Now that restrictions around the U.S. have started to lift, and more people are vaccinated, we can all start getting together again. Lately, you may have noticed that more people are coming over, or you’re planning a big gathering to celebrate the fact that you can be around your loved ones again. We’ve all been alone or stuck inside with our spouses for long enough.
Even though we’re thrilled to be able to see our loved ones again, we’re also a little bit terrified to have people back in our homes since we haven’t hosted anyone in over a year. Luckily, becoming an entertainer again is easy. Here’s how to get your home ready for guests.
So, you haven’t had anyone over in over a year, and your house is a little messy. You’re not alone. While many people tried to find the motivation to clean their homes with all of the extra time they had on their hands, others decided to relax. If you’re one of the latter, then it’s expected your home might not be in tip-top shape right now. However, that means you probably have more work to do than someone who kept up with the chores during the lockdown.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start slow. Begin tidying up your home a week before your guests come over. If your guests are family and friends, they won’t mind a little bit of clutter. However, if you’re trying to impress anyone, then you should create a plan and put yourself on a cleaning schedule so you can get it all done before anyone rings the doorbell.
Clean Every Room
Now that you’ve tidied up your home, take a look around. Do you still see messes wherever you go? With all the online shopping you did and the new level of laziness you might have taken on during the pandemic, it’s time to consider a deep clean. Remember that elliptical you bought last year and never used? Hire some professional movers to take it to a storage locker for you. In fact, look around your home and determine which boredom-shopping items you don’t need in your home and put them all in storage.
Cleaning every room of your house not only makes it easier for guests to move around, but they’ll feel like there are fewer germs in your home, and right now, everyone is afraid of germs. Vacuum your carpet and mop your floors, but be sure you wipe down countertops with disinfectant sprays or wipes. If dust has been accumulating since last year, it’s time to get rid of that, too.
If you don’t feel like cleaning every room, you can skip the bedrooms. However, there’s one room you should never skip: the bathroom. If you want your guests to feel like your home is clean, make sure they have a clean area to do their business. Nobody wants to feel like they might get sick because they used your hand towels. Disinfect the entire bathroom and make sure you refill your hand soap.
Nothing brightens up a home or distracts from clutter like fresh flowers. Even if you leave a little mess behind, you can use flowers to pull attention away from the clutter and to a beautiful centerpiece. Not only that, but they can make your house smell better if it’s somehow obtained a little pandemic funk. However if you have pets, make sure you check that your flowers are non-toxic so as not to ruin the party with a trip to the vet.
Now that your home is in the right condition for hosting guests, it’s time to prepare for the guests. If you’re planning to have people over for a meal, make sure you have enough paper plates, napkins, and cups. If you rearranged your home last year, then you’ll need to find all of these things again or just go out and purchase them.
Take stock of everything you’ll need depending on the number of guests coming and make yourself a shopping list. Then, shop as early as you can in case you forget something, you won’t feel rushed to run to the store right before the guests arrive.
Make It Intimate
While you can throw a huge bash and invite everyone you know, it’s best to keep your first gathering as intimate as possible so you can relax with your friends and family. Again, many people might not feel comfortable coming to large events, especially if they’re not close with the other guests. For this reason, try to invite only a small group of people so you can slowly get back into the swing of things.
You can do anything you want at your home, but make it personal by playing music, serving drinks, and simply hanging out with the people you love.
Have Hand Sanitizer
Many people still don’t feel comfortable hugging or shaking hands, but you can make everyone feel more comfortable about attending your gathering by putting hand sanitizer in the main areas where your guest will be, including the bathroom, living room, outdoor area, and kitchen. By giving everyone access to hand sanitizer, they’ll feel more likely to interact with other people.
If you normally have a buffet-style dinner party, consider skipping it this year. Instead, keep the serving table folded up in a closet so you’ll have more room for entertaining. People will be appreciative of single-serve meals that won’t risk being touched by anyone else. Skip any foods that require sharing, such as dips. You may also want to provide everyone with single-serve plastic cutlery so they can rest assured nobody else has touched their fork.
Make a Relaxing Environment
Having people in your home can be stressful, even if we didn’t experience the pandemic. However, instead of trying to make it the best gathering of the year, consider making it a more relaxed get-together. After all, you haven’t seen these people in over a year, so you’re going to have lots to discuss.
Remember, while you haven’t had guests in a while, people haven’t been guests in a while, so it’s going to be strange for everyone. Many people still won’t want to get too close to others, so allow for seating that’s a little bit more spaced out than you would have given pre-pandemic.