It’s an amazing feeling when someone refers to you as “the life of the party”. The only thing that beats that is being the host of one – nothing sparks joy quite like bringing people you work with or love together for a good time. For those who’ve thrown gatherings before, you know how enjoyable those events are… and how stressful the logistics can be! Before you send out invitations for your next one, here’s a handy step-by-step to ease the whole process, from planning to shopping and conducting:
1. Do a stock check
To save yourself money and time in deciding what kind of theme to go for, get inspiration from what you already have. Look around your house and note down what you see. The type and design of the cutlery you own could give you insights into what kind of food you want to serve your guests. You may also own some interesting ornaments that would make good decorations for a themed party. A good inventory check will help you make decisions and also give you a head start on the next step – making a shopping list.
2. Make logistics lists
This is the second list that every party-planner should keep. Write down all the things you currently own, and those that you need to buy. Keeping track of what you’re using will help you get everything together easily on the party day itself. For your to-buy list, it helps to sort what you’re buying according to the shops that you’re buying from. This makes for much faster and more efficient shopping trips, giving you more time to do the actual set-up of the venue.
3. Food preparation
For starters, break down your menu into the types of ingredients for every dish and sort these according to the preparation time needed. A good way of sorting classifies ingredients as those that can be frozen, those that can be refrigerated and those that must be prepared fresh. It then comes very naturally for you what ingredients to prepare first, and what you can leave for later. The freezer can really be your best friend in this preparation process because there’s so many things you can keep fresh in there, from sauces to finger foods.
4. Get a helping hand
When done right, party preparations can be lots of fun so get help from friends, especially those you can trust in your kitchen. Know someone who’s good at cooking? Invite them in, steal some cooking tips and don’t forget to let them have a few extra bites along the way!
5. Don’t let the sink pile up
Cleaning up after a party is a separate event all by itself, and a rather nightmarish one if you leave everything to be washed at the end. Lighten your post-party load by cleaning up along the way. It’s easy to do so when you’re preparing a variety of dishes anyway, and keeping a tidy kitchen also helps you feel like you’ve got everything in order and ready for the party. Less clutter leads to less panic!
Parties are great fun and hosting them can be too. Don’t let the behind-the-scenes work tire you out before the real fun even starts! The less time you spend on trouble-shooting, the more time you'll have to actually organise an unforgettable party.