Tips for Stress-Free Entertaining

Entertaining always sounds like a good idea. However, many people end up avoiding it or putting off plans because entertaining often becomes so stressful. Instead of worrying about whether your party will look good enough for Instagram and Pinterest, focus on creating the event that you and your friends and family will enjoy.

No one will think twice about the stressful steps you skipped, and you'll be able to enjoy your own party. Restrict deaning to the areas where the party will take place to bottom every time you have people over. Give priority to the entryway, kitchen, bathroom(s) When pressed for time, skip the deep cleaning and concentrate on removing clutter. Clearing out stray magazines and junk mail instantly makes a room look put-together.

Plan a straightforward menu

Unless you enjoy cooking and the fun of trying out new recipes for your guests, you shouldn't feel pressure to make the cooking complicated when you entertain. At most, try one new dish for a hosting event, filling out the rest of the menu with dishes you're already comfortable making.

If you hate cooking, then order food online or consider organizing a potluck. Alternatively, when you're in the mood to keep the food simple, don't plan an entire menu. Have an appetizer-themed gathering or invite a small group of friends over for wine and dessert.

Opt for paper plates and plastic silverware

For many people, the most stressful aspect of entertaining is cleaning up at the end of the night. After a long evening relaxing with your favorite people, you don't want to spend an hour on your feet in the kitchen so you can hire a housekeeper and until then cut down significantly on the cleanup process by serving food on paper plates.

Use plastic silverware, and set out plastic cups for drinks. Make the garbage can readily available for guests, so they're more likely to clean up after themselves during the night, further minimizing the work you have to do afterward.

Skip the individual cocktails Similar to the menu, unless you're a drink connoisseur who enjoys custom mixing cocktails for your guests, then spending a lot of time on the beverages is more hassle than it's worth. Make water readily available, and offer at least one other non-alcoholic option, such as iced tea or lemonade.

If you want to go beyond providing wine and beer to alcohol drinkers, pick one alcoholic beverage that you can prepare in advance, such as sangria or spiked punch. Don't forget to pick up a bag of ice ahead of time as well.

Prep the food and drinks in advance

Devote time the night before or during the day of the event to get as much of the food and drink ready as possible prior to your guests arriving. Planning even a couple of menu items that are easy to prep ahead of time will help the entire menu come together much more smoothly.

When you can't prep the entire dish, get the individual components ready. Some dishes even benefit from having time to sit before serving. Everyone will love scooping the boozy fruit out of their sangria when it's had a full night to sit in the fridge, soaking up the alcohol.

Establish a low-key atmosphere

When you're entertaining, it's up to you what type of party you're going to throw. Set the expectation right from the start that your event will be low-key with no stress Don't enforce a strict start time, or set yourself up for disappointment by trying to get everyone sitting down to dinner at precisely 7 p.m.

Everyone will be in a much better mood, including you, when you let the party unfold as it's supposed to. It's also important to go with the flow. When everyone is having a good time sipping wine in front of the backyard fire pit, don't herd them indoors for a party game they're not in the mood to play.

Accept help when people offer it

When someone volunteers to arrive early to assist with the food prep or to bring a six-pack of their favorite local beer, then, by all means, accept the offer. Your friends and family love you and are genuinely interested in helping with the party. If their proposal isn't fitting for the occasion, politely suggest an appropriate alternative.


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