Entertaining people in your home is always wrought with a bit of stress and anxiety. Simply getting everything ready before the party is enough to make most people pull out their hair. And, the self-doubt and worry about last minute details is enough to send most people over the edge of comfort. However, planning your party does not need to be this way. Here are ten time tested tips to help you plan the best party with the least possible pre-party stress.
Tip #1 – The best thing you can do for yourself is to write down a master party shopping list and a list of what needs to be accomplished around your home before the date of the party. Get out a calendar and mark off some time to shop and clean your home.
Tip #2 – Enlist the help of your spouse or children in the process of cleaning and de-cluttering your home for the party. While they may not do the “perfect” job that you would, you can always go back with a quick vacuum or dust cloth and finish up the job later.
Tip #3 – When your guests arrive they will need a place to hang their coats and place their purses. One of the easiest things you can do is to clean out your entry-hall coat closet for them to use. If you have a bunch of stuff in there, then you should either find it a new home or box it up until after your party is over.
Tip #4 – When you shop, think about if you will want to send home leftovers with your guests. If you will, then you should pick-up some inexpensive containers which you can send home food in and not have to worry about retrieving your plates or bowls at a later date.
Tip #5 – It is also nice to plan for enough leftovers from your party that you will not have to cook or prepare food on the day after your party. Let’s face it, the day after your party you will be exhausted, and by not having to cook you can relax and enjoy the day with your family.
Tip #6 – When you go to the store to purchase the non-perishables for your party, you can leave them in the grocery bags until the day before the party. Rather than unpack everything and put it away in your cupboards where people might mistakenly eat it, you can simply leave everything in the bags and keep them in an out of the way place until the day before the party. (I highly suggest looking at everything the day before and making sure you didn’t forget something at the store which is vital. This will keep you from having to make emergency store runs on the day of your party when you have other things to do.)
Tip #7 – If you are having an evening party near the Christmas holiday season, you might want to get together ahead of time with your friends and organize a cookie exchange. By doing this you can have tons of different cookies to offer your guests, even though you only had to make one kind of them.
Tip #8 – If your guests will be drinking wine, it is a great idea to use some inexpensive wine glass charms. This will allow your guests to always know which glass is theirs and keeps them from using too many other glasses. Put the charms on before your party to save time when you are serving your guest’s drinks.
Tip #9 – One of the best things you can do when planning your party is to ask other people to bring food or beverages. Many times people ask what they can bring, and you should take them up on their offers. Not only does this cut-down on the budget for your party, it also allows you to spend less time cooking and more time with your guests.
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