We are big party people in this household, and with a birthday every few months and three kids, it feels more like there is a party every few days. I used to be up way too late the night before and practically pulled my hair out trying to get everything together, but after a while I started to implement a handful of helpful tips that have made a huge difference.
Here are 5 time-saving tips for party planning:
1. Make a Schedule
About a week before the party, I start writing out all the things that need to be done for the big day. When you write it out, it can seem a lot less overwhelming. Plus, I can tell which things I can start working on up to a week before, like the decorations.
2. Be Realistic About Cooking
I like to think that I will make these beautiful spreads the morning before the party, and my kids will quietly paint for hours, and the kittens will just look adorable without knocking over a thing. Ha! I’ve learned to be realistic about what can be made and what should be bought. I love to make the cake, so instead of giving that up, I go ahead and buy fruit platters and snacks. This allows me to put more time into the cake and makes everything feel a whole lot stressful come party day.
3. Make a Party Box
About a week before the party, designate a plastic bin to be the party box. Throughout the week, as you walk by supplies and decorations you’ll want to use for the party, just toss them in the box. When you’re ready to decorate you’ll have everything in one place, which can help save you time from running around the house, looking for that thing you “swear was just right here.”
4. Start Your Thank Yous Early
This is a tip my friend shared with me once, and I have found that it makes getting the kids to write thank you cards a lot easier. She told me that they start writing their thank you cards before the party. If you have some down time a few days before, take out the envelopes for the thank you cards and start having your child address and stamp them. This is one step that can make a big difference later.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
When it comes to party day, there can be quite a few last-minute things you want to pull together. Save time by assigning people jobs a few days before. Ask your husband to maybe pick up last-minute groceries or to take the kids out for the morning so you can put everything together. Family and friends can also help you save time by decorating that day. If people offer to help, don’t be afraid to take them up on it. It can make everything go a whole lot smoother. Jacinda Boneau is a fabric designer and founding co-editor at Pretty Prudent, the premier design and lifestyle blog providing inspiration and instruction to help anyone create beautiful things, food, and experiences for their friends and family.