Friday, September 23, 2011

How to Throw a Party at Home

The House Party Checklist
I think its pretty much a given that I love to throw parties.  For a living, I throw the big events, but off the clock, I love to have people over to my house for BBQ’s, House Parties, and Game Nights.  I noticed, at one of my recent gatherings, that I have a sort-of ritual that I do before each event at home.  Thought I’d share this with you in hopes to make your party planning stress-free!
 J You're welcome to add your own tips and tidbits!
    Image result for Party Checklist
  • Make sure the dish washer is empty so that you can fill it easily after the party
  • Refill the toilet paper roll and make sure that there are extra rolls easily accessible to guests
  • Have paper towels available for quick clean-ups
  • Have disposable containers and plastic bags on hand for guests to take leftovers to-go
  • Create a party music mix with 60 songs per 3-hour window.  If music isn’t your forte, invite guests in advance to vote on the songs they’d like to hear at the party using SongVote
  • Do yourself a favor and use disposables if the party is not a sit-down dinner.  There are lots of fun, affordable options at Party City, Target, Wal-Mart and even Sam’s Club/Costco
  • Think out the vase!  Even just a centerpiece on the food table will create the ambiance of the party.  Try something other than flowers, like in this year, when the centerpiece for my Memorial Day party was a New Orleans Second Line Umbrella and red, white, and blue boas. 
  • Set the table early!  The night before or morning of the party, place empty serving dishes on the food table to make sure you have enough room for everything and a dish or container and a serving utensil for each item.  Drinks can go on a different table or even in a different room.  I often put the drinks in the kitchen where ice is easily accessible.
  • Seating:  Make sure you have chairs spread throughout the party location, enough for at least 60% of the guests, unless the party is strictly a cocktail party, in which case you should have plenty of open space for mingling and spontaneous flash mob dancing. (What?  It happens at my parties all of the time!)
  • If there’s a big crowd at your party, consider hiring someone to help keep the food and drink replenished, to tidy up throughout the night, and to help you clean up after the party is over.  There’s nothing worse than waking up to a big smelly mess of party aftermath...ok maybe there's worse stuff, but it still sucks to wake up to that.
  • Take out the trash just before guests arrive and remember to put in a new bag.  Keep extra bags handy and visible.  Guests will usually help out by tying up a bag and putting in a new one if bags are easy to find.  If you recycle, make sure the bins are out in the open.  There are some really cute disposable trash bins at Party City:
  • If people are going to have trouble parking, make sure they have instructions in advance and consider using signage outside if its feasible. 
If you have any other good pre-party planning tips, add them to the list by posting a comment!

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