When you’ve been planning a party for weeks and checking all of your lists, there will always be last minute party details to consider. I want to help prepare you for some of the things you can’t do ahead of time so you are able to budget your time wisely on the day of the party.
In this post, I’m going to focus on details for a Halloween party, but most of these tips will be applicable for just about any party you plan to have. I’m going to walk you through the details I will be taking care of on the day of the party.
Cleaning Up and Making Room
Hopefully you have given your house a thorough cleaning on the days leading up to your party, but this is when you go through and pick up things that have been left out like your family’s shoes, jackets, school backpacks, etc. Remember that you are going to have a lot of extra people in your house, so you want to clear out as much “stuff” as you can. Think about some of the every day things that you would normally have sitting out and remove them temporarily. Things I’m thinking about are a basket of shoes, jackets and purses of family members who live with you, magazines or books that are on coffee tables or end tables. It’s even helpful sometimes to move throw pillows off of your sofa, just to give that extra bit of sitting room. A lit candle or two always make things look cozier and will make the room smell extra nice.
Go into your bathrooms and put away things left out on the counter like toothpaste, hair spray, shaving cream. Put out clean hand towels and straighten up any bath towels that are in there. Make sure you have plenty of toilet paper available that guests have access to. I always like to have a couple of boxes of Kleenex out for guests, and these days I also keep a couple of bottles of hand sanitizer out, too.
Take anything you can off of your kitchen counters. If you have appliances that are normally sitting out on your counter, like a mixer or blender, put them away in a cupboard, pantry or even the laundry room. Once guests arrive and the food is out, the counter top becomes precious real estate, so remove the little pad of paper and pen you normally keep out there and any other little things that you don’t need during the party. Remember, this is only temporary. As soon as your guests leave, everything can go back to normal.
Food and Drinks
If you are making the food for your party, make as much ahead of time as possible. Even things as simple as putting out nuts or candy in a bowl, do that the day before. Choose the bowl you want to use, put the candy or nuts in it and cover it with a piece of plastic. Something as basic as looking for the right size bowl can take time, and you want to save as much time as you can. For the rest of your food, you can at least get out the platters or bowls that you’re going to use ahead of time and put it together at the last minute. If other people are bringing food to your party, make sure to clear out some room in the refrigerator so they can put their dishes in there. And if you ordered food from a restaurant or somewhere else, factor in the time you will need to go pick it up ahead of time. If possible, delegate someone else to pick it up for you.
For your drinks, try to refrigerate as many as you can the day before the party so things have time to get cold. This includes white wine, if you are serving it. On the day of the party, pick up a few bags of ice, and put some tubs and/or coolers out with the ice and drinks in them. Have that all ready so you won’t have to deal with it when the guests arrive. In the area that will be your “drink station”, be sure to have any glasses or plastic cups out and also put a wine bottle opener and a bottle opener out, too.
This is an area that’s easy to forget about, but it’s the first thing your guests will see when they get to your house. My porch always has some work boots, dirty sneakers, gardening gloves and a few tools sitting out there, so I throw everything in the garage and sweep it off. For a typical party, I might buy a flowering plant in a nice pot and put that on my porch. But this party is for Halloween, so I have a bale of hay, some pumpkins, a scary faceless creature standing in the corner and a bunch of skulls that light up and make a noise when you walk past them. Not your typical porch décor! I will show a picture of that and of other components of my party in my next blog on Monday, Oct. 18.
Make it Pretty
In the bathrooms, I like to put some fresh flowers and/or a lit candle out on the counter. If you buy one of those bundles of flowers at the grocery store, you can take it apart and use several different small vases to put in the bathroom, your kitchen and on your table. I usually have at least one or two lit candles in my family room and kitchen because I think they make it cozy and they make things smell nice. Since this is my Halloween party, I will be adding some extra spider webs out and stretching them around any areas that I left them off of beforehand.
Games or Activities
If you are going to have any games at your party, make sure you get everything ready for them. If you’ll need pens and paper or any game pieces or props, have them prepared ahead of time so that you aren’t scrambling for things while your guests are all waiting for you. And if you have any prizes you are handing out (like for best costume, etc), keep those in an easy to find place.
- Depending how many people are coming over, rearrange seating so that there are extra chairs or places for guests to sit. That may mean spreading out some of your furniture and bringing some extra folding chairs out.
- Make an area for guests to put their purses, coats and hats.
- If you are planning to have music, get your playlist ready and have your speakers charged.
- Make sure your phone is completely charged, and if you’re using a camera instead of your phone to take pictures, make sure that’s fully charged, too.
- Leave yourself time to get ready, and hopefully you can choose what you’re going to wear ahead of time to save yourself from trying on 10 different things, rejecting all of them because you feel like nothing looks good on you and telling your husband that you absolutely have nothing nice to wear!! Wait, that’s me. Thankfully, for me, this is a costume party, so my clothes have been picked out for weeks!
Remember that you have done everything possible to prepare for your party and enjoy yourself! Inevitably you WILL forget something or something just won’t go as you had hoped, but don’t beat yourself up for that or dwell on it. Your friends and family are happy to be together and don’t really care about the details as much as you might think.
I hope these were tips that will help you now and in the future. This list has taken me years to figure out and learn.
Thanks for stopping by my website and reading this post! If it was helpful to you and you found it worthwhile, please hit the share button below to share this on your social media. I hope you celebrate something fun this week!