Your Handiest Party-Planning Checklist

Hosting a party — or any social event — can be as involved or as simple as you make it. Especially during those big end-of-the-year holidays, when most of us enjoy attending or throwing a few soirees. Whether you’re an extraordinary party-planner or an inexperienced host facing your first get-together in your new Florida home, we’ve got your back. The following to-do list spells it all out — for holiday events and other year-round

Three Weeks Away

First, take time to think and scribble down lists. It’ll help you focus your thoughts. Decide what kind of party to throw, who to invite and choose the food and drinks you’ll serve.  Make a decorations list (especially if you have a theme), a grocery list and housecleaning chore list (We know. Hire it out if you can). Once those decisions are made, send invitations. Buy fun, inexpensive snail-mail invitations or simply email your peeps a calendar invite.

Two Weeks Away

Cleaning and prep time can be fun if you’re using family-heirloom china and crystal or your own collection of handmade pottery. Take time to brainstorm place settings, decorations and the foot-traffic flow around your home.

Like most of us, vacuuming and dusting may be unavoidable. Throw on some music! Dance through it! Or, pay a few neighborhood kids to do the grunt work. Do any make-ahead grocery shopping — checking items off your list — and cook those dishes that can chill out in the freezer before making their party debut.

One Week Away

Touch up the housecleaning. Messes from kids and pets and rainy days may demand it.  If you have breakables that could be in danger from a crowd, put them somewhere safe. Same goes with personal items or papers, and kids’ toys. Stock your bar supplies — run glasses through the dishwasher. Count bottles. Be sure you have enough and a nice variety. Remember to offer non-alcoholic choices, plus coffee or tea.

Days Away (Three, Two, One…)

You might be ahead on this by now, but finish any holiday or party-themed decorating.  If your entire office is descending on your house for a night or afternoon, give your nearest neighbors a heads-up and instruct guests where to park. Ideally, you’ve included that info on your invitation.

It’s Florida — guests’ coats or outerwear may be a moot consideration. But, know what you’ll do with folks’ light jackets and sweaters in case the weather cools down.
Now also is the time to finish grocery shopping — fresh foods that should wait until the last minute (not literally!) — and set up your table, buffet or grazing stations.

The Big Day is Here!

Yay! Hopefully, all you’re finishing in the kitchen is toppings, fresh-baked things and tossing salads. Even better? Picking it all up from a caterer or supermarket.  Set out your bar and the first round of appetizers an hour or so before guests arrive.

Have plenty of napkins, paper towels and stain fighters within easy reach.  Cue your playlist, answer the doorbell and enjoy!

Ready to celebrate a move to the Sunshine State? As Florida’s Custom Home Builder, ICI Homes can make it happen. Click here to begin.