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Tips For Throwing The Perfect Party

Feb 1, 2008
Super Bowl season is upon us and many want to throw the party to end all parties. The Patriots have not lost a game, and all over the U.S. football fans are eagerly watching to see if New England has it in them to win every game this year. It's not just Super Bowl parties that are coming up, however. Birthday parties, engagements, weddings, family reunions, and baby showers - they are all excellent opportunities to kick up your heels with friends and celebrate.

To throw a perfect party, you need to plan every detail in advance. Planning is critical. Use a computer to create the following lists:

Shopping List
To Do List

Invitations to your party need to be sent out at least two weeks in advance. If you wait until the last minute, you will find that many people have already made plans. Many feel it is beneficial to send out invitations a month in advance to allow guests plenty of time. Never invite too many people to your party. If you have too many guests, you will find yourself stressed to talk to them all while also making sure drink glasses and food trays are properly filled.

Catering is expensive, but for some people it is a great way to reduce the stress of a party. Instead of making sure foods are prepared and served in a timely manner, you can let your caterer do the hard work for you.

The days before your party should involve some food preparation, shopping for party items, some cleaning tasks, and calling guests who have failed to RSVP. You should follow a pattern for this:

7 Days Before - Shop for party supplies and groceries that will last a week.
6 Days Before - Plan seating or food table arrangements.
5 Days Before - Call guests who have not responded to the invitation.
4 Days Before - Prep foods that can be frozen and then cooked or warmed the day of the party.
3 Days Before - Check over lists to make sure nothing has been overlooked.
2 Days Before - Thoroughly clean areas that are not commonly used in your home.
1 Day Before - More food preparation and a last minute shopping trip to get ice and other perishables.

On the day before the party, you must create a checklist. This is the best day to start preparing your home for the party. Start by thoroughly cleaning any bathroom or bathroom that guests will use. Wash and iron any linens. Prepare as much food as possible in advance. This way you will only be warming or baking dishes on the day of the party. If you put off the prep work until last minute, you are going to become stressed. Dust your furniture, polish any silver that you plan to use, and vacuum your sofa and chairs. Before going to bed, you can put up any indoor decorations and put a tablecloth on the table/tables you plan to use.

The day of the party will be your busiest. In the morning, fill coolers, if applicable, with the beer, soda, water bottles, juices, and ice. Doing this in the morning gives you plenty of time for beverages to become cold. Do one last minute check of your lists to make sure that everything is in hand. If you've forgotten anything, see if you can get someone to run to the store for you. Start preparing the foods that will take longer to cook. If you plan on barbecuing, check your grill has enough fuel. It is a great idea to own a second propane tank just in case. If you are using a charcoal grill, make sure you have enough wood or charcoal.

Run a vacuum and sweep floors shortly before guests are due to arrive. This ensures the house is tidy and in order with only minutes remaining. It eliminates the chances of a mess being made that will take your attention from the last minute food preparations.

As guests arrive, your checklists should be complete. This provides you with the perfect opportunity to kick back and enjoy your guests rather than worrying about cooking. Serve food shortly after guests arrive and then leave snack items out for the remainder of the party. You'll be able to focus only on guests for the remainder of the party.
About the Author
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