Ask Anna: How To Be An Organized Hostess This Holiday Season

by Emily RicheyNovember 23, 2016

The holidays are my favorite time of year! I love the colors, the decorations, even the smell of the air, and I also love having people over and hosting big dinners. However, I know that a lot of people aren’t like me, and the thought of hosting friends and/or family for the holidays can seem quite daunting. Don’t worry! I’m here to give you some great tips for how to be an organized hostess this holiday season, and I can promise that they work because I’ve used them for years!

1. Be YOU


via Pinterest

The most important thing to remember when hosting is to be YOU. Your house doesn’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to apologize over and over again if it’s not! Your friends come over to see you, not your house, and I can guarantee that they aren’t judging you, because their house probably looks the same (or worse!). Just be yourself and enjoy the time with your guests.

I actually love going to a friend’s house when it’s not perfect because it shows that they didn’t stress out about me coming over, they just really wanted to hang out with me. Being yourself is important, embrace who you are, whether your house is perfectly clean or not!

2. Quick Clean Up Tips

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A lived-in looking house is to be expected, but a dirty bathroom is just gross. If you only have a few minutes before your guests are stopping by, head to the bathroom and give it a quick cleaning.

  • Use the current hand towel to wipe off mirrors and wipe up the sink
  • Grab a sanitizing cloth and wipe down the toilet
  • Clean up hair, dust, etc.
  • Empty trash
  • Set out a new hand towel

3. Timing Is Everything

Think about the timing of your meal. Don’t wait until your guests arrive to start making dinner (because everyone will be starving by the time it’s done,) but also don’t have it sitting out and getting cold when they first get there. Plan ahead so that whatever you’re going to serve for dinner has about 10-15 minutes left to cook when your guests arrive. That 10-15 minutes is the perfect amount of time for them to get settled in, grab a glass of wine, nibble on the snacks you set out for them, and start into a good conversation. It might make you feel unprepared to still be cooking when your guests arrive, but when I started doing this I noticed that our guests felt more relaxed and they seemed to enjoy themselves more. Having everything sitting on the table waiting for them made them feel rushed, like they were late and had been holding us up, and that’s definitely not the vibe you want to impart.

4. Make Your Guests Feel Welcomed

When your guests arrive always offer them something to drink. Set out a tray with a pitcher of water, some glasses, lemons if you have them, and even a few snacks.
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Or, if you want to fancy it up a bit, set out a couple bottles of wine and offer them a glass once they are settled. Guests also love it when you set out a small platter with crackers, cheese, or other appetizer type foods. Having food and beverages set out for your guests when they arrive will make them feel special because they will know you were thinking about them before they arrived.

5. Let Your Guests Help

Does that make you gasp and your stomach churn a little? If it does then you’re exactly like I am. I hate letting my guests help because when I have people over I want to serve them, not the other way around! But after many years of hostessing all kinds of events, I’ve learned a very valuable lesson–if they offer to help than they want to help. About 1/2 the time we host our guests won’t offer to help, which is more than okay with me, but the other 1/2 of the time they do offer. Typically people won’t offer to help unless they really want to, so why deprive them of their kindness and willingness to help? I’ve learned that when I let my guest help they really enjoy themselves and it ends up being a huge blessing to me because it’s less for me to do at the end of the night!

These five tips will help you be the best host ever! Meal planning and a little prep work will help too, but the most important thing about hosting is to make your guests feel welcomed, loved and comfortable in your home. As long as you get these five things down, everything else will fall into place. Happy holidays!

Want to read more from our Ask Anna series? Check out 3 Ways To Keep A Kid’s Room OrganizedChristmas Decor, and How To Make A Room Feel Bigger.

About The Author
Emily Richey
Emily is a Homes.com Content Marketing Assistant and a new home owner! When not coordinating content for Homes, she stays busy cooking in her new kitchen, reading interior design magazines, running with her pup and husband, exploring new places, and entertaining.

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