Getting ready for company can stress even those used to entertaining and while we often think of making drastic changes to furniture or home decor, it's really the small things that matter most. So before you go out and renovate the kitchen or give the living room furniture make-over, stop and consider the condition of those essentials guests need to make their stay enjoyable. The condition of these items or a lack of them, will leave a lasting impression.
1. Bed Pillows
A good pillow can mean the difference between a restful night or fitful sleep and if you want your guests to have a memorable and enjoyable stay, make sure your guest bed pillows are in good condition and also smell fresh. Avoid spraying to cover up odors, rather wash them if you can. Most pillows are washable but some tend to lose their ideal shape and are better replaced.
If you haven't bought new towels in a while it may be time, especially if you're expecting visitors. Towels can become haggard or pill-laden over time as well as stained. It's nice to have a set of towels that you take out when company is coming and you should have one bath towel, hand towel and face cloth for each guest staying overnight.
Guests can't help but notice when the shower curtain is soiled or in disrepair and this is a quick fix. Some curtains and liners are washable but depending on the shape, may not hold up to a washer spin. Shower curtain liners can get very grungy, especially near the bottom and when laundering is not an option, you can find economical liners in a similar or neutral color, to freshen up your shower enclosure.
Do you have enough blankets for every bed in the home, including any make-shift beds you intend to make while guests are visiting? Also keep in mind that your home's linen should include those for emergencies - your family's disaster kit should contain one blanket for each member of the family.
You may have enough glasses to set the table, but you'll also need some to serve drinks before and after dinner. Include glassware suitable for children as well as appropriate stemware for what you will be serving. Not suitable for all events, but plastic or disposable drinkware may be an option if your dinner guests are many or this style of glasses more readily fits your budget.
It's amazing how many flatware pieces you use in a day, let alone for meals. You should have enough flatware to set the table or to service each of your guests if hosting a buffet style meal, plus a few extras. Confused about flatware specs? My Stainless Steel Flatware tips will help you understand what these specs mean.
Plastic cutlery is also an option if you are expecting a larger dinner group. Though not the best for hot meals or those that must be cut, they are quite acceptable for salads, buffet meals and desserts. They're cost efficient and save cleaning time.
Counting plates is something we usually leave until too late and that's why it's a good idea to always have a few disposable plates on hand. If your dinner party is going to be small, this may be the right time to upgrade your dinnerware if needed to set a nice table.
For larger groups, disposable plates are a good choice but make sure they are sturdy enough for the foods you will be serving. To avoid the risk of spills, this is one item you don't want to scrimp on.
9. Other Things You May Need and Tips for a Successful Event
Being prepared takes the hassle out of hosting parties and dinners and my tips will help you know what to get ready. While some of these items are essentials, some are simply fun and memorable. And then there are those that make serving much easier.
- Holiday Readiness Plan
- How to Host a Stress-Free Dinner
- Best Buffet Servingware
- Best Party Appliances
- Housewares for Large Serving