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Preparing for a party can be exhausting! Lots to do and so much to remember. Parties are 90% prep and only like 10% actual party, right?! And when time is tight, nobody wants to forget important things on the “to-do” list and have to make any extra errand runs. I’ll share with you my sure-fire, easy party preparation tips and #HostingHacks, including a free printable pre-party prep list that will have you saving time (and money!)
1. Buy in Bulk
You do not want to run out of toilet paper or dishwashing detergent on the day of a big event. Costco is our go-to store for bulk items, especially Procter & Gamble cleaning products. We stock up and store items in the garage so we very rarely run out of important every day items. It’s the perfect place to pick up everything from your cleaning supplies to your party appetizers.
A few days before your party, do a quick inventory. Make sure you have enough laundry detergent for cleaning your holiday table linens and that the bathrooms are well stocked with toilet paper. Need drinking water bottles, soda or coffee? Butter for the rolls and flowers for the table setting? Costco has it and you can get it all for your party in one place without running around town.
2. Clean early
At least a few days pre-party do your top to bottom deep cleaning. This is the perfect time to take a look at doors, door frames and light switches. See any grimy spots that a sponge just isn’t getting rid of? I love that Mr. Clean Magic Eraser takes off those dirty spots and scuffs quickly and without any damage to your paint or walls. And Swiffer quickly gets rid of all the dust laying around. So easy a child can do it (so save yourself the time and give one of them to the kids!)
In addition to the regular housekeeping, there will be extra party items that will need to be cleaned. Launder your table linens a few days early. We use cloth napkins and placemats every day and I appreciate how Tide Advanced Power detergent removes stubborn food spots (even when one of my kids set blueberries on the cloth napkin and it left purple spots behind!) Toss in bathroom hand towels so you’ll have plenty to stock in the guest bathroom and your kitchen dish towels too.
Pull out the good silverware and glasses and wash them. Some dishes can take the high heat inside the dishwasher and others may need to be hand washed. We have tried lots of detergents for our dishwasher and none work better than Cascade Advanced Power Gel.
3. Party Prep
Plan where guests will store their coats & purses during the party. If it’s the closet, make sure there is plenty of space and lots of empty hangers. If it’s a bedroom, be sure that the bed is made and guests can just lay their items on the blanket.
When you have lots of extra guests in the house, the bathroom has a rotating door. Keep a stack of clean hand towels on the sink and plenty of toilet paper on a shelf or the back of the toilet for guests to replace the roll as needed. Refill the hand soap dispenser and place air freshener in a prominent place. A clean and well stocked bathroom makes my guests more comfortable and nobody is left to hunt for any supplies.
Once you have everything clean and ready, you can decorate for the season. A bouquet of fresh flowers is not only pretty, they smell lovely too. Cluster the entire bouquet into one vase for a showstopping centerpiece or place flowers into individual vases around the house to spread the joy.
4. Last moment tidy
All the cooking we do in preparation for a party makes a big mess in the kitchen. Clean it all up quickly and neatly before your guests arrive. If you don’t have time to wash all the pots and pans, either load them into the dishwasher to deal with later or fill the sink with hot, soapy water and soak them. A quick clean up allows you to clean up yourself with a fresh outfit and make-up before guests see you disheveled!
The party prep doesn’t end when the doorbell rings! You still have a few things to maintain while guests are present. I like to assign jobs to my family members to help so that I’m not the only one maintaining things and missing out on the festivities. Assign one person to greet guests at the door and hang up coats. One of us keeps an eye on the bathroom through the night to make sure it’s tidy. Another of us clears dirty dishes and cups from the sitting areas and takes them into the kitchen. One person makes sure that the trash is taken out frequently so the receptacle is never overflowing. If we work as a team, we can all enjoy the party and still make sure our guests are well served.
5. Check the bathrooms
Frequently check the bathrooms to make sure they are in proper order. I hate going to a party and the toilet paper runs out and I’m left to hunt for more in the cabinets. Or the hand towel is sopping wet, yuck! Check that there is enough toilet paper on the roll, plenty of hand soap and change the hand towel yourself several times through the evening.
Be sure to print out my free “to-do” list that discusses more easy party preparation ideas so you don’t forget a thing!
Easy Party Preparation & Pre-Party To-Do Checklist
How will Costco help you in your pre-party planning for your next holiday bash? Share with me in the comments!