How to Host a Party When You Feel “Too Busy”

I love entertaining. Opening up my space to the people I love most, connecting old friends with new ones, shopping for the perfect party accessories, and eating delicious food and concocting yummy drinks…yes, please! However, it’s often a little overwhelming to play hostess, even for a small group, due to all of the planning involved. This is especially the case when entertaining during the week. We recently had a party on a Friday evening, which was a blast, but it took some thoughtful prep time during a busy week to make sure that everything was ready to go by after work time the day of our get together.

I’ve realized that while it’s nice to be able to devote an entire Friday evening or Saturday morning to party prep, it’s entirely possible to knock out tasks in smaller increments before/after work the week-of, so I thought I’d share some of my findings on here for how to best prep a few  days in advance.


3 days before the party: Figure out what you plan to wear and do laundry if necessary. This gives you plenty of time to sort through options and make sure your clothes are clean and ready to go. Think about what you want to serve (if you haven’t already) and make a physical or mental grocery list. If your home isn’t naturally clean/organized, start tidying now! If you’re out and about and see non-perishable items you’d like to pick up (chips and salsa, drinks, party decor, etc), grab ’em!

2 days before the party: Head to the grocery store and pick up all of the remaining essentials. You don’t want to shop too much earlier, or fresh items may start to go bad (or accidentally get eaten!). Continue tidying your house so that you won’t have much to do the day-of.

1 day before the party: Remind guests of the event and the best way to get into your apartment/find parking/etc. This is especially useful for weeknight events when people may be planning to head to your place straight from work and need to make arrangements ahead of time. Empty overflowing trash and recycling bins and do a quick vacuum.

Day of the party: Before leaving for work, make sure your place is 90 percent ready to go, your outfit is set out, and you have all of the supplies you need for the evening. Take out any remaining trash, wipe down the bathroom sink and counter tops, and make sure toilet paper is set out, a clean hand towel is hanging up, and soap is well-stocked (trust me: there’s nothing worse than going to someone else’s house and encountering an unsanitary bathroom situation!). Once you get home, you can start setting out plates and cups, chopping up fruit and vegetables, and setting up your drink station. After that, change, do your hair/makeup, and set out any refrigerated items. Pour yourself a glass of wine and wait for guests to arrive!

What I love about breaking things up into small steps is that each of these tasks can be done in 5-10 minutes so that party prep doesn’t take away too much time from your normal weekday routine. Have any tips to add? I’d love to hear!


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