Unexpected Guest Ready in the Hostess City

front porch
Photo: TripAdvisor

We live in The Hostess City, with that honor, comes…guests and lots of them.

The south is known for its southern hospitality. We say “yes ma’am” and “no sir” in our daily vocabulary. You won’t dare leave our homes hungry and we’ll always have a glass of sweet tea for you.

Around the holidays it seems people are more likely to drop in and you want your home to be ready. No, you don’t have to spend hours cleaning and stressing. Follow these few simple tips and your home will be ready to greet your unexpected guests. You may just be dubbed the hostess with the mostest.


What’s that smell?

Photo: Brianna Spain

One of the very first things folks notice when they walk into a home is the smell. Being Autumn in Savannah, we relish in those cooler days and love to get our windows open.
In reality, we all know, living in Savannah, our windows don’t get opened often.

Cue the scented candle! We love a good seasonally scented candle this time of year. Wax melts may be a safer alternative if candles make you nervous. Another good option is a seasonally scented fabric spray. I’m notorious for grabbing the fabric spray and dashing a few spritz on my way to the door. I personally like to leave my wax burner simmer all day, the aroma fills the house. Easy peasy and the house smells fresh and clean with minimal effort.


Who’s Hungry?

Photo: Shifting Roots

We’re southerner’s, we’re always prepared, right? No, not really, we just like to look like we are.  You can always have a charcuterie board on hand and look like you really nailed this host thing. It’s so simple.

You want to start with a small board and overload it to make it appear abundant. Always keep a cheese on hand and a box of entertainment crackers. Those are your basics. We all usually have some sort of fruit laying around. Slice up an apple and grab a handful of grapes. If you have a little stash of nuts, any type, add those too. Leftover lunch meat, you see where I’m going here. Throw in a little dollop of mustard or a jelly and wallah, you have a full on charcuterie board.

PRO TIP, y’all. Throw down some greenery on your board! A sprig of fresh rosemary from your garden, a piece of an evergreen from your yard, (just wash it first and don’t eat it) or just some leaf lettuce. This touch really makes a difference in the presentation.


Stash It

Photo: West Elm

Oh, how I love a good basket! I have them everywhere. One on the steps, a few stashed in corners, some on shelves, under my coffee table even accommodates a few. Literally, the doorbell rings and you can clear a coffee table into a basket in 5 seconds flat!

The entryway is a must for a basket. Unless you have some amazing shoe storage system a basket is lifesaving when it comes to entryway shoe clutter.

I like gathering things that go upstairs or in different rooms and sort into the appropriate basket. It really makes clean up a breeze. Then you just tote the basket off, empty and return. Your guest will never know you’re really a mess.

Another use for baskets is storing throw blankets. Nothing ads a cozy element like a good soft throw blanket, especially with the chilly evenings we get this time of year in Savannah. Your guest will definitely feel welcomed and at home.


Guest Bathroom

guest bath

This is the bathroom I always focus on first, well, because guest use it. It’s really simple to make this space guest friendly in a flash. Always have extra tissue, a hand towel and a delicious smelling soap. Some additional touches I like to put in our guest bathroom is a scented plug in air freshener, a really luxurious lotion and some poo spray.

I also try to keep the trash emptied and wipe surfaces every few days. This really eliminates the need for frequent deep cleaning and keeps your guest bathroom ready for those unexpected guest.


It’s no easy feat living up to these southern standards, y’all, but these tips will make your home feel more inviting and guest friendly in a snap. These tips are intended for drop in guests, not overnight. Focusing on these four elements will make your visit more enjoyable, for your guests and you. After all, everyone doesn’t call first.


Life In The Hostess City