I love to give a party and have I ever been missing them this past year! There are 5 components to planning a party so that you will have a fun time along with your guests.
Now, I am feeling hopeful that I can once again plan a party but on a smaller scale (for this year at least).
When planning a party, the five components I embrace are the guest list, date, theme, menu, and location.
This is a key component. I love to invite a diverse group of people who will enjoy each other’s company. Usually, I have a core group that I hope will attend every party and then add some new friends that I think everyone will enjoy. This year I am seriously thinking of giving two parties so that each party will have fewer guests. Because I have everyone’s covid-safety in mind, I will let the guests know in advance that there will be no more than 15 at the party.
As I’m planning a party, I look for a date when most of my friends will be available. For example, if I want to give a Memorial Day party, I will check out what my besties already have planned. The party may not actually be on Memorial Day but maybe the Saturday before will fit everyone’s schedule better. It’s more important to me to have as many of my friends show up without stress than to be rigid with a specific date. A few texts, emails, or phone calls will determine the date.
I think about the theme when I’m planning a party because that will hold everything together. The theme will determine the invitations, the food, the decorations, and any activities. I feel that having different themes for each party keeps the parties fresh. Regular guests often ask me ahead if I have decided on the theme yet for the next party. The themes do not have to be elaborate (no luau parties with a pit for the pig and grass skirts- unless you really want to) but just something to keep conversation alive.
The menu usually follows the theme. Some of my guests have food preferences and restrictions and because I love my guests, I try to accommodate them. I like to see that everyone has at least a couple of things they can nosh on and drink. My house is small, so I don’t have room for sit down affairs. Because of that, my menu consists of easy things to eat if you are standing or sitting with your plate on your lap. Sometimes I prepare all the food. Other times I prepare a few special dishes and order the rest. There have even been times when I have had the event catered.
Usually, the party is at my home, but I have had some great ones at other locations. Again, the theme tends to determine the location. When planning a party at my place, I go for “clean enough” so that the board of health won’t be concerned but I do not stress over having the place “party perfect”.
Once I have decided on the five big components, I put together a timeline. I list every task that must be done from making the guest list, the sending out the invites, and to laying out the food on the table right before the guests arrive. Every task is broken down into small steps and each task has a “do” date. That is what keeps me sane. I know exactly when I am going to send out the emails, put together the shopping lists, and set the table.
When the date and time arrives, I want to enjoy my party as much as my guests! Did I mention that I love to give parties?
If you have an interest in what some of the themes or locations I have used in my parties, make a comment and I will respond.
Planning a Party is just another project. If you want help or just some accountability in working your organizational plan or projects join Diane Quintana and me in our Clear Space For You clutter support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, author of four books as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients.