Let’s face it, as much as parties are fun, hosting them can be a huge pain. It’s no wonder that the party organizers usually find themselves stressed out, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it should never be that way. Parties are supposed to be fun, and believe it or not, the guests are taking their cues from you, so if you aren’t enjoying yourself, they probably aren’t either. Enjoy yourself for real the next time you host a party—it’s possible when you follow these steps.
1. Be Organized
This means different things to different people, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Start with lists. Lists of guests, lists of food, lists of supplies. It will stress you out if you forgot to invite someone important or if you realize didn’t pack the table cloths during setup.
Keeping all of your ducks in a row will help you to effectively manage everything that is being thrown your way, and it will also help you keep your cool because no small detail has been overlooked. You know this because you’ve got the list to prove it.
2. Outsource Invitations
Handwritten invitations are lovely, really, but they are completely unnecessary and incredibly time consuming. No one’s got time for that right now. There’s too much to do.
What you should spend time on, however, is creating a digital address book. Find a cloud-based solution or even just create an Excel spreadsheet and save it on your computer for times like these. Then, you can easily and efficiently design stunning invitations online, copy and paste the addresses, and you are done. No hand cramps from an hour or two of addressing envelopes and no running to the store last minute for stamps.
While getting all of those addresses stored in one place is going take some time, once you’ve done it, you won’t have to do it again, so sending invites from here on out will be easier than ever.
3. Make The Bar Self-Serve
Hiring a bartender for your event can be expensive, but if you are interested in offering alcohol for adults then you should still be able to do that. Get some liquor, get some mixers, and get some garnish then call it a day. Set up a table with the supplies and let your guests create their own concoctions.
If you want to make things even more simple, just get some beer and wine. This will take a bunch of the stress off you while still allowing you to offer your guests adult beverages to enjoy.
4. Get Your Prep Done
On that list you are now keeping handy, give yourself a timeline. One week before party. One day before party. Two hours before party. Think about what you can prep ahead of time and get it done when it make sense to do it. Decorations can be made and stored a week or a month in advance while food prep probably needs to be done the night before. Having this all spelled out for yourself will make your days and nights leading up to the party a little less stressful. As an added bonus, if you plan everything out well, you can also plan on recruiting some help!
5. Keep The Kids In Mind
No one seems to remember the little people, and it can be frustrating for parents to have to deal with tired, bored, and cranky kiddos when they really want to be mingling with a cool cocktail in hand. While you are getting organized, start a list specifically for a kid’s area.
It doesn’t have to be large, but a specific kids area will give the little ones a place to play where they can be free to be kids while the adults enjoy their adult time. The classics like coloring books, stickers, and sidewalk chalk are always welcome here, but don’t be afraid to get creative with it.
Get some flower seeds, dirt, and plastic cups or egg cartons. Tell the kids to decorate their cups or egg cartons and then plant their favorite flowers. Rope off a designated area for water gun fights. Put out supplies for decorating cupcakes. There’s about a million little things that you can do to make this party special for the kids, which means that the adults will have more of a chance to relish their experience as well.
6. Don’t Have The Party At Home
What could be more stressful than trying to clean a house and make space for guests on top of planning, preparing, organizing, and setting up? Not much.
Lucky for you, there’s always somewhere available to have a party. Look to local hotels or banquet halls, or if you are hosting a party during a time when the weather is nice, look to local parks and rent a tent.
While there are some benefits to having your party at your place, in truth, the cons out weigh the pros. The biggest bonus to setting up camp somewhere else? The clean up is either easier or handles by someone else. Score!
Stay Stress Free
Remember that parties are supposed to be fun, and that includes the host as well! It doesn’t matter how big or small your gathering is, the whole process of planning and hosting can be nearly stress free if you take the proper steps to make it that way.