Effortless hosting starts with these six simple tips. Using your time management skills to create an unforgettable experience is all part of the art of gathering.
These effective tasks will help you design the effortless party you deserve and facilitate cultivating relationships better.
Effortless Hosting Needs—
A Simple Menu:
What you need is a simple menu, to help you actually enjoy your dinner party. If you only host once in a while, why would you choose a simple menu? Why not go big or go home, right?! Well, if Ina Garten tells you to plan a simple menu, you should plan a simple menu. I’m not Ina Garten, but I am telling you to plan a simple menu.
Simple menus consist of “pick up and play” items: appetizers that assemble. Dinners with three items: main, side, side/salad. And, dessert is the unexpected whimsy of childhood candy, store-bought goodies, or plain old candy in a candy bowl.
When you’re hosting people, they’ll immediately expect something when you invite them. Show them an unexpected time with a super simple menu, one that allows you to effortlessly gather people, and actually enjoy the party!
My favorite menus are the ones I can make things ahead of time.
- Angry Lasagna + Salad
- Chicken Confit + Spinach Pie
- Steak + Baked Potato Bar
Choose menus you can do as much ahead of time as you can—and then one wow factor for the table. What is the wow factor for the table? Something that you can plop down on the table and everyone goes “Oooh! That looks so good!”
The theatrical parts of the actual dinner help prompt effortless hosting.
And! It doubles as conversation sparks! When you bring the lasagna to the table, someone will say “Oh, my grandmother makes the best lasagna!” And then you can feed off those questions with more questions.
Along with expecting the unexpected, use the French tip of all white and lots of candles. All white flowers, white plates, and white (unscented!) candles.
We’ve all been to the parties where the table is so cluttered you can hardly set your drink down without tipping something over—let’s chat a minute about that!
In order for your guests (and you!) to feel calm, cool, and collected, you need a table setting that is just that. Something simple that ignites conversation—that leads to open questions—filled with discovering each other.
Useful decor items to have in your home for simple decor:
- Mason Jars
- Unscented Tea Lights
- Battery-Operated Twinkle Lights
- Paper Table Runner Roll
- White Plates
- White Napkins
- Woven Napkin Rings
A Neat & Tidy Home:
Having a neat and tidy home helps you feel better about hosting people. But, it also helps your people feel better.
This is something you need to have down pat BEFORE you host your people. That effortless feeling comes from knowing everything has a place, and everything is in its place.
Using your time well each day to pick up and put away the items around your home will help you in the long run of entertaining at home.
When you go into someone’s home, don’t you like looking around and seeing neat and tidy things, and not feeling like you are adding to the clutter?
Practicing a simple standard of “if it takes less than 2 minutes to do the action, do it right away” is so helpful! Start timing yourself doing daily chores—the time it took me to put the folded laundry away was less than 5 minutes.
When you realize how little time it takes to do the simple daily chores you need to keep a home tidy, they become your daily routine habits.
Some habits to keep in your daily routine:
- Make your bed
- Sink free of dishes
- Pick up and put away loose items
- Swish & Swipe Kitchen
- Swish & Swipe Bathrooms
Ready to serve from the moment people walk through the door:
The moment people start walking up to your door, your job as the host begins.
Each season, walk up to your doorway and see how you feel.
Is it inviting?
Is there landscaping that needs to be trimmed?
What about your welcome mat—Does it need to be updated?
How easy is it to find your doorbell? ((How many times have you stood on someone’s stoop, and said out loud “where’s the doorbell?!”))
Now, when you open your door with a big “Come on in!” and greet your people with an exclamation, they’ll instantly feel welcome. A nice beverage helps, too!
Greeting your guests with a calm demeanor is such a helpful way of starting the evening. When the door opens to a chaotic host, that welcomed feeling turns to anxiety in no time.
This is why it’s so important to choose a simple menu! One where you’re not stuck over the stovetop when you’re guests arrive.
Planning ahead for each guest:
This is something I learned through an accident. I had prepared name cards for the evening, since there was a specific method to seating, and one of the guests exclaimed “I love how you prepared for me!”
So, before each party, go through the guest list, and see how you can add a little personal touch to the evening.
That may be serving the crowd-pleasing lasagna or putting the right sauce next to someone’s place.
That may mean asking if there are any allergies or intolerances.
It’s a simple gesture that can make all the difference in how your guests show up to your home.
You could also plan ahead with some conversation starters for each guest. Topics you know they’ll like to discuss and are helpful to prompt conversation.
Prepped and Ready:
This is the one thing you as the host can do.
Use little moments throughout your week/days leading up to your party to prep and ready things.
Spend 10 minutes finding the serving platters and putting them somewhere.
Precut your veggies you’ll use.
If you’re able, set the table a few days before. Set out your clothes and jewelry you’ll wear.
Taking the few minutes each day to prep yourself helps you feel ready to host when the time comes.
It helps you effortlessly host people.
Effortlessly hosting is all about managing your time really well. Using your little moments to plan ahead, and prep yourself for an unbelievable night.
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How do you stay on top of your to-do list to effortlessly host your people around your table?!
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