The holidays are here and you’ve decided to throw a party at your home to celebrate — that’s great! Of course, that’s until it’s a few days before the party and you’re running around the house in preparation, wondering why you signed up to host. We’ve all been there. But not to worry! We have 5 tips on how to prepare your home so your festive gathering goes off without a hitch.
1. Decorate Early
Decorating is the easiest thing you can do today. Today — a day that is several days before your party, when you’re not stressed out or counting down the hours until your guests arrive. Whether you decide on an elaborate theme, a cohesive color palette, or just want to keep it simple with a string of lights and a sprig of holly, start decorating now before the pressure is on.
2. Raid Your Kitchen
You’ve likely already started thinking about your menu (food and otherwise), so take a look in your cabinets and pantry and try to incorporate ingredients you already have. It’ll save you money and the need to store multiples of the same items. (Ever find three half-used bottles of vanilla in the cupboard?) While you’re at it, create a list of what food you’ll need to eat up before your party to help make space in the fridge. You’ll want plenty of room to store ingredients and prepared dishes, so now isn’t the best time to make large meals that leave lots of leftovers.
3. Plan Gathering Locations
We’ve all been to parties where everyone has ended up in the kitchen, whether that was the host’s plan or not. If your kitchen isn’t set up for entertaining, choose the areas you’d prefer guests to gather. For good flow, place your fare in several locations that will force people to walk around and mingle. And you don’t have to stick to your current seating layout. Collect chairs from all over your home and rearrange them into a few clusters. Guests won’t mind that they don’t match, as long as they’re comfy.
4. Consider Holding an Open House
If you have more people on your guest list than space in your home, want a more casual vibe for your party, or are concerned about competing holiday party schedules, consider holding your home open for the day. Guests can come and go as they please and the group can stay small for better conversations. If you go this route, just be sure you have a plan for preparing and serving food throughout the day. You won’t want to run out too early.
5. Clean Up Without Cringing
Easily the worst part of party-throwing is the clean up. Make it easier on yourself by placing several trash and recycling bins around the house to prevent waste from being left in random spots. As the party is winding down, fill up the sink or a separate tub with hot soapy water so guests can drop dishes in need of soaking overnight, then wait to tackle them in the morning. Make a loop and spray any stains before they set, dish out leftovers in to-go containers to save on fridge space and, if you don’t want to worry about packing up and storing centerpieces or decorations, choose items that can be gifted to your guests as they leave.
Bonus Tip! Accept Help
It’s not home related, but here’s an important tip that could save your sanity. Have an aunt who likes to help do dishes? A friend who can create amazing floral arrangements? A neighbor who’s a master with a carving knife? Take them up on their offer to help. We feel confident that we can speak for them when we say you are not taking advantage — they genuinely want to help. It’ll make your party a team effort and help alleviate some of your stress.
Whether you’re hosting an elaborate party for hundreds or an intimate gathering for a few, at the end of the day (or evening) the important thing is that you and your guests have a good time. If you’re noticing you need a little more help around the house to get ready, there’s still time to schedule a visit with your House Manager before your big day. Just sign in to book.