I love to throw parties and while I’m no Martha Stewart or any of the amazing party planners you see all over Pinterest, I feel like I’m known to host a pretty decent shin dig. At least it seems that way 🙂 What’s helped is that over the years I’ve learned that when I plan a party I have to start prepping for it at least a week in advance. Well, actually I start planning more than a week ahead but that’s just my OCD 😉 It definitely helps to eleviate some of the day of stress to have as much done as possible before the day. Since some of you may be hosting Thanksgiving at your house this week I thought I’d share a few tips to hosting a stress-free party.
1. Pin, pin, pin!
If you have Pinterest, start a party board specifically for the event so you’re not searching through pin after pin looking for that one recipe you posted that you just can’t seem to find. If you don’t have Pinterest, get it! There are such an abundance of ideas, recipes and suggestions for party planning that are sure to help! Oh and follow me if you don’t already 🙂
2. Start planning the food at least a week ahead.
Again, Pinterest is a great resource but if you’re using cookbooks make sure you jot down what book you are using and the page number as you plan. Otherwise you might do like I’ve done in the past searching through book after book looking for that one dessert I had planned to make. Make an organized shopping list as you find recipes as to not forget any important ingredients. I like to write mine on the same page as my menu so I remember what I’m making as I’m shopping for supplies. There are a lot of free meal planner and shopping lists available online but I’m old fashioned and use my trusty notebook I always have with me.
3. Start planning out your decor, table settings and what paper goods you’ll need a week before the event.
Having a kid makes getting everything done in one trip almost impossible. So by planning out what decor items I’ll need ahead of time I’m able to pick up supplies here and there rather than trying to get it all in one day. More often than not I end up getting things from several different stores (Target, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Joann’s) so knowing what I’m planning to do helps.
4. Love your to do list!
I always have my trusty to do list with me especially when I have a party coming up. I put even the smallest tasks on it like take out the garbage or put away the dishes. Sometimes its those small things that get forgotten then bug you in the middle of the party.
5. Inlist in some help!
Do you have kids, have them help prep for the party by cleaning, helping with the food, and/or party supplies. Have a helpful husband? Start delving out jobs to those in the family that are willing to help. My husband (and my mom when she’s been here before parties) have learned to look for a to-do list rather than asking me over and over again what they can do to help.
6. Set up the table/bar/decor the day before.
Whether it’s a birthday party, summer barbecue or dinner party I always set up at least my tables/drink station and chairs the day before the event. I can be OCD about where things are placed and how everything flows together so having it done ahead of time makes things much less stressful for me. I’ve been known to set up an entire dinner table then take it down and move everything around so doing this the night before can ultimately save me a ton of time the day of!
7. Start your grocery shopping early.
Obviously you’re not going to be able to get everything too early in the week but by getting some of the shopping done ahead of time you may be able to tackle a few recipes (make ahead pies, dips, etc.) before the day of the event. I also browse the ads for what’s on sale at different stores to try to save a little bit of money.
8. Get your entire outfit planned out and ready to go.
I tried on three different outfits before deciding on this one the day before the event. Good thing I had it all laid out ready to go because I was short on time!
The last thing you want to be doing the day of your party is scrambling to find something to wear. I make sure to try on my whole outfit a few days before the event so I know exactly what I”m going to wear from head to toe.
9. If you’re having kids, make sure you provide some snacks for them to munch on and fun stuff for them to do.
I’m sure most parents will agree there’s nothing worse than going to a party and having your kid attached to your leg the entire time. So as the host/hostess try to make sure they’ll be entertained so their parents can enjoy themselves as well 🙂
10. Get out your dishes, serving utensils, platters etc. a day or two in advance.
I always have an idea of what’s going to go on what plate/dish and get out extras for any guests who bring any food. Doing this in advance ensures I have clean serving platters all ready to go so I’m not digging around last minute for one. It also helps in case they are dusty from being in the cupboard to have them clean and ready to go!
Relax and have fun! Everything is not going to go perfect but that’s part of the fun of it right? This last party we hosted we had thought we put 5:30 on the invite so were taking our time finishing up appetizers etc. The Hubby and Love Nugget were actually still in their lounge clothes when the door bell rang at 5:00! Oops! Guests arrived at 5:00 (as it said on the invite) instead of 5:30. No biggie 🙂 Another funny mess up was one Thanks
- Do you like planning parties?
- Anything you would add?