It’s the first day of summer and that means good weather for entertaining!
While I love spending time with family and friends over good food and drink, I used to find entertaining so stressful.
The to-do’s seemed never-ending: preparing the food, setting up decorations, making sure there were enough utensils and cups … all of it turned such a joyous event into one I dreaded.
What I found was that when I shopped ahead of time for all those items that can slip through the cracks—even when I didn’t yet have plans to entertain— suddenly the entire process became enjoyable!
So instead of creating a last-minute to-do list for a specific occasion that sends me running around town and my house in a frenzy, I slowly collect all these essentials throughout the year.
That way, when the opportunity to entertain comes around, I can revel in the broad strokes like cooking and decorating rather than worrying about how many napkins I need to buy.
So as we enter this warm and sunny season, I want to share with you my three essentials to have on hand for easy entertaining.
1. Paper Goods
Usually you can find matching sets of cups, plates, bowls, and napkins, which makes the decorating and set up so simple! I designated a drawer in my kitchen for these paper goods that I find while I’m out and about. I get all different colors and patterns so I can mix and match depending on the occasion. And instead of buying specific holiday themes, I buy colors that correlate to those holidays. For instance, I might buy red and white striped cups for Christmas, but they can also be saved for Fourth of July, or even Valentine’s Day.
2. Cloth Napkins
I love to keep a fresh stock of cloth napkins for a fancier touch to my entertaining. What’s great about shopping for them throughout the year is that you can wait for sales. I usually keep in mind a color scheme or theme I might need in the future and shop accordingly. And since you can, of course, reuse them, once you have specific theme or color, you’re set for that specific holiday or season!
3. Salt and Pepper Shakers
It may seem silly, but salt and pepper shakers are my favorite collectable items! Of all the seasonings, salt and pepper are what people want for a little extra flavor once the food is on the table. So themed shakers can create a festive centerpiece that’s also practical. This is the one decoration that I do search for specific holidays and themes. Since they’re so small, they’re easily stored in a drawer or box. And even when you aren’t entertaining, they can sit on the kitchen counter for a little extra flare.
These three essentials are sure to ease the stress of entertaining so you can spend more time simply enjoying your company and the occasion!
Do you have other tips for easy entertaining? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!