This post is sponsored by Walmart.
Fall is my favorite time for hosting groups of friends in our home. I’m still not a stress-free hostess by a long shot (just ask my family!) but I like to think that I’ve gotten a little better at it over the years. I sometimes have a tendency to overdo when it comes to food and getting the house ready but I’m slowly learning that less is more and that it matters most how your guests feel while they’re there. I hosted a friend’s baby shower over the weekend and a few hosting tips came to mind. Here are my 10 best ones. . .
- Set pre-party reminders on your phone. No matter how prepared I am, I’m always frantic the last hour before company arrives and my mental to-do list completely leaves me. I like to set reminders 60-, 30- and 15-minutes out for last minute jobs.
- Close some doors. I don’t even attempt to straighten the entire house anymore. It’s okay to have off-limit areas (like the entire upstairs!) and it can take a lot of pre-party stress off of you. It’s true that once the house is full, no one is inspecting your floor for dirty spots or your baseboards for scuff marks.
- Set up stations around the house. Set up appetizers in one place and a coffee bar or drink station in other spots. It doesn’t even have to all be in the kitchen. I recently bought this $99 round bar cart at Walmart. The trays are spacious, removable and sturdy! I also like a round cart for tucking away in a corner.
- Keep drinks simple. I like to stock our drink fridge with bottled water and sodas and then have a water dispenser with fresh fruit set up somewhere else. I love a coffee bar for Fall entertaining, but you don’t need to have 10 different options.
- Stock up on party supplies you can quickly pull out for last-minute get togethers. For larger groups, I like to use disposable coffee cups, fun cocktail napkins and plates.
- Store bought desserts are the way to go. For my party over the weekend, I grabbed all of the treats the night before at my local Walmart neighborhood market. They have adorable mini red velvet and pumpkin spice cupcakes this time of the year. I also did a big cookie tray, muffins, mini cinnamon rolls and donut holes that I put on skewers.
- White platters and serving pieces always make a pretty display. I’ve collected quite a few trays, platters and cake stands and they work with any theme, any party and any other color you want to add to your table or display. (I usually find a way to work some of my blue and white bowls in to the mix.) I love the simple style (and prices) of the Better Homes & Gardens line at Walmart.
- Use branches instead of flowers if you’re on a budget. Fresh flowers are amazing but can also get expensive. For my party, I asked a neighbor if I could cut some branches from her huge magnolia tree. I spread them out from room to room in different containers.
- Don’t forget the music. This is one of those last minute reminders I set for myself. Background music feels festive when your guests come in the door.
- Wear something cool and comfortable–even if it’s the dead of winter. This might sound kind of silly but there’s nothing worse than sweating the entire time and I’m always, always hot when I’m busy hosting.
Find more Fall hosting supplies online at Walmart. Just a reminder that you can get everything you need fast with their two-day, free shipping with any order over $35 or have it shipped to your local store for free and pick up there. Happy hosting!