House and Home

Entertain at Home Without Excuses


Fall is on the way, and with it, the urge to hunker down, gather with friends and celebrate all the wonderful things that this life has to offer.

If you're anything like me, you don't host gatherings at your place nearly as much as you would like to. The laundry list of excuses is a mile long: maybe your place isn't "done" yet, or it's never as clean as you would like, or you don't have the "right" servingware. Enough. This is gonna be the year you finally create an excuse-free zone so you can have your friends over to thank them for their awesomeness. Here's our excuse-busting list:

Come up with a cleaning schedule. Ensure your home is at least modestly presentable for impromptu gatherings. Check out Apartment Therapy's advice on how to clean your house in 20 minutes a day for 30 days and helpful tips on making a cleaning schedule.

Start a list of servingware that you always wanted and genuinely need. Keep your eyes peeled at yard sales, vintage stores and sales. Also come to terms with the fact that you don't really need all that much to entertain friends. In fact, you really only need a basic list of essentials.

Start keeping certain items on hand to throw together for guests. It would be lovely to have a small set of items ready to throw together into easy snacks and drinks so you don't have to think too hard about planning for a get-together. Print out the recipes for these last minute appetizers for unexpected guests and keep the supplies for a few of them on hand.

Tackle a few remaining DIY projects you've been meaning to get to. Find your own with these 10 best sites for DIY projects. Get organized (while you're at it) with these no-fail ways to finally get yourself organized. And make sure you don't get too discouraged because sometimes, everyone is bound to have a project that doesn't go quite the way they imagined.

Make a list of fun-sounding recipes that you would love to make for people, so a dinner party sounds more like an adventure than any sort of work that needs logistical planning. Shift perspective so there's no fear of messing up — but a sense of humor if the recipe goes sour (and of course, a back-up plan if it's plain inedible!). Find lots of ideas with these 5 great tips for dinner party newbies.

Come to terms with the fact that your home won't ever be "done," but that your friends won't mind one flip. They just wanna see you. And your home won't ever look as imperfect in their eyes as it does in yours. So don't wait for perfection before inviting guests over.