Secrets of Hosts Who Are Always Ready for Guests

published May 10, 2016
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(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Nothing can instill fear in someone’s eyes like the agreement, over group text, that their apartment would become the meeting place before dinner tonight. Is the bathroom clean? Do I need to pick up some food? If you would rather the thought of unexpected guests to be a thing of joy rather than dread, you need to learn and live by the secrets of people who are always ready to host.

They clean during every week.

Not weekend. If you clean every Sunday afternoon, that means that Friday and Saturday–the two busiest nights for drop-in guests–are when your place is at its messiest. Switch to a Thursday night clean routine and enjoy a spotless space all weekend.

They have a (cleverly) stocked bar.

One of the great things about booze is that it has a long shelf life. You don’t need to stock every spirit under the sun, but pick a palatable beer, a favorite wine and a signature cocktail and make sure you always have what it takes to whip up (or pop open) a drink for anyone who stops by.

They have a go-to snack idea.

Feeding guests doesn’t have to involve slaving away in the kitchen. A professional host knows that you can put together something to nosh with a 10-minute trip to the grocer (that is, if you don’t already have it on hand). The editors of The Kitchn put together a list of their favorite foods to have on-hand for drop-in guests, including veggies and dip, popcorn and a log of cookie dough.