A great party takes good planning and a concentrated effort in the lead up so you and your guests can enjoy yourselves on the day. Here's how to manage tasks so the load is shared over time.
1. Plan, plan, plan
Decide early on – before you even send out invitation what sort of party it’s to be – a seated dinner party, cocktails or a BBQ lunch. Having a picture in your head of how you want the day to play out is important for decision making.
2. Make lists and stick to them
Guest lists, To Do lists, shopping list, menus
It’s easy to get distracted from your party by other activities, housework and general home duties. Stay on track for the party this time.
3. Buy non-perishable items ahead of time
You can start purchasing drinks, paper napkins, plastic cups and decorations well ahead of time. Buy a little each week with your normal grocery shopping so it’s not a great haul all at once. This will help get you in the mood and stay focused on the party ahead.
4. Test new recipes
Whilst it’s a great idea to try new recipes for cocktails, salads and desserts each time your have a party, flying blind is asking for trouble you wont have time for. To ensure everything tastes as it should and cooking times reflect the recipes, test everything in the lead up to the party.
5. Block of the weekend ahead of your party to clear and clean
There’s a lot to be done on the day before and party day itself. Do the thorough cleaning ahead of time so a quick once-over is all that’s needed on the morning of the party.
6. Put your kitchen through its paces
This is what your kitchen was made for! Clear away every day clutter, banish the bread bin and hid the toaster. Anything you don’t need for food prep on the day itself is taking up valuable real estate at the action station.
7. Serve food with flair
Get out all of your best platters and serving dishes to show off your food in the best possible way. Allow time to “plate up” so dips and crudites are appealing to the eye, cheese has time to come to room temperature and drinks are chilled nicely for guests on arrival. Keep food simple and easy to prepare.
8. Accept all offers of help
Enlist the whole family so everyone’s involved and can make a contribution to the success of the event. Have kids clean their own rooms and fetch and carry for you. If friends offer to make a salad or a dessert, encourage them to do so. If everyone contributes to the day the mood is one of shared celebration.
9.Deck the halls
Whip through on the day of the party with a basket or a big bag and fill it with any erroneous objects, then pop it in the laundry, attic or garage – it’s only for one day!
Allow time to decorate your entrance beautifully and create a welcoming atmosphere as your guests enter your home. Let them know it’s a celebration as soon as they arrive!
10. Be realistic
If it’s not on the list, leave it until last. Adding items and tasks to your list will take you away from what needs to be done so the event is a success. Don’t overwhelm yourself with cleaning tasks that no-one will notice the difference of and concentrate on the things they will see and use. Close doors if you have to! Once your list is all ticked off, you’ll have time for any extra touches.