It seems like winter break is approaching way too fast. If you
are forced get to travel, then you don’t have to worry about a house full. You only need to worry about driving or flying with your screaming adorable kids :). But if your the one who is hosting, it’s a whole other story. I’m going to share some of my greatest kept secrets on how to “appear” to be a gracious, relaxed and organized hostess while you have a house full of family and friends.
Read on for my best secrets on having a full house!
Two, or three? years ago, we bought a new house. It was wonderful! This house is beautiful, nothing super fancy, but definitely an upgrade. This great home is situated on half an acre of fenced land and contains 5 full bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, a den on the lower and a laundry room the size of our master. This is all great and fine, EXCEPT, that means we have the most room. So when winter break gets here and everyone has some time off together we have ended up hosting here lately, which I really don’t mind. Two years ago, I hosted 23 people for dinner and 19 of them stayed overnight! It was CRAZY! But, I also got tons of compliments on everything from how clean things were to how amazing the food was. My number one secret?
Invite your sister and mom and have them do most of it oops did I say that out loud?! Kidding….sort of.
- Prepare everything you can AHEAD of time in disposable containers. FYI cooked potatoes freeze amazingly, raw potatoes, nope not so much haha. People are going to start arriving here on the 22/23, I’m starting to make pies,
scalloped potatoes and stuffing NOW!
- Catch up on that laundry girl! Especially me, because my laundry room happens to turn into a beautiful spare room. Having your laundry caught up is a MUST. Pro C&B tip: stop folding it! Seriously, I just put it in piles according to person, the kid’s laundry gets unfolded the minute they take something out of their drawer anyway. I only fold towels and sheets. LIES, Dirty Gentleman folds the towels most of the time haha.
- Use a crockpot AND your oven! That year I had
that stupid amount of people here,all those lovely guest over I had a glazed ham going in the crockpot, and an enormous turkey in the oven.
- Bake your pies in the morning or the night before! If you are doing all the cooking/baking, get your pies baked in the morning before the turkey, then once the turkey is out you can just re-heat your pies.
- If you can, delegate to that man of yours. Dirty Gentleman is great about helping me out when we’re having people over. He knows I like everything to look great and go smoothly, and he’s learned over the years, it’s easier to just help rather than try and get me to do less.
- Have your closest family bring some baking. My sister bakes a ridic amount before she comes here for winter break. She seriously is starting this Saturday! Heyyy thanks! This takes a huge load off of you. Ask your mom, mil or sister/sister-in-law if they can bring their favourite baking.
- Get beds and rooms ready TWO days before the company arrives. This takes a huge amount of stress off of you the day before and the day people arrive. I’m always most stressed out the day before and the morning my guests are arriving.
- Hide some wine in your room! Bahaha ok, this is obviously optional, but I’m just saying, if you’re a type A like me, having some wine in your room makes it easier to look calm on the surface! Hahaha. No judging!
- While your company is staying, get up earlier than everyone else if you can and stay up later. This is when I do my tidying. Ya, that’s right, I get up early to clean, it sucks, but it helps. I clear off counters, put away things kids took out, empty the dishwasher, sweep and do a quick tidy of bathrooms. Then my wonderful man makes me coffee.
- Make sure everyone is going to fit COMFORTABLY. It is really hard if you don’t have the room and you invite them anyway.
- Rearrange the furniture beforehand. Ok, that sounds really silly when I say it out loud, but I always analyze my furniture layout upstairs especially, where people are hanging out, and make sure it’s conducive to lots of people.
- Plan your menus ahead of time. I try to always have all dinners, lunches and breakfasts planned ahead. I also make sure there are snacks for the kids, although they usually just eat the baking.
Well, those are the main things. This year as far as I know right now, we’ll have 5 dogs, 7 kids and 7 adults. I hope this helps you out with hosting, but if nothing else, you’ll have the wine stashed in your bedroom! What tips did I miss? What do you do to help with hosting company?