Divvy Up the Duties
There's nothing worse than slaving away in the kitchen alone while guests lounge in the living room. Rather than turning down offers of assistance in your quest to be the perfect host, transform cooking into a group activity. Allow those with culinary skills to assist with meal preparation, while others can handle tasks such as setting the table or transferring hot dishes to serving trays. Assign children simple jobs like making centerpieces or taking guests' beverage requests in an effort to harness their energy and keep them engaged with the group (and out of trouble).
When it's time to clean up, make it easy for people to pitch in. Most visitors are happy to help but are unsure where to start or what to do in an unfamiliar kitchen. Put trash and recycle bins in a convenient spot, and clear space on your counter for guests to leave their dishes after they finish eating.