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Entertaining, even for the Big Game, doesn’t have to be difficult. Remember the saying, “They’re coming to see you, not your home.” It’s true. Sure, you want your home to be tidy and relatively clean. But, don’t spend so much time getting ready that you are exhausted and overwhelmed by the time your guests begin arriving.
I hope that these 12 Tips to Being Big Game Party Ready are a help to you!
1. When cleaning, focus on the areas that your guests will see the most. For me, that would be the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. I do a deep cleaning of each room the day or two before our party, leaving only a quick once-over on party day. If you have small children and don’t wish to have their toys scattered everywhere, set out specific toys and make their playroom and/or bedroom off limits. Instruct your children ahead of time of your intentions.
2. Be sure to keep the bathroom well-stocked on paper goods. I like to use paper towels during a party, rather than a hand towel. The bathroom will see much more use than normal and hand towels can only absorb so much (plus it makes more work the next day with extra laundry!) Here, too, be sure to have extra trash bags and change out the waste basket frequently. To be extra hostess-with-the-mostest, you can also stock up on feminine products and leave them in a non-conspicuous place for your female guests.
3. Use your laundry basket to gather up items that typically are on display, but might need to be moved before a party. Leave the items in the basket and store it in your laundry area. This will make returning the items back to their original location much easier the next day.
4. To quickly dust and clean, I use a sock and a lint roller. The sock over a hand will catch the dust and dirt. The lint roller is great for picking up stray pet hair.
5. Paper goods are your friends! Party time is not the time for regular dishes and cups. Especially for Big Game parties, your guests will be making multiple visits to the food this could mean a TON of dishes to wash. Cut down on the work by stocking up on paper goods and such (plates, cups, napkins, serving utensils, silverware, trash bags, toilet paper) at your local Sam’s Club. You can buy these items in bulk quantities, saving money and time.
6. Along with those paper goods, leave waste baskets in several locations around your home. This will make clean up a breeze. Be sure to change out the bags before they get too full and cumbersome.
7. Party decorations can be expensive. Since folks are coming to watch the game (or the commercials!), let the tv and food display be your decorations. If you feel a few decorations are necessary, don’t overlook the balloons at a dollar store. They typically have a pretty good selection and cost, well, a dollar each. Use your own balloon weights to save even more.
8. Opt for cupcakes instead of a large cake. Cupcakes can be frosted with your team’s colors. They are easier to serve than a big cake, and usually result in less waste. Your local Sam’s Club has great prices on cupcakes.
9. For the meal, choose simple! An excellent choice that we’ve used a few times is found at Sam’s Club. For only $13.98, you can pick up a hot (16in) pizza, cheesy breadsticks, 6 cookies, and a 2 liter of Coca-Cola. You can ask the deli staff to not cut the pizza so that you can cut it into smaller pieces once you get it home. Pick this combo up as the last party prep item. Bring home a piping hot pizza (or two or three), gooey cheesy breadsticks, cookies, and Coca-Cola to make serving your meal a breeze. While you’re at Sam’s Club, check out the snack aisle. You could also grab a large can of nuts, large bag of chips, snack bars, candy, crackers, cheese sticks, and more. In one shopping trip, your party needs are covered- from paper goods to drinks to food. 🙂
10. If folks offer to help and/or bring foods, LET THEM! I used to want to do it all myself. All of the foods I’d serve would be homemade. And I’d wear myself out doing it. I didn’t truly enjoy the party prep and, honestly, didn’t enjoy the party as much as I could have. Now, instead, I let others help. The best items to ask others to bring is drinks and desserts. Both are needed in large quantities and both are simple for others to bring along. During the party, allow others to help you. This makes them feel more at home and takes the burden off of you. Trust me on this one. Just let folks help you.
11. Finally, after all of the prep is done and the party has begun, RELAX. You invited folks to your home to have a good time, so have a good time yourself! Make memories, take photos, laugh, chat, and enjoy the party. I’ve reached a stage of life to recognize that time is fleeting. Be fully present with your guests and family. Have the photos to prove it.
12. One final tip- spend 30 minutes with all hands on deck after your guests depart. Since you’ve smartly opted for all paper goods, clean-up should be a breeze. Empty the waste containers, wipe off the tables and counters, put away any remaining foods, pick up the living room, do a general picking up. Just as I detest finding a sink full of dishes first thing in the morning, so do I detest finding a dirty home still to be cleaned after a party. It doesn’t take long to clear the clutter with everyone pitching in.
Parties don’t have to be expensive or intimidating. They are simply a fun way to spend time with your friends and family. Don’t focus so much on the process that you lose sight of the meaning.
Any tips you would add? I’d love to hear them!
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