10 Secrets to De-Stress Your Holiday, Part 4

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1. Make-ahead meals and no cooking required appetizers
2. Planning a workable menu and advance preparation
3. Decorate for less
4. Setting up for success
5. Get what you really need

Being a lover of food and people, I am often entertaining. Even with a baby at home, we are still hosting gatherings quite often. People often ask me what’s my top piece of party planning advice. Although I have many useful secrets, tips and techniques, I think the easiest way to get a party off to a good start is to use this secret and separate your food and beverage areas.

7. Separate Food and Beverage

People naturally gather where there is food and drink. It is the most common error to put these two areas together, creating a traffic jam and guests who stay in one place. Why would someone want to leave a fully stocked buffet table with beverages near by? You may not consider these two things “entertainment” but they are big attraction areas for guests. By separating these two main attraction points, guests must get moving to get what they want often freeing up new space and allowing more interactions for mixing and mingling.

Separate Food and Beverage

(If you can – set up your buffet and beverage stations in opposite areas or rooms)

D.I.Y. Bar Set Up

(D.I.Y. Bar Set Up, click for how to do it.)

8. Manage the Mess

Whether you use china or paper, there are always dishes from the meal and cooking. Making as much food in advance will cut down on the dishes you have the day of the event.

use disposable pans to keep clean up easy

(use disposable pans to keep clean up easy)

Empty your dishwasher before guests arrive and load soap already in it. Once the dinner is finished, plates easily get loaded in and washed, as dessert is enjoyed. If you don’t have a dishwasher or you have too many dishes for one load, designate a corner space in the kitchen or tub to stack dirty dishes. This keeps the kitchen looking nice and your sink available for uses.

Empty your dishwasher before guests arrive

(Empty the dishwasher so it’s ready to fill during and after your party)

Also, double line trash bins so they are easy to take out and replace. Helpful guests don’t have to search for a new bag and it prevents guests from tossing something away without a bag making the process clean, quick and easy.

Double line trash bins

(Double line trash bins to always be ready)

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