I’m sure you’ve all taken some type of personality test to find out your personality type at some point in your life. And you mostly likely know if you’re an introvert or an extrovert on the personality scale. I am one of those personality types who gets energy from being around other people. In fact, my energy level is low when I’ve been alone too long and I know that I need to get out and be social so that I can re-charge. My husband on the other hand gets his re-charging by spending time alone. When we are at social functions, he often times comes home emotionally drained. He’s not necessarily shy, nor does he really have social anxiety, he just doesn’t receive the “lift” from being around and conversing with others that I do. Because we have family and friends who have both kinds of personality styles, when I am planning to host something at my home, I try to organize myself and my plan well before the last minute. If I am rushing around trying to do everything too close to the event, I stress myself out and then I inadvertently stress out my guests as well. If the thought of hosting friends and family at your home seems daunting, fear no more. I have some great tips for how to create a laid back and inviting home for everyone, and especially for YOURSELF.

Make A Plan… What is the occasion? How many guests will you be inviting? Where will the primary sitting/standing area be? Once that’s determined, go ahead and send out the evites/emails/phone calls. Will you have a menu based on any type of theme or is it more of a cocktail party? What type of guests are coming? Are they family, friends or maybe co-workers? Write it all out so you have a clear picture of what you want to do. Do this a week in advance if you can.

Keep It Simple… If you are serving food, make it easier by doing an appetizer party, a potluck or use as many prepackaged foods as possible. Same thing for the drinks. If no alcohol will be served, be sure to have plenty of bottled water on hand. You could also make some fresh iced tea or lemonade ahead of time. If your serving alcohol, don’t try to make drinks that aren’t pre-made. Buy some pre-made margarita mix and put it in a pretty pitcher. Put out a bottle of gin or vodka and tonic water. Then cut up some limes and your good to go on that. You could also have white and red wines on hand as well. Don’t worry about the decorations. No one is there for the decorations. A simple vase with fresh flowers scattered throughout the house will suffice. Add in some lightly scented candles sprinkled throughout and your good to go.

Create a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere… Pick a playlist so some music is playing in the background. If you don’t have your own playlist, you can find good options on apps such as Pandora. Cleaning you home. Don’t put so much stress on yourself. Most of the time when you are hosting something at your home, your guests are only in several rooms of your home. They are usually your kitchen, dining room and or kitchen and bathroom. So, all you really need to worry about is those areas and even then, they aren’t going to notice the small things. I used to stress myself out when cleaning my home for a party. Over the many years of hosting at my home, I have found that no one is going to notice the little things. (I used to clean each and every surface of my home and then one day when I was telling a guest about how long it took me to clean my ceiling fan and blades and all of the light fixtures, she told me that she doesn’t come to my house to look at my fan and lights.) I realized she was right! No one is going to care about that, nor are they even going to notice! I try to think about everything my guest might need to know and I make sure it’s easy for them. Make sure your trash can is easy to find. Make sure they know where the food and drinks are and that they don’t need to wait to eat (if it’s not a sit down dinner). Make sure there is plenty of soap and toilet paper in your bathroom.

Accept or Ask for Help… This is probably one of my most important tips for having a successful and stress free party. In the past, I never wanted to ask or accept help from others but I have seen the light and I’m here to tell you to LET OTHERS HELP YOU. It will make an incredible difference in your stress level. I promise!

RELAX AND HAVE FUN… Last but not least…. Just enjoy yourself and have fun. If you’re having fun, your guests will too. Just remember, no one is judging. And if they are… well they probably shouldn’t come back and your better for it! #entertaining#specialoccasion