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?