My employer sponsors a symphony in the park concert every summer and my co-workers and I diligently go to support our organization…and to enjoy the summer weather while catching up/drinking wine to beautiful background music. We were all set to go tonight, picnic basket and all, but then, it rained. All day. No symphony tonight.
So, I invited everyone to my place!
Yay! Spontaneous party!
This isn’t my first experience with impromptu guests, so I have a little mental checklist I review when I have limited time to prepare my bungalow for hosting. I thought I would pass it along to inspire confidence for future short-notice events:
1. Set wine in refrigerator to chill (easiest task, but longest completion time).
2. Choose three focus rooms and close the doors to rest of the house (I usually target bathroom, living room, and kitchen, since that is where people tend to congregate. No one is going to be exploring your closets, basement, or spare room and if they are, why are they over anyway?)
3. Attack clutter by clearing off all surfaces, moving large items to closed-off room and small items into single bag to sort later.
4. Wipe down all bathroom and kitchen surfaces with Clorox wipes (I really hope they are not terrible for the environment because I love them so) and spot clean any sticky floor marks.
5. Close bathroom shower curtain, put hair products back in cabinets, clear any laundry off floor, and check mirror.
6. Inspect refrigerator and cupboard for anything edible to serve. I try to shoot for something once living (fruit salad, cut vegetables), something savory (hummus, mixed nuts, cheese), and something sweet (refrigerated cookie dough, yogurt pretzels, chocolate candy). I can usually rummage something up out of each category, even if I haven’t been to the store. I’ve learned that classy serving dishes can cover a multitude of food sins. We got these as wedding presents and have been very impressed, so far.
7. Pull wine glasses from cabinet and check for spots (am I the only one who gets spots on my glasses??)
8. Use hand held vacuum to spot sweet any noticeable dirt (so impressed with my little Dirt Devil!)
9. Do a final walk through, fluff the pillows, turn on some background music (Pandora’s “Laid Back Brunch” playlist is pretty sweet), check wine, and ta da! Ready for guests in half an hour!
Anything I missed? Other fast solutions? Let me know! Happy Gatherings!
P.S. We had a wonderful evening and no one checked my closets.