“Summer has always been my favorite season. I feel happier.”
- Zooey Deschanel
Summer means grilling outdoors, fun in the sun, pool days and having guests over for holidays, birthdays or just a good old cookout. Here’s a few ways to get the house ready for guests and a few tips to freshen up your hosting skills!
Deep Clean the House
- Leave no stone unturned when it comes to deep cleaning and enlist help from family.
- Run an ozone generator to get rid of any persistent odors.
- Use lemon-scented cleaning products on your surfaces (less chemical smells the better)
- Make sure every guest bathroom is clean and stocked.
- Keep an air purifier running on low when you’re done.
Prep Food Ahead of Time
- Depending on the food you’re making, prep the night before for less headaches.
- Finger foods (pigs in blankets, mini corn dogs, salsa, etc) are easy to put together and store in the fridge overnight.
- The morning of your event, pick up party trays (veggies and fruits) from your local grocery store.
- If you have items that need baking, put them in the oven a few hours ahead of your start time.
- Put a pot of coffee and a hot tea kettle to boil...you never know who's going to want a boost of energy!
Plan Out Seating Areas and Walking Spaces
- Some guests will stand the whole time, others prefer to sit; ensure plenty of chairs and ottomans are available.
- Folding chairs and bean bag chairs are easy, budget-friendly items to provide lots of seating.
- Make sure to put “gathering spaces” like the food and beverage areas away from the highly-trafficked walkways.
- Don’t let anyone or anything clutter up the doorways (that’s a fire hazard).
- Have a place to set gifts should guests happen to bring them.
Be a Present and Engaging Host
- Never let anyone look like they’re alone or not having a good time.
- Strike up a conversation between two strangers who may have something in common.
- Make sure to talk to each and every person there, not just when they arrive.
- Keep people’s cups filled and plates full.
- Have plenty of trash cans (recyclables separated) available for garbage.
- Make sure bins are clearly marked as “regular” trash vs recyclables.
- Have napkins and cleaning wipes readily available should spills occur.
- Have little bottles of personal hand sanitizer in a candy bowl for guests to grab.
- Couldn’t hurt to have a little sign in the bathroom reiterating proper hand washing techniques either.
ENJOY YOURSELF! This is your party too and these are your friends. Everyone appreciates all your effort, so don’t forget to loosen up and have some fun. The summer is the perfect time to gather friends and family around for relaxation or celebration. Preparing ahead of time will reduce stress later on. Have a good summer and stay cool.