Most of us don't plan parties every weekend. It isn't every day, after all, that Jackson turns five, Jillian graduates from high school, or your husband gets that promotion! Even if you do throw the occasional dinner party "just because," most of us throw so few in our lifetime that keeping organized while party planning never quite becomes second nature.
As you know by now, here at Muddy's Bake Shop, we are in the business of making the sweet side of all your parties a piece of cake, even if you're serving cookies (yes, I'm groaning too). Having a hand in so many party plans, we've learned some handy tips on how the best stay organized and save their sanity when putting together even the most last-minute bash! Here are six of the most helpful ideas we've encountered.
1. Get your plan on paper. Even if you're just intending to treat a couple of friends to cake and ice cream, do not try to keep track of your plan in your head! Write it down, and utilize a calendar to help space your tasks and visualize how much time you really have to get things together. Be sure your schedule reads "Order Muddy's" as early as possible, a week in advance if you can and no later than 48 hours before your event!
2. Enlist the help of friends or family members. Once you see how much you have to do, determine which tasks you may be able to delegate or need help to complete. Don't worry about putting people out--parties are exciting events, after all, that many people love to help with however they can!
3. Plan your platters wisely. At least two days in advance, lay out your serving dishes and utensils and label them so you know what food goes where. Make a list of what you are missing, and post a request on Facebook asking if any of your friends can lend the items to you. And don't forget Muddy's has a great selection of cake stands perfect for serving cake, cupcakes, hors d'oeuvres, or most anything else that tickles your fancy.
4. Make some lovely labels. If your food items are not immediately identifiable, make some labels! Plan to do this well enough in advance that you aren't franticly raiding your child's crafting corner at the last minute looking for a marker that isn't dried out. Remember, labels are an opportunity to show some personality, and the possibilities are endless when it comes to jazzing them up to fit your party's theme.
5. Prep what you can. Review the recipes for everything you plan to serve, and identify any tasks that can be done ahead of time. Can it be frozen? Make it a week ahead of time and stick it in the freezer. Lots of veggies involved? Wash and chop them the day before the party. Dips and sauces can often be made in advance too, so take advantage of that when planning your menu from the get-go.
6. Cover your counters for easy clean up. It's party day! What's the first thing you should do in the morning? Cover every kitchen counter with saran wrap or parchment paper, that's what. Whether you are a superhuman who plans to greet guests with an immaculate kitchen, or you are saving the clean up for the morning after, you'll love how easy cleaning your countertops will be: just lift up the mess and go!
Now you have had a successful party, your kitchen is clean, and all your sanity remains in tact, thanks to the minimal effort you took to stay organized from the beginning of your party planning. And the fact you didn't have to worry about dessert--thanks to Muddy's Bake Shop--didn't hurt either, did it?
We know our gentle readers and lovely customers have thrown an affair or two to remember. How do you stay sane while planning your parties? Comment below with your favorite tips!