The coronavirus crisis has kept everyone indoors for the better part of the last year. Now that numbers are beginning to stabilize and vaccines are becoming widespread, it’s becoming possible to socialize regularly with others again.
After a year or more of isolation, though, you may need to hit the reset button when it comes to your hosting capabilities. Here are a few tips and suggestions to help you reorient yourself and prep your space for social events and guests once again.
Start With A Deep Clean
Cleaning isn’t just a pandemic-related health hazard. It’s also an integral part of keeping your home in good working order.
That said, for most people, there’s a big difference between “livable clean” and “hosting clean.” Start your hosting prep by giving your entire house a thorough once-over. It’s a good idea to do this in stages as you get ready for future hosting activities.
Consider which areas you haven’t addressed well in the last several months. Do you need to do a thorough vacuuming? Have you dusted lately? You can also use the opportunity to check on potential household hazards, too. Make sure that things like pet dander and mold aren’t hiding in an out-of-the-way area of your living space. You can even check your carbon monoxide and fire detectors to make sure that everything is copasetic before your first guests arrive.
It’s always a good idea to conduct a quick decluttering clean right before guests come over. However, it’s also wise to get the bones of your house in good, clean, working order before you start hosting regularly again.
Take A Thorough Inventory
Along with cleaning, you also want to consider how your hosting inventory is doing. What typical tools and items do you usually like to have on hand when you have people over? Just as a few examples, consider your current stock of:
- Disposable dinnerware
- Extra seating
- Party games
- Toys for children to play with
- Family-friendly drink options
- Adult beverages
As you identify areas where your stock is running low, take steps to restock. If you’re low on cash, now’s the time to figure these things out. You can set extra money aside from your next paycheck or even pick up a lucrative freelancing gig to earn some cash on the side for your hosting endeavors.
Consider Additional Health Protocols
One area that has distinctly changed since before the pandemic is the sanitation steps that a host takes. This isn’t just a kind gesture anymore. It’s officially a sign that you care about your guests’ health.
With that in mind, consider how you can take steps to offer your guests a comfortable and safe option to stay healthy. If you’re still in an area where the pandemic is a threat, consider instituting rules like mask-wearing or having people sit six feet apart.
Even if things are fine by the time you host, make sure to have hand sanitizer out, alcohol wipes handy, and plenty of soap in the bathroom and kitchen dispensers. Also, if it’s warmer weather, try to open windows or even have the event outside.
Build A Solid Schedule
The pandemic spoiled everyone as far as schedules go. Busy calendars were replaced with endless stretches of open days that could be controlled and planned out at will.
As you begin to open your life back up to the social whims and desires of others, make sure to get a solid schedule in place to help you stay organized and in control. This should structure your days spent at home as well as provide distinct times that you can invest in social engagements. Make sure to specifically plan in time for cleaning before you host, the hosting itself, and times that you can attend other’s social events away from home.
Without a schedule to keep you aware of your commitments, it’s easy to quickly become overwhelmed and burned out by too much socialization.
Remember, The Guest Is Always Right
Finally, remember to be flexible with your hosting activities. Especially at the beginning, you’re going to want to plan for the possibility of people turning down invitations or even bailing on your events at the last minute. Many people are still gun-shy about socializing, and it may take time for everyone to warm up to the activity again.
Even when you have people in your home, be ready to adjust to their needs. They may feel uncomfortable being too close to you or not wearing a mask. Then again, they may not have strong feelings in those areas at all. Always be ready to adapt and use that age-old business motto that the customer (or guest in this case) “is always right.”
Finding Your Hosting Mojo Again
Over the past year, isolation and loneliness have been amongst the top struggles that most individuals have had to face. Now that life is beginning to return to a sense of normalcy, a new challenge has arisen: how to resume hosting and social schedules gracefully and in a manner that is positive and healthy.
It may sound simple, but it’s important to go about reopening your home to others in a thoughtful manner. Consider what you need to do to prepare. Also, consider the temperament and expectations of your new, post-pandemic guests. By thinking and planning ahead, you can ensure that your re-energized social life is an uplifting and positive experience rather than an overwhelming or stressful one.