Whether it is a birthday celebration, festive holiday or something more casual like hosting your Mums group in your own home, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that things flow smoothly and as stress-free as possible.
1) Digital invites
Don’t be afraid to ditch the formal invitations (unless of course you are hosting a wedding). Sending invitations via email, text, Facebook etc not only saves both time and money, it also makes it easier for recipients to RSVP instantly too.
Making lists is a great way of keeping on track, and avoiding the horrible last-minute-realisation that you have forgot a key item. Make guest list, grocery lists, song list etc.
If your party has a theme, a great idea is to decorate and lay the table the day or the night before. This will give you the chance to look at it with fresh eyes in the morning, and also leaves you more time to complete other party-related jobs on your to-do list.
Image source: decorateitonline
With regards to your menu – try to keep it simple, fresh and easy to prepare.
Don’t attempt to cook something for the first time 20 minutes before your guests are due to arrive, and don’t put anything on the menu that is going to tie you to the kitchen after the party has begun. Stick to the tried and tested dishes that you can prepare ahead of time.
Don’t be shy to delegate. in my experience people are only too willing to help out to take some of the stress off the hosts of a party by offering drinks, passing around a plate of food, etc. Rather than being a sign of being a ‘bad-host,’ I think you’ll find that opening up your kitchen to extra hands helps guests to feel more welcome.
6) Create more space
If you are entertaining in a small space, a great tip is to open up a door (weather permitting). Allowing guests to wander through to an outside balcony or pergola area will create more space, and allow guests to mingle in a more free-flowing fashion.
7) Make Clean up simple
One of my personal favourite tips is to provide bins, and lots of them. Guests are more likely to place their rubbish into bins if they are easy to find and accessible, making your clean up much easier. Don’t forget to put them in the outside space too – nobody likes to fish empty drinks cans from their neighbours prized hedge the morning after.
8) Whilst we are talking about clean up…
Don’t do the dishes while the party is in full swing. There is nothing quite so mood-killing as seeing your host cleaning the kitchen, and feeling obliged to help (when you’d rather be..well, partying). Enjoy the party, the dishes, (unlike your guests) will wait, and a good dishwasher will make light work of them in the morning. There are many great reasons for investing in a good dishwasher, and for ease of clean up when hosting parties is only of them. Regardless of whether you have a large family kitchen, or a small apartment one, Fisher & Paykel have a range of dishwasher drawers to fit every space and requirement.
9) Activities for Kids
If children are attending the party, consider providing some fun activities for them, such as an art and craft table. The kids will love it, and the parents will be thankful for the opportunity to relax and enjoy the company of another adults, unhindered.
Image source: andsewwesew
10) And finally…relax and enjoy!
You’ve worked hard. Now it is time to let your hair down and reap the benefits of hosting a stress-free party!