Be sure to check out the other 5-Days series running this week. There are 21 other 5 Day series on organizing all sorts of things!
Day 4: Organized Preparations for Hospitality
- Organize Your Attitude
- Organize the People
- Organize the Food
- Organize Your Preparations
- Organize Your Evening
There are several things you can do earlier in the day that will make having people over for dinner less stressful and more relaxed. The first is to remember that the point is fellowship and not impressing others with your gourmet food, spotless house, or well-behaved children. In fact, better conversation and connection is likely to occur when you simply welcome people into your life as it is: normal meals, toys on the couch, and children eager but perhaps a bit too much so. Do you really want people thinking you are better than they are? It’s not actually a fun place to be.
Setting Up for Hospitality
There are some things that I’ve found are helpful and stress-relieving to have done before the guests arrive.
- Count how many people will need to be seated, and set the table with enough chairs.
- Set the table. Or, assign this duty to a child then just double-check and straighten it out.
- Set out glasses, water, and any other beverage to be served.
- Make sure there are coat hangers in the coat closet if it’s that time of year.
- Make sure there is extra toilet paper, enough hand soap, and a clean hand towel in the bathroom.
The idea isn’t to be bossy, but to have potential options up your sleeve if direction or a change of pace is required.
- Have an idea for what the children can do before and after dinner.
- Have an idea for a game or at least a change of scene after dinner if conversation lulls.
If, like me, you aren’t very good at chit chat, it can also help to think of a few potential conversation starters before people arrive. It might seem contrived, but a little forethought can help alleviate any awkward silences as people are gathered.
5 Days of Cleaning and Organizing
Join us tomorrow for ideas to organize the just-before-guests-arrive chaos!