It is almost time for holiday parties!
I’ve always enjoyed throwing parties. In fact, it is one of my top secrets to getting and keeping my house clean! Giving out party invitations is a sure fire wire way to guarantee I will get a lot done around my house.
Sometime I throw big parties, some small ones. But no matter the number of guests, I basically follow the same 10 simple steps to prepare for every party! Ambience is so important to me that by simply preparing a warm and welcoming home, I feel relaxed and ready to focus on the guests — and forget about myself.
Top Ten Things to Do Before a Party:
- Sweep the front walk and porch! Make sure you have a clean doormat outside the door for guests to wipe their feet.
- Turn on your outdoor lights. If you want extra lights for your walkway, think about using my decorating staple, Mason jars!! Fill them about ¼ full with Epsom salts and add votive candles. Line your walkway and/or front porch with these little candles and your guests will feel they are walking into a warm and inviting place.
- Pay special attention to your entryway. First impressions of your home will go a long way to making your guests feel comfortable. Have a candle to scent the air (I usually light mine for two hours in the afternoon, then I blow it out to let the wax cool for about an hour, and then re-light it about 20 minutes before the party. This trick ensures your house will smell wonderful and will allow you to keep the candle burning for the duration of your party without your wick drowning in wax.). Be sure to put away clutter and shoes, have a clean mat inside to wipe feet, and prepare a place in a closet or bedroom for guests’ coats.
- Have an inviting and sparkling clean powder room. Stock it with clean hand towels, extra toilet paper, empty wastebasket and a good smelling candle ready to light before guests arrive. Make sure the candle is in a safe place away from little hands and fire hazards.
- Have soft music to play during your party. Have the volume not so loud that people can’t talk without shouting but loud enough to add a festive feeling to the atmosphere. Instrumental usually works best for background music. Pick something soothing, yet not so mellow that it will put your guests to sleep. Lightly upbeat will keep the mood right.
- Have plenty of places for your guests to sit. Bring out extra chairs or footstools to pull up to conversation areas, and places for them to set their drinks near the seating areas. Setting out bowls of nuts or snacks can give guests something to nibble on before the main meal is served.
- Turn off the TV!
- A poorly lit home feels unwelcoming and depressing. You can turn on all the lights in your home for a bright, fun and happy feel, or go for a more cozy environment by using just candles, lamps or lights on dimmers, but make sure that the house feels cozy and welcoming with no dark and dreary corners.
- Have beverages ready to serve as guests arrive. A pitcher of ice water is always welcomed! Hot-spiced cider steaming on the stove makes a house smell wonderful and is a festive beverage to offer guests when they first arrive. Here is the Hot Spiced Cranberry Cider recipe I use for most parties!
- Take a deep breath, relax and smile. Welcome your guests inside!
What are your “must-do” party preparations?
Related post: Preparing for Guests