I've asked a handful of my clients, blog readers and Social Network connections to contribute to this article by giving me one or two little details-things that they do to prepare for dinner guests. Their responses are below:
How do you prepare for guests? Please tell us in the comments area.
1- Clean your bathroom. (Really clean it. Don't cover up with fake "Mountain Fresh-ness" spray. People WILL notice the dust and hair on the counter, in the drains and on the floor, even if you don't.)
2-Put out several clean hand towels by the sink. (Unless you want your bath towels and curtains used to dry off after hand washing! If you prefer disposables, here is what I use. Or these if I want something more decorative.)
3- Be sure there is at least one full roll of toilet paper in the bathroom, and a box of tissues. (Place an extra roll/box or two where guests can see them.)
4- Empty bathroom waste baskets. (There is nothing that look more clutter-y than a basket overflowing with trash.)
5- Put personal items away. (Bills, handbags, makeup, jewelry that you might leave by the door or the kitchen or bathroom sink should be put away from nosy guests, and to prevent from accidental damage/loss.)
6-Clean up pet areas and move bowls & equipment away from guests. (We love animals too, but really, no one wants to crunch on litter or step on squeaky toys, or look at/smell your cat's litter box while they are eating dinner, getting a beer from the fridge, or using your bathroom. Try this pet odor eliminator. )
7-Have a selection of cold and warm beverages. (Iced tea, soda, wine, coffee & warm tea are easy to store and have on hand for visitors.)
8-Put something in the oven before guests arrive. (The aroma of dinner rolls baking is a wonderful way to welcome guests and builds anticipation for the meal and the company. Try some of these Rosemary Dinner Rolls for starters.)
9-Turn off computers and Tvs. (Low-volume background music is OK, but you really want to focus on your guests rather than the electronics. Unless of course it is an "Olympics" or "Superbowl" themed gathering.)
10-Purchase or create a simple centerpiece for your dining table or buffet. (A centerpiece is a point of convergence. It can set the mood and add an extra touch to your celebration. It can be simple or elaborate. Our Centerpiece Pinterest Board will give you some ideas to start with.)
11-Adjust your thermostat. (Keep the house at a comfortable temperature-between 70°-75° F . Consider the number of people, whether or not the oven is going, and the time of year. In winter, open window in a far end of the house to allow air to circulate if necessary, and leave shawls, throws or blankets nearby for anyone who might need one. In summer, be sure plenty of cooler air is flowing through the home, especially the dining area.)
What can you add to this list?