Easy Entertaining: Prepare for a Dinner Party in Under an Hour

Don't cancel your dinner party just because your place is a mess. Prep your pad for entertaining the easy way  

Credit: Flickr/Michael Cibula

Flickr/Michael Cibula

Don’t hesitate in hosting a dinner party just because your place is a mess

Your place might be in need of a good cleaning, but that doesn’t mean you can’t host a fantastic dinner party. Here’s how to prepare your pad in under an hour

If your goal is to entertain more at home but your littered floor, messy couch and dirty dishes are getting in the way, these quick cleaning and preparation tips will ensure you’re ready in less than an hour so you can concentrate on food and friends, rather than on dust and dishes.

Quick Dinner Party Cleaning Tips

  1. Bathroom first. A dirty bathroom is noticeable, so if your cleaning time is limited, focus your efforts here. Scrub toilet and sink (10 min). Put out an extra roll of toilet paper (in a basket if you’ve got it), and hang a newly washed hand towel. 
  2. Deal with dust. Sweep, fluff sofa cushions, shake out rugs and slipcovers (15 min).
  3. De-clutter. Put similar things into piles; tuck away if possible (15 min). 
  4. Clear closet space. Make room to show guests they’re welcome: take some coats off hangers to free up closet space, and put all your shoes but one pair into a closet (5 min). 
  5. Set the table. Pull out a nice tablecloth (or sheet) and mix-and-match china (use glass, white, or the same colours to link them). Remember candles, the budget entertainer’s best friend (10 min). 

A Few Other Easy Dinner Party Essentials

  • Decorate with flowers. A simple bunch of tulips, spotlit tropical leaf in a big vase or three carnations in matching bottles will pretty up your place and are money well spent
  • Use a slow cooker. Slow, low heat breaks down tough – and cheap – meat so it’s tender and delicious. Plus, these recipes cook away while you’re busy getting ready. Try short ribs or curried chicken, with a first-course salad and ice cream for afters. 
  • Dress up. Put on festive clothes, makeup, fancy earrings or whatever else tells you and your friends “workday’s over, time to play!”

Bored of regular dinner parties? Why not try inviting only men?