One of our favorite things to do over the holidays is get together with friends, family, and co-workers for a little festive cheer, and while a small, intimate gathering is nice, sometimes you just want to get dressed up and attend a nice dinner party full of good food and fun conversation.
Of course, if you’re the one throwing this seasonal shindig, there’s a lot of work to be done that can leave you feeling a little stressed, and that’s the last thing you need to be around the holidays.
Where do you start? What do you clean? What if someone notices a spot on one of their glasses. Oh the horror!
Calm down. We got you covered. Here are some great tips on what to clean and prepare for if you’re throwing a holiday dinner party!
1. TABLE LINENS
If you’re like us, you love a festive table, and chances are you already have tablecloths, napkins, and table runners all packed away that you reserve for the right time of year. Well, that time of year is now, so the first step is to inspect them to make sure no mice or moths got to them while they’ve been packed away. Once you’re sure they’re good to go, wash and iron everything before setting up your table.
Now that you’ve got the linens taken care of, it’s time to move on to what goes on top of them, and the first place to start is with your silverware. You might have the good stuff packed away, so once you’ve got it out of its hiding spot, take care to polish it up real nice so it sparkles and shines for your dinner guests. For a quick way to polish your silverware with some simple household items, have a look at how it’s done below.
You don’t have to wait until the last minute to take care of this task. The bulk of today’s china and crystal is dishwasher safe, so in order to save some time before your party gets started, pop your plates and glasses in the dishwasher to make sure they’re ready for the big day.
If you’ve got some heirloom china and crystal pieces that you’re unsure of, it’s best to clean those ones by hand. Avoid using citrus scented or bleach-infused cleaners, since the acid will harm the finish. Just use some warm water, a mild, unscented detergent, and a wash cloth. No scrubbers! When you’re done, either let them air dry, or use a microfiber cloth to dry them by hand.
4. FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS
If you’re throwing a fancy dinner party, then you’ve got to have flowers, right? Be it a beautiful centerpiece, or some vases scattered around the living and dining rooms, flowers do a lot to spruce up the place when company arrives. You can either purchases a decorative centerpiece, or do-it-yourself in a variety of ways that range from the simple, to the extravagant. Either way, your guests will ooh and ahh over how gorgeous everything looks.
5. MAKE ROOM FOR COATS
Most of us have a closet right when we walk in the front door, and most of us have it filled with seasonal items we wear. Go through this before your guests arrive, and clear out any items you’re not using, or won’t be using in the immediate future. This will give you plenty of room to store the coats and boots of your company, rather than throwing them all on a bed somewhere.
If you have a fireplace, now is the time to clean it. The hearth, the screen, the door, the tools, old ash…everything. When you’ve got that all out of the way, get your fire started before your guests arrive in order to set the mood, and keep a small supply of wood on hand to keep it warm long through the night.
While the way you have your home set up now might be ideal for you and your family, it might not be ideal for a houseful of guests. You’re going to want to take a good look at your floor plan and make sure everyone has enough room to move around and mingle in comfort. This is probably going to require you to shift some furniture around, so don’t be afraid to push that couch up against the wall, or move the ottoman to a place where it’s not in everyone’s way.
All done! Aside from the menu you still have to plan, you’ve got the basics down, and are ready to throw a successful dinner party this holiday season. If you’d like to go a little more in depth with your cleaning, feel free to check out our guide to getting your complete home ready for guests this year.