Saturday, January 20, 2018

Entertaining Without All Those “Messy Leftovers”

December 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog

Christmas lights, John Silva, The Fix-It ProfessionalsAh, the season is upon us!  “Tis the season for entertaining friends, family and loved ones. “Tis also the season for post celebration clean up. Of course this “clean up, entertain, and then clean up after entertaining” ritual can become tiresome, leaving some of us to consider a “guest only” status this time of year.
It doesn’t have to be that way. With a little planning ahead and a few simple shifts in thinking, holiday entertaining can be more fun and rewarding than going out! And you don’t have to drive home after you’ve had fun with your friends because – you’re already there!!  Here are some tips for making holiday entertaining – and clean up – simple!
Tip No. 1: Perfection has no place at your party.
Most people, unless they have a hoarding disorder, are not messy because they’re lazy. Most of us get messy because we are being a perfectionist and it’s this perfectionism that prevents us from starting anything at all.  It all comes from that voice in our heads that says “If you can’t do anything right, then don’t do it at all.”
That voice is not invited to your party!  Be OK with good enough and you’ll be more relaxed and have more fun…your guests will too!
Tip No. 2:  If your party day is a rainy day –  Rain Boots, John Silva, The Fix-It Professionals
Set up a drippy station for umbrellas, either just outside or inside your entry. It doesn’t’ have to be fancy. It can be a bucket or a plastic bin. What you don’t want to do is leave them open outdoors to dry. One gust of wind and your neighborhood will look like dozens of Mary Poppinses have come to save the day!
Wet overcoats and hats have no place in your guest closet or on the guest bed either. Grab some of your nicest hangers and assemble them in the bathroom. Remember perfectionism isn’t invited!  No one is going to care if their coat is hanging in your perfectly decorated bathroom!
Tip No. 3 Plan your menu.
Your guests have come to visit with you, not watch you prepare food.  Plan your menu around things you can do in advance. Besides decorating and setting your table the day before your party, also consider:
      Enlisting your crock pot to hold hot hors d’vors or soup
      Using a candy stand to hold assorted cheese and fruits (prepared the day before)
      Prepare all casseroles up to the “bake stage” and bake them off the day of the event
      Consider serving guests buffet style
Tip No. 4: Plan Your Garbage Stations
Gifts, John Silva, The Fix-It ProfessionalsIf this is a gifting occasion, a little planning goes a long way. Consider tucking bags under seats or next to walls so when the wrapping paper snow begins to fall, you can easily whip out a place to stash it all.
In the kitchen, place extra garbage bags underneath the bag you plan to use. That way, when the current bag is full, you’re not digging around for the next bag.  This also makes it easy for anyone to take out the trash for you and set the next bag in service. Which leads to:
Tip No. 5: In The Kitchen
Be OK with asking for help.  Remember your guests are there to visit with you, so if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, ask for help!  Most of the time, your guests are happy to pitch in.
That said, don’t be in the kitchen cleaning up the moment the first dish hits the sink. There are two schools of thought about dish duty. One is to fill the sink with soapy water so that you can immediately place dishes to presoak before going in the dishwasher (or being washed by hand if need be). The upside is that this makes the post dinner cleaning easier, but the downside is that when you have many guests, if you don’t stay on top of it, you end up with a sink full of icky grey water.
The other school of thought is to just pile the dishes in the sink while guests are present and deal with the mess later.  OR consider using disposables, just this once.
 Faucet, John Silva, The Fix-It Professionals
Whichever way you choose, there is one important “rule” to consider:  Don’t run the garbage disposal while your guests are enjoying dessert or after dinner drinks. Think of your garbage disposal as a “guest guilt on-off switch.” Again, they’re there to see you. The sound of the garbage disposal is a loud announcement that “someone” is cleaning up while they’re having fun.  This is that one time of the year when it’s OK to scrape the plates into the trash. You have our “Official Permission” – just this once.

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