Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tis the season for...

My go to cheese tray...and a bottle of vino!

Impromptu guests.  Now,  let me just say, I am a fan of impromptu guests.  It kind of keeps me on my toes with my house cleaning....trying to keep it fairly tidy or within a about 15 minutes stretch of straightening to get it tidy.  I know some people do NOT like people to just stop by, but I like it.  Most guests will give at least 15 to 30 minutes notice before they just STOP least they should.   I have this vision of my house being the house everyone comes to, the kids friends, my friends, etc...and I want them to know they can just stop in.

It always seems like this time of year, there are people just "stopping" by or "stopping thru" town.  I think there are a few things that make these spontaneous times a bit easier. These are my little things that make it easier and less stressful for me.

#1: Food and Drink.
No matter how dirty or untidy your house is, if you can pull out a plate of something and offer a cool (or warm) beverage your guests will always feel welcome. Whenever I go to the grocery store I always pick up a couple blocks of cheese, and always have a big box of crackers or nuts in the pantry. It seems almost everyone loves cheese and crackers. It is EASY to get out and EASY to clean...  And Drink...We always have bottled waters, vino and beer (for the evening of course) stocked.   And lots of juice boxes for the kids.

#2:  Try to keep on top of dishes....A clean sink makes me feel like my house is halfway clean.  I know it isn't always easy, and I feel like I am ALWAYS doing dishes, but for some reason if I look in the sink, and it is clean the floors seem cleaner:)

#3:  Have one room that stays fairly straight...that you can go around and pick up and in 5 minutes it looks tidy.  My room is the living room.  The kids know they can play in there, but they can't bring out ALL of their toys and set up camp in the living room.  Boundries....I KNOW my kids rooms are going to be a disaster when people stop by, but if I can have my one place it doesn't seem so bad.

#4: Just wipe down the bathroom and pull out a clean guest towel.  I always have a couple "nice" towels that I only use when guests are coming over.  No one is going to take a shower while they are stopping over, so there is no need to scour, just a quick wipe down and done (oh, and make sure there is toilet paper too!)

#5:  Just close the doors to the rest of the house, the rooms you don't want anyone to enter...a good guest will take the cue and not pry.  They weren't stopping by for a tour (hopefully!)  I do like to keep my bed made...for some reason it doesn't make the laundry piles feel as high.  (anyone noticing that floors and laundry are not my strong suit!)

#6: Just be gracious, and enjoy their company.  No one wants to feel like they are being intrusive...and we as hosts shouldn't make them feel that way....

#7: I like to keep one little bouquet of fresh flowers in my "tidy" room.  It just makes me feel like it is clean.  My grocery store has 3 for $12 and I always just buy makes a cute little posy on a table...and just makes me feel better (again for some reason the floors seem cleaner and the laundry not as bad when I have flowers around!)

(disclaimer: I am by no means an expert in this area, and am not trying to preach, I am just writing down the things that help me feel less frazzeled when I get that phone call "hope you don't mind but we were just stopping thru:)"

Do you all like imprompu guests??? And what is your regime to make it a pleasant experience for all.  Any tips and tricks?

Here is to your next guest!


Rene said...

Great tips Gretchen. Wish we lived closer so I could stop by...


Merrill said...

Thanks for having us, Gretchen, your house is most definitely one of my most favorite places to "stop by" in Columbia!

Plus I really like cheese. :)

The Buzz said...

These are great, Gretchen! I just had to smile at #4 remembering the time I used my mother's freshly pressed antique Belgian linen and lace curtains to wipe my hands on in the powder room since she said the "nice" hand towels were for the guests! Cheese and vino are a definite must and always in suppy are our house... your picture has me drooling and hoping for guests!

pretty pink tulips said...

I'm pretty sure you won't be shocked when I say....I try to keep the house so that I could host a party at the drop of a hat!

That being said...I've been running all over like a mad woman today and am hosting my book club tonight. I still have several more places to take the kids before I'm home for the night.

Do you think a roaring fire will distract them from all I didn't quite get cleaned?!!!

xo E

Nessa said...

love these tips... and you reminded me I am out of crackers.

cheese and crackers are my favorite snack (well asid`1e from great potato chips)

quintessence said...

I don't really have impromptu guests but your suggestions are great for any kind of entertaining - great tips!