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Hostess with the Mostess: the Impromptu Visitor

August 25, 2011

“Welcome Sign” by Banished Etsy shop

We all have those situations… an acquaintance brings you a Tupperware she borrowed, two girlfriends pop over to help you with a craft project, you’re having a rough day and your bestie comes to check on you… You know what I’m talking about. You want your house to look at least liveable so you’re not mortified when having unplanned (or even planned) guests come by. How do you best do this?

Ok, let me quickly preface that I don’t have a kid yet. This could all be for naught when a baby arrives. But, I have girlfriends with at least two kids who do this swimmingly. So, it can be done… just may be a little easier for us who only have to pick up after me, my husband and our small, short-haired dog.

So to continue my spontaneous random series on being a hostess, as prefaced from Tuesday’s post, here are some things to prepare for the day-guest:

  • Fruits and vegetables… they are a lifesaver for a random guest. I am a huge lover of fruit, so just cutting up an apple with some celery or carrot sticks can make a fun, quick snack.
  • Wine… we’ve always got it. It just makes any visit less stressful for the guest or you!
  • A hunk of cheese. This may sound kind of funny, but if you have yummy cheese, you could always cut it up to serve with fruit or wine. If you don’t need it for guests, you can always shred it for recipes.
  • A bucket for clutter. I have a bunch of buckets around the house that I use for random things, mostly to mask all my junk that’s on the floor: Lucy’s toys, laptop charger cords, laundry JD folded while we watch “Royal Pains.” You know what I mean. Everything gets thrown in and feels contained.
  • Pretty paper napkins. This may seem silly, but if you have fun napkins, it shows that you are making this gathering fun and special, but it’s easy enough to just throw away at the end.
  • A place for coats and purses. If there is a specific place people can put their belongings, they feel welcome.
  • Another mention from last post, Kleenex! I always have a box out, mostly for random Publix commercials, but sometimes, girl sessions become rant sessions, and sometimes there are tears. Just sayin’.

I love having people over at our house, and these are the main things I try to keep in mind when we open our doors to others. This is as much as I can think of… any other ideas?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jan permalink
    August 25, 2011 5:13 pm

    I love the bucket for clutter idea!!!
    We don’t drink diet sodas, but I’ve got them for the drop in guest.
    I always have bottle water for the random worker that I need in a pinch. They are happy to be paid, but they really appreciate when their entire crew is offered the use of the restroom and a bottle of water before they leave.

    We don’t have the word “Welcome” on anything outside. (not doormat nor a door sign) After watching True Blood, I’m too creeped out that that’s an automatic invitation or that just anyone will assume that means them! (My father’s current wife – no way!!!)

    We do have a sign inside that reads: “Be Nice or Leave!” That seems to be pretty reasonable, right?

    A neighbor (doctor) insists on guests removing shoes because he never knows what’s on it. He says blood from the ER is on his shoes. Gross. I haven’t decided where I stand on requiring this….

  2. Casey Robert permalink
    September 6, 2011 1:30 pm

    Can I just say that I’m a little jealous of Jan’s welcome-sign-substitute…I’ve always wanted one of the Be Nice or Leave signs!

    My few hospitality tricks are pretty standard, I’m sure, but I like to think I do them well. :) For starters, it’s nice to having “nice” glassware and mugs to use when someone drops in. We certainly aren’t using crystal on a daily basis at our place, but handmade coffee mugs (made by Garrick’s mom) are nice if it’s just a couple pals having coffee with me. Also, all our drinking glasses are conversation pieces – microbrewery pint glasses from places we’ve gone, etc. The designs don’t match, but the shape does, and I kind of like it that it’s easy to tell who’s using what glass. Hand-in-hand with that idea is this: various sweeteners. I have to remind myself that not everyone likes turbinado sugar in their coffee like we do, so I like to keep packets of Spenda and a bottle of agave nectar handy for those who prefer them, and at holiday time I add a jar of cinnamon to the tray as well.

    The Clutter Bucket idea is SO helpful! I’ve always got a dedicated drawer in the kitchen just for sweeping all the mail into on a moment’s notice, which makes a HUGE difference. Another big item – a cleaned-out kitchen sink! I seriously never judge anyone if they’ve got dishes piled up (half the time, mine is that way too) but if I know someone is coming, everything gets stashed in the dishwasher immediately, even if I have to go back and sort them out later. It makes a big difference since people almost always wind up in the kitchen!

    Oh! And a nice-smelling candle never hurt anybody either – as long as its not overwhelming.

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