The holidays are coming! If you’re a new home owner in charge of hosting family and friends this year, you might be feeling a mixture of excitement and panic.

Inviting guests into your home for holidays, birthdays, and any and all other celebrations and special occasions can be fun and rewarding, but it can also be anxiety-inducing, especially if you’re feeling like you’re not quite prepared for their impending arrival.

Having numerous guests for an overnight, or even just for a meal, can be overwhelming. Here are 25 tips that can help you host guests like a pro, even if it’s your first big gathering in your new home.

15 Tips to Make Hosting Friends and Family Less Stressful

Being the host or hostess of a large gathering can be overwhelming. Keep these tips in mind to minimize your stress so you can enjoy your company!

Keep Things Simple

From decorations to dinner and dessert, keep things as easy as possible. Don’t go overboard – your guests won’t mind a bit and you’ll retain a lot more of your sanity!

Plan Ahead

From extending invitations to planning out sleeping arrangements and meals, planning ahead is key when you’re hosting a gathering. Make a plan as far ahead of time as possible so you have maximum time to prepare.

Ask For Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether you need an sous chef in the kitchen or you need someone to help you de-clutter your counters before everyone arrives, don’t be shy about asking for assistance from family and close friends.

Have Guests Bring Things

From sheets and towels to beverages, don’t hesitate to ask guests to bring things if you’re hosting an especially large crowd. It will cut down on the prep you have to do ahead of time, and the clean-up you’ll have to do once everyone’s gone home.

Make Extra

It never hurts to have leftovers. Make more than you think you’ll need of everything. That way, if you end up hosting extra guests you won’t wind up feeling extra stressed.

Do As Much As You Can Ahead of Time

The last minute before everyone arrives will inevitably be filled to the brim with things to do, no matter how well prepared you are. To minimize the last minute craziness, plan to do as much as you can ahead of time.

Stay On Top of Regular Chores

 As you’re preparing to host a crowd, don’t let your regular chores and household tasks fall to the wayside. Staying on top of your usual duties will help to keep your home in good shape as the gathering approaches.

 Make Lists to Stay Organized

 Keeping everything organized in your brain just isn’t feasible when it comes to coordinating a sizeable gathering. Put together to do lists and schedules to keep yourself on track as you’re preparing, and the day-of! Trust us – you’ll be glad you did.

 Avoid Drama

 Want to avoid drama? Believe it or not, there are ways to prevent family drama or strife between friends from ruining your gathering. Consider not inviting certain toxic people to your home. If certain relatives don’t get along but you’re obligated to invite them, be sure to invite ‘clusters’ of people they can each mix and mingle with. They may go the whole evening without even interacting.

Be Prepared For Things To Go Wrong

Even if you’re well prepared and you’ve done everything right to get your gathering off on the right foot, things will inevitably go wrong. Keep this in mind as the event gets closer and be prepared to stay level headed if things go awry. You can even try to predict what might go wrong and prepare ahead for those possibilities.

Go With What You Know

Christmas dinner with 25 guests is not the time to try out a new recipe. Instead, stick with what you know and you are familiar with. It will make things easier for you, and you can feel much more confident that the end result will be a resounding success.

Try a Buffet

When you’re feeding a large group of people, buffet style is often the way to go. It makes meal set-up easier, ensures that everyone gets exactly what they want to eat, and enables each person to serve him or herself – freeing you from the kitchen!

Don’t Be Afraid of Store Bought

If you’re hosting a large gathering, don’t feel obligated to make every single thing from scratch. You’ll be amazed at how a few store bought items can really reduce the amount of work (and stress) it takes to serve a meal for family and friends. Chances are your guests won’t even notice – and even if they do, they won’t enjoy the food any less.

Appoint a Co-Host

Have your spouse, your sibling, or a close friend serve as co-host of your gathering. Having a co-host is helpful in innumerable ways. From helping out with planning and grocery shopping, to sharing the cooking duties and checking in with guests during the evening, appointing a co-host helps to take some of the pressure off of you as the host or hostess and can make the event much more enjoyable for you.

Plan to Enjoy The Event Yourself

As you’re planning the gathering, plan to spend some time enjoying it yourself. Assume that you’ll want to mingle with guests, sit down to dinner with everyone, play games – whatever it is that everyone will be doing while they’re gathered together, make yourself a part of it. This will help you to enjoy the big event yourself, and will also ensure that you’re planning the event in a way that will make that possible.

Stress Free Hosting Made Easy

Having people over? Don’t fret! You can absolutely host a fabulous gathering, and these 15 tips will help you to do so without losing your mind in the process.

Looking for more tips as you prepare for hosting a gathering in your home? Be sure to check out the following resources:

5 Holiday Hosting Tips to Make Life Easier

Still looking for that perfect home in the Capital Region where you can entertain with ease? We can help with that too.

At Heritage Custom Builders, we specialize in building custom homes in Upstate NY. Our team can work closely with you to construct a home you’ll love to entertain in, with all the features you’ve been dreaming about. (Check out these floorplans that are perfect for entertaining!)

Give us a call today at (518) 348-0931 or contact us online to get the conversation started!