Thursday, November 21, 2013

Prepping your Place for Company | 1 Week timeline for hosts

Hosting is my favorite! I love using every dish & spoon & towel & the need for pot after pot of coffee brewing.  I love every seat filled & more being pulled from around the house, mattresses scattered & every blanket needed.
The truth is, I relish the prep as much as the time spent.
One thing I learned years ago from reading Ina Garten's book, if you are relaxed and comfortable, your guests will be too. Make every effort to make your guests feel that you've been to no trouble for them.
If you are anxious & afraid your real life will show through & blow your online persona, your guests will feel guilty & less likely to put their feet up & linger.
Can't relax if everything's not clean & needs aren't met? Prepare.
As a rule, I make EVERY effort not to HAVE to do anything more than the unavoidable on the day of arrival. I clean, wipe, chop, slice, cook, shred, stock everything days before so that I can enjoy our guests.
Here's a bit of a breakdown starting with 1 week before.

10 days to 1 Week before: 
Inventory Day
*As you go through today's task, make a list of all needed items
Take stock of house essentials: toilet paper, paper towels, tissue, garbage bags, dish soap, storage wrap/bags
Take stock of toiletries: hand soap, body soap, shampoo, toothpaste, extra (new) toothbrush

Allocate & Clean towels for guest bath
Designate & Clean linens,
Allocate pillows & blankets

Prepare Guest Rooms:
Check air mattresses, if necessary.
Check lamp, add nightlight (to room, hallway, or bathroom, as needed-$1 store has these)

Make a meal plan & grocery list. Choose wisely, considering what can be made-ahead.

Day 6:
Cleaning Day
Dust, vacuum, & wipe all surfaces & wash windows & floors
Check lights at night outdoors, add bulbs to shopping list, if needed
pretty products with seasonal smells help!

Day 5: 
Shopping Day
Shop for needed household items.
Grocery shop. 

Day 4: 
Tidy front walkway & stoop
Finish any other cleaning that wasn't done on Day 6
Prepare Guest Room:
Clear space on dresser & night stand
Add hangers to closet & clear space
Make the bed if it is unused-if not, set aside cleaned linens & make day before/of arrival
Day 3: 
Food Prep Day
Chop, slice, cook anything that can be done ahead & store

Day 2: 
Sweep & vacuum again, if needed
Make Beds in guest room
Prep Guest Bath: 
Wipe sink & toilet
Empty all bath trash cans
Set out clean towels & wash cloths
Clear hooks & make space for their bag in a drawer or counter

Day of Arrival: 
Go for a morning jog, get a manicure, take a hot shower & blowout your hair

Make beds, if not already done.

Hours before arrival: 
wipe kitchen counters & sink
straighten a bit. just a bit.  
you live there, they know it. 
repeat after me: a pretentious host isn't a warm host.

Turn on outdoor lights if it's dark (4pm around here),
light a candle (I'm loving this one), smoosh your faces on the windows waiting for their arrival!
You're ready!!
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