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How To Make Spontaneous Entertaining Less Stressful


What do you do when you and your friends want to get together, but no one wants to host?  You could go to a restaurant – but they aren’t ideal for kids, and they’re always so noisy.

Invite everyone over to your place!  It doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal – after all, it’s just a casual visit we’re talking about here.  No one will expect a 5 course gourmet meal when you’ve just offered to host last minute.

How To Make Spontaneous Entertaining Less Stressful


It does help to have a game plan for when opportunities like this do pop up though.  Here are a few things to think about now, so that when your friends descend on your house, you’ll be ready!


Have a few go-to menus in mind, and keep the ingredients stocked in your pantry.


Around here, we love serving comfort food like spaghetti (noodles and store-bought sauce, with cooked ground beef thrown in) and bread, meatballs ( throw a box of frozen meatballs and BBQ sauce in the crockpot and cook for a few hours) and rolls, or chili and hot dogs.  I pick up a packaged salad or ask our guests to pick up one on their way over.  If you’re really ambitious, grab some bakery cookies for dessert.


Create a Plan Of Action.


Plan in advance how you will seat people and where everyone will eat if there’s more than will fit around your table.  We’ve got an eat-in kitchen and a living room to work with, which means there is pretty much always too many people for our table.  So, we set up the food buffet-style on the kitchen counters.  The kids take their filled plates to the table and eat there, and the adults eat in the living room wherever they can find a spot.  It works beautifully!


Always have a stockpile of disposable plates, cutlery, cups and napkins.


The last thing you want to worry about is whether you have enough clean forks for a crowd.  So make sure you’ve got lots of plastic cutlery and plates on hand.  This saves the annoyance of having to wash them at the end of the night too.


Help your guests clean up after themselves.


Place your garbage cans in strategic locations, so that kids and adults alike can toss their plates and cups when they’re finished.  Less mess for you!  I use our usual small-ish kitchen trash can, but I also pull out a pop-up leaf bag, lined with a large garbage bag.  It makes the perfect large trash can, which means there’s no spillover to deal with later on 😉


Spontaneous get-togethers can be so much fun when you’ve planned for the unexpected!

Do you host friends and family often?  What do you do to make it less stressful for yourself?


Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!


  1. Sophie O'Reilly

    I always have disposable plates and cutlery around just incase, makes it a lot easier and quicker to clean up!

  2. Rachel

    These are all great tips for making sure it is less stressful. I like the idea of having a few go to meals in mind and always having the items on hand.
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  3. Erica Brooks

    Awesome tips. I keep extra food and party disposables in my pantry all the time which comes in handy when company drops by unexpected.
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  4. Terry

    I always seem to have a lot of quick to fix foods for when guests come over. The problem is, most of them don’t eat like I do.
    Go check out Terry’s latest post! Probiology Skin Therapy Probiotic From Belle + Bella Cleared Up The Rash On My ArmsMy Profile

  5. Heather

    The pop up leaf bag is a great idea. We’ve hosted a few get togethers and yes there is usually some stress with it, but always fun. I’m getting better at them though. The cleaning before a party is the hardest part.
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  6. Nancy @ Whispered Inspirations

    Nobody wants stressful entertaining. These are great tips! Thanks!

  7. Jaime Nicole

    This can definitely be stressful and it ruins your fun time with friends and family! I love the idea of keeping a stash of paper products on hand!
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  8. Shell

    Having disposable plates, cups, silverware, etc. is a definite must. So many times, after rushing around to get ready for guests, it’s been so easy just to toss it all and rest!
    Go check out Shell’s latest post! Holiday Gift Ideas for Toddlers: Playskool Play All Day ElmoMy Profile

  9. Miles L.

    These are great tips! Sometimes, when we have visitors, I can’t help but get stressed when I did not prepare enough food. I sure can use some of these tips.

  10. Jeanine

    Wonderful tips. This happens often with my husbands aunt and I’m always sitting there wondering what to do. This will be super helpful.
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  11. ricci

    These are great tips!! I usually have a few go-to apps ready to go in my house at all times…LOL!!
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  12. Stephanie of The TipToe Fairy

    I need the stockpile of disposable plates and cups. I always forget those. These are such great tips!
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  13. Marielle Altenor

    I suck at entertaining, let alone the spontaneous kind heheh We rarely ever have unannounced guest for that reason. But these tips are great and I will be sure to keep them in mind!
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  14. Patricia Woolverton

    Love your tips. I also agree with the disposable plates, utensils and cups. Heck, I even use them with my kids at home without guests over. I like not having to do dishes 5 times a day!

  15. Jennifer Ashley

    Such great tips! Especially the suggestion of always having the ingredients for a quick meal on hand!
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  16. lexie

    love these tips! I could always use them for sure!

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