I shared recently that I'm noticing how my lifestyle is evolving all in good time. I've got a set of methods I use in my daily routines. They're constantly changing and improving. Nothing is nailed or mastered. Yet, as I look at where I started, I'm happy to see things have come a ways since then. My hope is that method posts like these offer you a starting point from an ally in the fight to do things a little better. Take them, adapt them, and notice the progress as it happens. Then let's compare notes. I'd love to hear your stories along the way.
Entertaining is an evolving skill for me. Here's some things I'm doing pretty consistently that can turn any night without plans into a fairly effortless night to host friends or family on the fly.
Step 1: Invest in attractive dishes
There's nothing wrong with paper plates, colorful plasticware, delivery pizza, or carry-out boxes and chopsticks. But I've noticed using cloth napkins and glassware as my everyday place-setting transitions super easily to hosting others. If I don't buy disposable napkins and dishes, I don't use them. I enjoy using the real thing myself, and sharing them when we have people over.
Step 2: Stock the bars
Again, nothing wrong with water. But we like to keep a few warm beverages and a bit of alcohol around. We happen to like Malbec wine and keep 6-12 bottles of a light lager in the pantry for our own indulgence. We also love to grind coffee beans in the morning for a pot of french-pressed coffee, and I'm an afternoon tea drinker. Having these things around for ourselves is great, and even better when we feel like we have something nice to offer a guest.
Step 3: Have dessert on hand
I love to bake, but I don't always have something made or time to make something when we make spontaneous plans. We do, however, always have a bit of ice cream in the freezer and popcorn ready to be popped on the stove. These make for great after-meal snacks with company.
Step 4: Cook for a crowd
One way that we avoid waste is making meals that will feed us twice, so we use up ingredients and have lunch the next day. This is also super handy for spur-of-the-moment entertaining, because there's always enough to share.
Step 5: Maintain your space
I was the messiest during my college and some post college years. Here are the 5 things I've learned that help me keep our place presentable:
- Making the bed takes 2 minutes. I do it right when I get out bed most mornings.
- Wiping down the bathroom sink can happen while I'm brushing my teeth.
- A lit candle or bit of oil in the diffuser makes the whole place feel cozy, welcoming, and cared for.
- The kitchen is a workspace. It doesn’t have to be spotless. If the trash doesn't smell, and things are stacked in a tidy way, I can let my guests hangout with me while I prepare a meal, and let them see the room in use.
- Keeping clothes off the floor is the best habit. Period.
These are my secret weapons for helping me feel on top of my space. I get to enjoy being here while also making it pretty presentable for visitors.
These are the things that make inviting people in and sharing meals pretty simple. I really enjoy hosting in the space I love the most. I feel most comfortable here, most honest, and authentic. So, it should be a place I can spend time with others often!
Any methods that help you entertain without too much fuss and headache? Share them with us!