Minimum requirements for gracious hosting

All this talk about London’s preparation for all the Olympic guests has me thinking about my own guest preparation.

Having guests is fun, and maturity has taught me that “done is better than perfect” (good thing for me, Mitt Romney isn’t coming to dinner at my house tonight). If I were to wait until my house (and housekeeping) were perfect, I would delay extending invitations so long, the entertaining would never happen.

That said, a minimum level of housekeeping is necessary to make me and my guests comfortable. Here’s the short list:

  1. Sheets washed. If the guests are staying overnight, the sheets on the guest bed must be clean and the bed made.
  2. Toilets scrubbed, preferably the day of the visit. A toilet that was cleaned last week does not meet minimum standards (at least not in this house!). Replace hand towel with clean one and empty garbage. Bonus: Bathroom sink wiped clean of stray hairs and water spots.
  3. Couch pillows fluffed and afghans folded.
  4. Dog toys picked up.
  5. Kitchen decluttered, counters wiped and dishwasher mostly empty (making it easy to fill once the meal with guests is complete).
  6. Whether you’re serving a meal or not, at least one type of drink — coffee, water with ice, beer — must be at the ready. Preferably all three.

If you’ve dusted in the past three weeks, dusting is bonus. Sweeping, mopping and/or vacuuming the floors is a nice standard to have, but it’s not on my list of minimum hosting standards. Other nice-to-haves: Laundry room emptied of all clean clothes (and dirty ones in the hamper); kitchen desk cleaned off; refrigerator clean; stairways vacuumed; appliances wiped clean of all fingerprints. The beautiful thing about master bedrooms and basements is that they have doors, which can be closed.

Thank goodness I don’t have to worry about mass transportation or security guards.

Let the hosting begin!


2 responses to “Minimum requirements for gracious hosting

  1. Sounds like any guest would be comfortable at your house!

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