Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Before a Party

You know how much I love hosting parties. As I have shared before, I would host a party everyday if I could... but we all know that there is not enough time, money or patience from any one husband to support that craziness!

So when we do get a chance to host a get together, there are a few things I like to do ahead of time to make the "day of" preparations go even smoother.

~ Have a menu written out. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've sat down at a table and half way through the meal realized that the dinner rolls never got rolled or salad didn't get chopped. And while it is not the end of the world to skip a missed dish, sometimes it is the one dish that rounded out a meal and without it you are left with only gravy, peas and salad on your plate. All it takes is 5 minutes to write out a menu from snacks to dessert and stick it in your pocket for quick reference. That way you can greet your guests with ease and not feel like you have to stress over the upcoming meal.

Have a few extra minutes? How about using a dollar store chalkboard and chalk ink marker to write out a quick menu for all to see on your pretty table. It will be a special touch, and help you remember what all you have planned!

~ Last minute list. Yep, here I am with the lists again. Every gathering, big or small, will have several things that can only be done last minute - as in the night before or day of the party. So for every get together I make a short list on a sticky note of last minute things to do and/or delegate. A Birthday party list will often look something like this:

Pick up balloons {dollar store}
Fresh flowers from corner store {sale this week!}
Move cars to street, make room for guest vehicles
Turn on music
Light candles - don't forget the patio lights.

Check each item off as you go. Add in little reminders of where thing are stored or where you want to purchase an item. Not only will your mind be at rest, but you will have a quick reference for when people ask "What can I do to help?"

~ Set out serving dishes and platters. Get out any serving dishes the night before. That way when your kitchen is swamped with helpers you don't have to ask them to constantly move so you can dig in that back cupboard for a pickle dish. Get the bowls and platters out, dust them off, stack them up to look all pretty... and always get out a few extra. You never know when someone will show up to brunch with a yummy last minute addition of doughnuts that need a platter.

~ Start off your gathering with an empty dishwasher. Grab all the stray dishes first thing in the morning, stick them in the dishwasher real quick, and unload it at some point before company comes. That way it is all ready to receive a full load of dishes before the evening is over and the pile in the sink will be less daunting the next morning. This seems like a small thing to do... but trust me! It makes a world of difference.

~ Make your bed. Even if your room is messy, you have no intention of showing it to guests, and you need to seal it off with hazardous waste stickers - make your bed. After a long day of eating yummy food, playing games, and enjoying your company the last thing you will want to do is clear off the mess that gathered on your bed and untangle a knot of sheets. It feels so good to fall into a freshly made bed after along day. Even if the rest of the room looks like a piggy pen, at least your bed is comfortable and ready for you to sink in for a long night of sweet dreams. You need your rest... after all, tomorrow you need to get up and clean you room! heehee!

What simple things do you do to prepare for a party?

All photos taken by yours truly.


  1. I love the make your bed suggestion, that is a seriously smart idea:)

  2. wow great ideas.. I know i'll be making a menu.. you can't imagine how many times i forget the rolls!

  3. Great ideas! I love the idea about writing things down...I write everything down (mainly because if I don't, well...let's just say old age is setting in waaaaayyyy early, lol!). I took your advise about the dishwasher, too--super idea! Our last get-together went so smoothly. Thanks!!