Day four: 5 things to do before a party, to prep your home

Getting ready for a party can be a lot of work. Of course, you will be planning out what you need to do and when to do it, which will have you very busy leading up to the event with cleaning, shopping, food prep etc. When planning out what needs to be done, spread out the load by doing at least one thing each day for a week leading up to the event.

Even with all your advanced planning, sometimes these five things can go unplanned. By thinking about these these elements before your party, you might even get to enjoy the party too!

1. What are you doing with all the coats and boots? Every guest that comes is likely going to have a coat, scarf, hat, gloves, and boots. Where are you going to put everything? You definitely don’t want it all piled up at your front door!

Coats - Be sure that your closet is cleaned out and that there are plenty of hangers available. A great way to double your hanging capacity and to keep couples coats together, is to use the pop can tab hack. Or, if you have strong hangers, you could simply hang couples coats together on the same hanger. If you don’t have a coat closet, designate another area for coats. Maybe the bed in your guest room, or even use your shower rod as a place to hang coats. Either way, be sure to let guests know where you're taking their coat, so they can grab it when they're ready to sneak out.

Boots - If you have space to line them up at the door, or in a closet that's great! Consider putting down a couple of rubber boot trays, or even a towel if you have hard surfaces. Boots will likely come in wet at this time of year, and you'll want to protect your floors from a big puddle, and your guests from a slip and fall.

If you don't have space in your foyer, try this idea - Have a bunch of plastic bags, towels, and laundry baskets or rubber bins available. Ask guests to write their name on a plastic bag, dry off their boots, then put their boots in a bag. Bags of boots will go into a laundry basket or bin. Take full laundry baskets away, and leave an empty one its place. When your guests are ready to leave, their boots will be easy to find, and still together.

2. Plan for ice - Full cubes are so much nicer for cocktails than chipped up ice from a bag. Plan for ice in advance, by making a couple of trays each day before the party. Store the cubes in a Tupperware container with a lid in the freezer.

3. Don’t forget out the outside of your house - Sometimes we are so focused on the inside, we totally forget about the outside. Think about how welcoming your house is from the street, clear your sidewalks and pathways from any ice and snow. If you don’t usually use salt or sand, this would be a good occasion to do so just in case it starts to snow before or during your party.

Will there be smokers? If required, ensure there is a space cleared outside for them.

4. Stock bathroom(s) with necessities - Ensure that you have a full roll of toilet paper, plus extras visible, and fill your liquid hand soap dispenser. Also, have these items available - hand cream, floss, hairspray, new toothbrush, feminine hygiene products, hair ties, and bobby pins. Display items somehow so your guests don’t have to go looking through your drawers and cupboards to find them. Finally, if you have more than one bathroom, have these items available in each one that your guests may use.

5. Ensure that you have seating, but that it’s also easy for your guests to maneuver around to get a drink, food, get up to talk with someone etc. You want your guests to have the option to sit down, however never feel trapped once they’ve done so. Be mindful of somewhere for guests to place a drink or food plate. Do you have a side table near an armchair, or a coffee table in front of the couch?

In the day five blog we'll share 5 great apps to accommodate common dietary restrictions.

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