Learn the best hostess tips for hosting friends and family last minute and making them feel special, comfortable, and welcome at your next gathering.
Being a good (or at least decent) hostess is an important part of homemaking! Having the ability to welcome friends, family, and your community into your home on occasion to treat them and serve them is a wonderful gift.
Old fashioned homemakers were skilled at hosting friends and family in their homes. It seems that community and fellowship were more common back in the day!
I think that all women are different when it comes to their hosting abilities. Depending on whether you are introverted or extroverted, and a million other factors, hosting can be easy peasy for you. On the other hand, it can be very difficult for some women and something they rarely try.
Either way and whatever your personality, as a homemaker its good to feel confident in your hosting abilities and to give it a shot on occasion. You put so much work into your home, its nice to be able to welcome your close friends and family in and make them feel special.
Although hosting can often involve planning a large party or event months in advance, its not exclusive to that. Sometimes hosting can be as simple as having friends swing in on a whim for a chat and coffee while they’re in town.
I want to address the latter today! I’m going to share with you 5 tips for being an awesome hostess on a whim. These are tips you can use when say, your in-laws just let you know that they’re about 15 min away and wanted to swing in and say hi! Or, when you know you might be having a larger number of unexpected guests dropping in (like after you have a baby!).
These are tips for anything of the sort! Any occasions when you don’t have much time to prepare but still want to make an impression and make your guests feel special and comfortable.
How to be an Awesome Hostess for Last Minute Gatherings
These tips when practiced should help you to feel more confident as a hostess!
- You’ll be more sure of yourself when you invite people over with little time to prepare.
- Your guests will feel welcomed, comfortable and special and they will appreciate you for it!
- You’ll always being inviting and welcoming with your friends and family because you know you and your home are ready.
Have a Quick Tidy-Up Routine
If you read my post HERE on how I schedule my time as a homemaker, you know I love a good routine. I recommend a morning routine, an evening routine, and even a TIDY-UP routine!
A quick, 10-15 min tidy-up routine that you are familiar and efficient with, can help you so much in getting ready in a hurry for guests.
Again, these are tips for being an awesome hostess on a whim. On a whim usually means you don’t have much time to get ready.
In your tidy-up routine you should go from one end of the house to the other, picking up stray items as you go and putting them back into place. It should also include a quick wipe down of your kitchen counter and tables as well your bathroom areas.
Focus mostly on the spaces in your home that your guests are likely to be. If you know no one is going to go into any of the bedrooms, then don’t worry about them. Keep those doors shut so guests know they are off limits.
You aren’t doing any deep cleaning in a tidy-up routine, you’re just putting things back where they go, wiping down surfaces, and making sure your home is clutter-free.
The more you practice and nail down your tidy-up routine, the easier it will be to do on the fly and in a hurry.
Keep Candles on Hand
Candles are one of the easiest ways to make your home look and feel cozy and special. Bonus, depending on the kind you use they’ll usually make your home smell amazing too!
If you’re not into regular candles because of the toxins, burn some homemade soy or beeswax candles and make sure to have your favorite essential oil diffuser blend going. This will cover the smell factor and the cozy factor.
Even if your house isn’t up to par, a few candles burning can really take it to the next level and show that you care.
With a tidy home, and your favorite candles aglow, your guests will think your home is so beautiful and clean (even if they don’t know your secrets;)).
Keep Easy & Delicious Food Handy
If you always have quick, easy, and delicious food on hand, you’ll never have to worry about what to serve your guests.
My husband loves having a sweet treat every night. I usually have some type of cookie in our cookie jar at all times. I love it because if guests drop in its so easy to offer them some cookies and milk or cookies and coffee.
Treats and snack type food are great for hosting on the fly. You won’t have enough time to throw together an elaborate meal, and your guests won’t expect you to.
Instead, you can offer them whatever type of snack food or dessert food you have, depending on the time of day and the situation.
Here are a few examples of quick, easy, and delicious food to keep on hand:
- meat, cheese, and crackers
- fresh fruit or vegetables (bonus if you have an easy and low ingredient dip on hand)
- desserts/treats: cookies, brownies, sweet breads, bars, etc.
Another tip: batch cook some banana bread or a favorite brownie recipe that freezes well and always have some in your freezer! Its so easy to pull out and let defrost for a few minutes before serving to your guests.
A party without cake is just a meeting-Julia Child
Do a quick google search right now! There are plenty of desserts and treats that freeze well and taste just as good out of the freezer as they do fresh.
Always Offer a Drink
I think this is something that’s not done as often as it should be and it can really make a good impression. As soon as your guests arrive, before you’re able to get them any food, offer them a drink!
I have a sister-in-law who is sooo good about always having drinks out and ready when guests arrive, even when the evening wasn’t planned. Its something that I always appreciate and remember as a guest of hers, so I know your guests will too!
If water is all that you have, that’s totally fine. Pour it in a pretty mason jar with ice, add a lemon slice if you have it, and serve it up.
Other great drink options to always have on hand are coffee and tea, which would go great with any of the desserts and treats mentioned above.
Sometimes guests will be too polite or not yet comfortable and they’ll refuse a drink. What I often do is just get them some water anyways and have it out for them. If they drink it they drink it, and if not, not a big deal.
Having something to sip on can help your guests feel more comfortable and settle in.
Of course, if you have something more fancy to offer like lemonade, iced tea, pop, etc., that would be great. A glass of ice water will always do the trick though.
Enjoy Your Guests!
Sometimes its easy when you haven’t had a lot of time to prepare for guests, to be stressing and insecure when they arrive and during their time at your home.
You start to think about all of the dirty things in your house. You get insecure about not having enough food to offer them. Maybe you get insecure about yourself…
Stop it right there!
You AND your guests will have an awesome time if you relax and enjoy them. Be completely present with them and set aside all of your insecurities.
Its a hard thing to do, but the more you practice it the better you’ll be. Be open and welcoming and engage in all of the conversations rather scattering around the house trying to clean some more.
Don’t attempt to cook a big meal either. That’s why the easy food is so great, because its little leg work for you, and you’ll be able to socialize and visit.
Being an awesome hostess isn’t just about having a clean house and pretty food. Its just as much about how you present yourself to your guests and how you communicate with them. Try hard to make them feel special and welcome!
The most important thing is to enjoy yourself and have a good time.-C.Z. Guest
There you have it! 5 easy tips for being on awesome hostess when you’re in a hurry. I hope you start practicing some of these tips today and that you’ll feel comfortable and confident the next time someone tells you they want to “drop-in”.
Now tell me, what do you do when you are hosting friends and family last minute? Let me know in the comments below!
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