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Organizing Your Next Celebration

As Published In Smead Organomics
Organizing Your Next Celebration

Publicity -- Smead Organomics

Back in the day, organizing a party meant catering, hiring staff, place cards, and worrying about seating charts — fortunately, the modern shindig is a much more relaxed affair. Invitations are sent via e-mail or passed on verbally, it’s entirely acceptable to have guests contribute to the meal (and no one concerns themselves with which fork is for salad and which is for desert). But even the most casual party still requires a bit of planning — instead of a complicated timetable or overwhelming list of to-dos, how about a few simple issues to consider?

Five Ws And An H

  • who will attend? friends, family, co-workers, neighbors?
  • where will it be held? your house, office, another location?
  • when will the event occur? AM, PM, weekday, weekend?
  • what will guests do? eat, drink, games, music, gifts?
  • why are gather? holiday, celebration, work milestone?
  • how many people should you invite? (understanding that 70-80% of invitees will actually attend)

The Menu

  • buffet or sit-down meal? full entrees or appetizers, drinks, and desserts?
  • catered or potluck? home-cooked or store-bought?
  • alcohol or not?
  • do you already have the right recipes and a shopping list, or do you need to do a little online research?
  • how much prep-work can you do before the party (chopping/cooking/freezing dishes in advance)?
  • if you’re short on time, can you place an order with a local deli/restaurant and have it delivered?
  • if you’re low on funds, can you cook an entree and have everyone else bring sides and drinks?

The Supplies

  • do you have everything you need for this party on hand?
  • plates, glasses, silverware, and linens? cookware and serving pieces?
  • tables and plenty of chairs? decorations? music?
  • toilet paper and hand towels?
  • if not, can you borrow from friends or family?
  • does it make more sense financially and environmentally to buy disposable items?
  • to buy used pieces at a thrift store? to expand your collection of “good” housewares? or rent?

Entertainment

  • is entertainment the central part of your gathering, or something that happens in the background?
  • do you want recorded music? live performers? a karaoke machine?
  • dancing? board games? charades? movies? photo displays? arts and crafts? contests?
  • do you need separate entertainment for kids and adults?
  • what age groups will attend, what activities will you have for each, and who will supervise little ones?

Staging

  • do you need to rearrange your environment to accommodate your guests?
  • move tables to create serving stations? set up extra chairs?
  • shut off rooms you don’t want accessed?
  • hide embarrassing or personal items that you normally keep in the bathroom?
  • put away fragile items and valuables that might get broken?
  • set up candles or mood lighting? create a home for coats and purses?

Enjoy Yourself

Don’t get so caught up in the planning that you forget the purpose of a party — to have fun! Once you’ve set everything up, stop the fussing, stop the obsessing, and just relax — you’ve worked hard, and you deserve to have a good time!

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Copyright 2001 RamonaCreel.com

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.

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