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Organizing Your Party

Whether entertaining for a large crowd or just a few close friends, organization is the key to success. One strategy that has always kept me on top of things is keeping lists—lots of them!

Of course most of us will jot down a menu and a shopping list, however, I take that a bit further (some may say too far…) but it works for me. Once I have my menu, I go item by item and create my shopping list, easy enough, right? Then, I break down each item on the menu into the tasks required to complete that item.

For example if we are having grilled vegetables, I would write down prep veggies and grill veggies as two different tasks. Once I have all of the tasks recorded, food related or not, I assign a day next to each job. If I am lucky enough to have some others helping me, I assign a person to the tasks as well. This way I don’t end up with all of my tasks on one day, and barely anything on another. It gives me a visual of whether I will be ready when that doorbell rings! It’s a work in progress, kind of like a jigsaw puzzle. I do this in pencil so I can re-arrange it until I find a workable combination. After the party, I type up the menu with notes of what went over well, and what did not. I record how many people were there and any special notes like-“it was 90° out so we went through way more bottled water than usual.”

Having all of these party “stats” on my computer makes planning the next soirée a snap!