The Dreaded Drop-by
By Nonnahs Driskill
The other day one of my organizing nightmares came true. My phone gave a little beep. I thought it was probably no big deal–most likely someone telling me about their cat or how I inspired them to organize their linen closet. So, I went over to check my phone and saw this message, “Can we stop by to drop off your cooler we borrowed? We are in your neighborhood.” I freaked. WHAAAAT?! Stop by NOW? I’m still wearing what I slept in! Now, some of you out there may have just put the cooler by the curb and left it at that. But, come on! I’m pretty sure you lose hospitality points for that sort of behavior. After all, you lent these people a cooler. They are your friends. So why not have them in for a little visit?
An unplanned visit can be a great way to take an unexpected break from chores or work to enjoy some actual interaction with friends. Still, no one want to feel frazzled and unprepared. So fasten your seatbelt for these easy ways to get organized for unexpected guests. Follow these tips and you’ll still have time to brush your hair before they get to the driveway. Before they arrive, have a game plan:
- Pull something incredible out of the freezer
- Spend a few minutes sprucing yourself up
- Perform a one-minute tidy blitz in the guest bathroom (hello, disinfecting wipes)
- Get back in the kitchen and work on some quick refreshments
What can I get you to drink?
Always keep some beer and wine in your fridge. (If you are over thirty, this tip is probably as obvious as telling a dog to shake when he gets out of the water.) Keep some homemade sweet and sour in the freezer in one-cup portions. If you don’t want to squeeze your own citrus, buy frozen lime-aide or lemonade and make it double strength. (Okay, that tip alone is worth the price of admission. You are welcome.) With your sweet and sour mix you can easily make a whiskey sour or a margarita or a lemon drop or a Tom Collins. So many cocktails. Who’s thirsty?
Pickles and cookie dough
Yes cheese and crackers are great–if you have them. But frozen homemade cookie dough doesn’t get moldy and you can have fresh cookies in about 15 minutes. Pickles are so European! You can find some great pickled foods here and here. Or make some yourself if you are feeling especially domesticated.
photo credit Happy Girl Kitchen Co.
Another yummy, quick treat is seasoned nuts. Keep them in the freezer, too. Make the freezer your new favorite.
Looks like it’s time for dinner
These snacks are fine and good for a quick visit. But of course, people may drop by at a meal-time. So, you’ll want to have some homemade sauce in the freezer to throw on some chicken or noodles. It’s a good idea to have something substantial (like a curry or lasagna) in the freezer.
Presentation is everything
Even if you don’t have these food staples and the only bottle in your bar is triple sec, use these few items for serving to make your guests feel welcomed and even expected.
- Fancy ice cubes. Look at all of these great options here Pop a couple of these into a glass and all of a sudden a cool breeze blows in from the east. For a second you’ll feel like you are in a lifestyle magazine.
- Beautiful small platters and bowls. Because even a Ritz cracker is fancy on a platter.
- Cloth napkins with character. Find vintage napkins at the flea market or estate sales. Or find some fun ones on etsy like these flying pig napkins.
photo credit ohlittlerabbit on Etsy
Clutter vs mascara
Don’t worry about the house being messy. You are human. Don’t worry about the dishes in the sink. Spend some time to make sure you look presentable. You can always tidy up a little, or stir a pot while people are with you. It’s a little more awkward to go put on your lip gloss. Not to mention to change into a fresh outfit. Now you are organized and ready! Deep breath. And…cue doorbell.