Helpful Tips for Entertaining Guests

If you are the lucky one hosting Thanksgiving Dinner this week, here are some helpful hints for preparing for your guests. You can find these tips and more in my free Savvy Holiday Entertaining book!


Make sure the outside of your door is clutter and dirt free. Check the interior entry area and repeat the decluttering process. Have a candle and some flowers in your entry to create a welcoming atmosphere and scent as guests enter your home. Put down a mat both inside and outside the front door to help keep floors clean.


The kitchen truly is the heart of the home and where most people gather to chat. Clean the floors, clear off the counters and then wipe down. Give the fridge a quick wipe-down inside and out and polish the sink. Set out some decorations and have something for early arrivers to do while they wait for the party to get started.  Involved guests are more likely to mingle, which adds to the fun. You could have them roll silverware in napkins, chop up salad ingredients, arrange serving platters – anything they are comfortable doing.


Of all the rooms to clean fanatically, this is the one. Scrub everything, take out the garbage make sure faucets and mirrors are shiny. Add some flowers and a lit candle in this area. If the bathroom is clean and sparkling, it is likely no one will notice anything amiss in the rest of the house. Make absolutely sure there are extra hand towels, plenty of soap and toilet paper available. Although you hate to think of it, also have a plunger tucked away for a guest to find if necessary.

Gathering Room

In whatever room you are planning to set your buffet or eat the meal, spend a bit of time dusting, polishing, cleaning floors and creating a warm atmosphere with lighting, candles and music. It doesn’t have to be perfect and remember candlelight or dimmed lights hide a multitude of dust bunnies and smudges!

Coat Closet

If you have a coat closet, clean it out completely before the party. Make sure it is stocked with plenty of sturdy hangers. Enlist an older child or neighborhood teen to serve as a coat checker. Make sure they understand their duties before the guests arrive.

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