a few stems from your garden to brighten up your home! A beautiful arrangement always distracts from that pile you may have missed and left out.
- Always have an empty basket for such a time as this to throw all the little odds-and-ends into that collect on counters and tables around the house.
- Focus on the main living areas: kitchen, bathroom, living room. Tidy up these areas first as they are undoubtedly the ones where your guests will be spending their time. Throw the dishes in the dishwasher; run a quick vacuum or do a swift sweep of the floors; wipe down the counter tops and you are good to go!
- Brew a pot of coffee or cups of tea; chill some beer or wine; or mix up some lemonade. Have a few quick drinks and snacks to offer your guests. A little snack always aids conversation and provides comfort.
- Light some candles. I love having a candle or two, particularly in the bathroom, that I can light at a moment’s notice when I know guests are coming over. They are warm and welcoming and often nicely scented.
- Throw open those curtains (and windows if it’s warm!) to make your space bright and welcoming.
- Turn on some music—soft jazz, classical, folk, whatever mood you wish to create—but turn on those tunes!
- At the end of the day the most important thing to do, is to remember that your guests are there to spend time with YOU not inspect your home. Enjoy!
My husband and I thoroughly enjoy having people over, and I have found many of these to be essential in the mad-dash that often ensues after an invitation has been extended!