31 Days of Hospitality: Day 3 - Hospitality Basket

I have a basket in one of my cabinets that I have always kept cute paper napkins in for when company arrives.  I have quite the collection of fun napkins for all types of occasions.  I thought about taking it a bit farther and filling it with not only napkins but other things I can use for impromptu visits from friends.

Depending on what type of impromptu visits you get - people stopping by for morning coffee or tea, spur of the moment play dates, after school visitors - will dictate how to fill your basket.  Most of my visitors are the morning type, ones that come around while coffee's brewing.  My basket contains small (cocktail size) paper napkins, small paper plates, a little candle, paper coasters, tea and sweet & low.  I put the sweet & low in there because it's something we never use but guests do so I find it a good place to store it.

As a general rule I don't use paper plates but there are always a few left over from birthday parties so I tossed them in the basket.  This way if my everyday china is in the dishwasher I still have something to serve a snack on. 

Tea & coffee not your thing?  How about these basket fillers:
  • After-school basket:  napkins, plates, plastic kid-sized cups, straws, packets of kool-aid mix.
  • Playgroup: napkins, plates or bowls, straws, kid cups with lids, a couple of bibs for the really small visitors.
Because I have a love for these cute little cocktail napkins I am always looking out for them when I shop.  I pick them up when I find a great deal somewhere.  I have found some cute ones at Marshall's and TJ Maxx; and don't forget the grocery store.  Stock up on holiday napkins when they go 50% (or more) off after the holiday and save for the next year.  There's no need to pay full price.

Some of the other things can be found at Michael's for a song right now.  We are all familiar with the Michael's dollar ($2,$3) area, right?  Our Michael's pulled all of it outside and is selling it for 70% off!  I picked up 100 bendy straws for 30 cents!  A coaster set for 60 cents!  They had cute kid plastic cups and bowls for 70% off.  A great time for make one of these baskets.

Be creative: don't go out and buy a basket. Use one you have already, use a plastic container, cover a shoe box or smallish corrugated box or even use a drawer in your kitchen.  The ideas are endless!

Most of the time you will probably know when guests are coming but wouldn't it be fun to invite a mom from school over for coffee instead of chatting in the parking lot for an hour (I say this from experience!)?  With a hospitality basket you can invite her over without freaking out about finding things quickly so you can enjoy her company.  Just reach for your hospitality basket and you'll have most of what you need.

Be sure to keep some drinks on hand for your visitors.  Coffee, tea, drink mix and of course, good old water!

Tomorrow I will share with you some snack ideas you can keep on hand for your unexpected visitors.

Please check out the other 31 dayers.  So many fun things to read!


Shawon said…
This is a great idea!! Love it!

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