Apartment Entertaining: How to Impress the In-Laws

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Entertaining your in-laws in your apartment, whether for a single meal or for a week while they’re in town, can cause you anxiety and stress because you may not be overly comfortable with them yet and you want to do your best to impress. While it’s important to relax and be yourself, you can take a few simple steps to show off your apartment and your hosting skills at their best.

Clean the Apartment

The first step to impressing your in-laws is to have an attractive apartment—at least for the duration of their stay. While you don’t want to project a false image of yourself, if you prefer not to keep things tidy, that’s one characteristic you can keep to yourself. Clean all areas of your apartment and get rid of excess clutter, but pay special attention to the areas in which your significant other’s parents will be.

If you’re having them over for dinner, the dining room, the kitchen, the living room and the spare bathroom may be enough. If they’re spending the night or several nights, you’ll have to clean out the spare bedroom, your own bedroom (if you’re offering it—which can show you’re considerate) or the living area in which you’ll be putting up a sleeping area.

Organize the Apartment

Nothing will impress the in-laws like making them feel at home. You can save them from feeling awkward asking you for more toilet paper or where to put their laundry by having spare items in easy reach and putting a laundry hamper for them where they’re staying. If they’re staying for more than a meal, you can show them where they can get dishes, food and anything else they may need for the visit at the start of their stay.

Clean Up After Them

While your in-laws should feel at home, they’ll also be impressed if they’re treated like royalty. While you don’t want to do everything for them to the point of annoyance, you should take their plates after they’ve finished eating, offer to carry their bags to and from the apartment and do all of the cooking (or food ordering). On the other hand, if they want to help out to pay you back for the visit, don’t decline if they’re genuine, as some people feel awkward not being able to reciprocate.

Plan Around Their Interests

Ask your significant other or his or her parents directly what they’d like to do when they visit and whether or not they have any special dietary restrictions or requests. When you’re entertaining, you can step out of your comfort zone and offer meals and activities that will make your significant other’s parents happy. Just don’t pretend that you’re a long-time fan of those things if you’re not; however, you can compliment their tastes if you wind up enjoying yourself.

Impressing your in-laws while they’re at your apartment and projecting a false image of your lifestyle are two entirely different things. Keep a clean, convenient apartment for their stay and cater to their individual needs and interests, but above all, have fun and feel free to tell them about your own interests and hobbies for the most part.

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