With Thanksgiving tomorrow, many of you may be hosting. Here are a collection of my best tips to keep your sanity whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving or any other party.
- Decide serving dishes way ahead of time, clean them and label them with post its. More on this here and here
- Get yourself ready in the morning or at least several hours before the party is set to start. Just in case something last minute comes up or something needs more attention than you anticipated, knowing you’re at least presentable when guests arrive will calm you. Nothing worse than your sauce is burning and you need to remake, your guests should be there in 15 minutes and you’re still in a robe. Talk about stress! If your guests were to walk in and you’re doing some finishing touches int he kitchen, no biggie, offer them a glass of wine, a stool and some chit chat while you fix the sauce! Pour yourself a glass of wine, not only will it calm your nerves and get you in the party spirit, you’ll appear more relaxed to guests so they’ll feel welcome and relaxed!
- Clear off kitchen counters completely! And I mean completely. As you’re prepping last minute hors d’oeuvres or pulling stuff from the oven, the last thing you want to be doing is fighting your blender for counter space.
- Make sure your dishwasher is empty, that way you can throw any last minute dishes in without worrying
- Create a menu with easy to eat food. Just cocktail napkins is best. Small paper plates is ok. Avoid silverware at all costs.
- Create a drink station. I HATE when I’m in the kitchen and people are coming into the kitchen and the fridge. I set up a bar with glasses, ice, chilled drinks and do not forget at least one non-alcoholic option! And always make large batches of cocktails in a container like this. You can set out a few liquors and mixes to supplement if you want to be more formal. But most guests will be fine with a mixed cocktail and beer and wine.
- Votive candles and grocery store flowers are your best friend! I have been known to hit up Trader Joe’s buy several bouquets of flowers and spread small bouquets around the house in any container I can find. Wine glasses. Tea cups. Mason jars. Dollar store pales. Whatever! Check out this post to see what I mean
- DIY Food Bars look like A LOT of food, but are actually super easy. For Eric’s grad party I did a taco bar. For Labor Day, a bruschetta bar.
- Get a lot of ice. For some reason I always need so much more ice than I think I’m going to, so stock up! Filling the cooler, mixing drinks, it just seems like I always go through a ton!
- Obviously clean your home, but really clean your bathroom. Obviously people always clean their homes before people come over, but if you’re pressed for time, really focus on the bathroom. It’s the place that people are alone and sitting (?) quietly for a moment, so a dirty mirror, messy counter top or stained toilet will be much more noticed, than not so perfectly (or at all) dusted bookshelves. This is another place that a candle and a small bunch of flowers never hurts!
Abby from http://www.abbyminteriorsblog.com/ says “Get everyone out of the house a few hours before. Maybe this is just me, but I’ve talked to some girlfriends about this, and there seems to be the inevitable pre-party argument between spouses right before the guests arrive. This can be avoided, and help you stay more calm, if you can have the house to yourself, even for just an hour. That means no one is using a cup and leaving it in the sink. If you’ve cleaned up the toys, no one is getting more out. You get the idea. Less annoyance means less stress and more fun!” YESS!!!