Storage Tips I swear to collect without stress

Editor’s Note: Hosting everyone in your home doesn’t have to be overwhelming. We’re sharing this post, first published in September 2019, to reinvigorate the host in all of us (don’t stress!).

Oh, the parties that I threw. Perfect menus, great layouts, perfect lighting and great playlists. Sadly, most of this just happened in my head. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE hosting. I like to bring people together and take responsibility for their care and feeding for a short period of time. But my inner perfectionist Pinterest got lost in the plan, overwhelmed by all the little details I wanted to pull out. More often than not, I end up shedding ideas altogether.

I finally found a storage recipe that works for me. It leads to a perfect evening with little stress, minimal prep work and always, always great conversations and connections.

Last winter, it rained endlessly and didn’t want to go outside, so I finally found a storage recipe that worked for me. It leads to a perfect evening with little stress, minimal prep work and always, always great conversations and connections.

My best hosting tips for making this happen often are as follows.

Intimate and interesting company

Bringing together small groups of friends who don’t know each other will help keep the conversation light, flowing, and engaging. It’s fun getting to know strangers, being connected by friends, and a close-knit group feels right to explore and make new connections.

Simple food, artfully arranged

I am part of a number of tables arranged scattered throughout the space to encourage socializing, moving and snacking wherever small groups congregate. The combination of store-bought and homemade helps keep preparation to a minimum and offers plenty of variety for snacks. To decorate dishes (and to build layers plus extra height), I pull out all my plates, bowls and vases. I always plan for a more hearty snack that will show up around midnight, after everyone has had a few drinks.

Get everyone involved

Is your friend a closet bartender, quietly concocting her own concoctions at home? Ask her to bring her latest obsession with enough to share. The guy with the best playlist on Spotify? Sign him up to bring the tunes. Not a baker? Ask a friend to bring dessert. Sharing the workload relieves your stress as a host, and everyone loves to show off their skills when the opportunity arises!

Since I’ve applied these tips and taken some of the pressure off of being the perfect host, I find myself more excited about planning each event. Gathering my group and enjoying good drinks, food, company and conversation is now what I look forward to with amusement instead of fear, all thanks to small changes in mindset.

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