House party checklist will probably become very helpful right now as most families choose to hose their parties in their homes. At least for the time being as we are dealing with the pandemic. House parties are awesome! I love hosting them. But they can also become very overwhelming really quickly.
And the best way to eliminate stress and simplify your party planning is with a house party checklist. Here are top party planning essentials with a checklist of specific steps.
DECIDE ON YOUR BUDGET
The house party checklist starts with a boring but important task: determining your party budget. No, it’s not fun or festive to start planning your party with this mundane task. But you really need to think about it before you start thinking about the fun things like food and decorations. Knowing what you are willing to spend on your party will definitely help you make some decisions and not leave you feeling overwhelmed and defeated after the party is over. So start crunching some numbers and decide your party budget.
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PICK A THEME
Now let’s move on to the fun part. The first exciting item on a house party checklist is picking a theme. This basically sets the stage for the entire party planning. If you already have something in mind – great! This will be a quick task for you to cross off your checklist. But if you are not sure about the theme – Pinterest is your best friend. If you are planning a birthday party for your 5-year old daughter, simply search on Pinterest for ‘birthday party ideas for 5 year old girl’. And you will get tons of ideas! I promise!
At first, you might like a lot of things. I strongly recommend creating a board on Pinterest to save all the things that you like as potential ideas. That way you don’t lose track of anything and later can look through all your favorites to decide which one you like the best.
Check out the House Party Checklist in my Etsy Shop!
DECIDE WHERE IN YOUR HOUSE YOU WILL HOST THE PARTY
This might be something very obvious to some of you as you always host in the same room. But depending on what type of party you are planning this might change. Perhaps, while you usually are hosting your gatherings in the living/dining room area, your kid’s birthday party might be more suitable in the backyard or recreational room.
It’s best to think about the logistics from the very beginning. It will help you decide on the types of decorations you get and how many people you can actually invite to your party.
CREATE A GUEST LIST
Now that you know what theme you are going with and you know how many people can fit comfortably in your house, it’s time to start thinking about who will be attending the event. Will you have mainly adults or children? Or perhaps a mix of both? Will it be mostly family or friends? Make sure you think about how many people can comfortably fit at your house or your backyard. This will help you narrow down the number of people you are able to invite.
The best way to keep track is to make a guest list. Simply write their names on a piece of paper in a list format. If you know of any allergies or food restrictions, you can write that next to their names. Again, this will help you get organized with the rest of the party planning.
The next natural part of the house party checklist is to start thinking about the party invitations. First, decide whether you want to mail the invitations or send them electronically. For example, kids parties might be easier to manage via email as you may not know all the physical addresses of their friends but you likely have the mails addresses or phone numbers of their parents.
Second, depending on what delivery method you have chosen, you either need to buy the invites or set up an electronic ones. And if you are sending the physical invitations, make sure to also buy stamps 😉
Now it’s time for a fun task on your house party checklist! And that is buying the decorations. This is the time to revisit your Pinterest board and figure out how you will actually decorate the space. Once you make your decision, the first stop should be the party supplies you already have in your house. Decide if there is anything in there that you can use for the upcoming party.
My go to places for decor are Amazon, Party City, and Dollar Tree. I suggest creating a list for yourself on Amazon, and put all the party decorations you like in there. That way you see all your options in one spot. From there you can see if anything from Dollar Tree will work – that way you can save some money upfront. Everything else you can get from other stores.
I also suggest creating a list of things you have already purchased. I cannot tell you how often I buy some new decorations for the upcoming party only to find out that I bought something very similar a couple of weeks ago. Because I just forgot! You can also keep the list you have created on Amazon – just make sure you clean it up so only items you have already purchased are on it.
FOOD, FOOD, FOOD
In order to have a great party, you absolutely have to think about food. What will your guests eat? Will you go with catering or will you be cooking yourself?
If you will be catering your food from somewhere, get quotes from a few restaurants. You want to explore your options both with the type of food you want and the price you are willing to pay (this is why setting the budget upfront is so important!).
And if you decide to prepare the food yourself, start going through your recipe book (and Pinterest!) to create a party menu. This option requires quite a bit more prep, so make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to get everything ready.
Also, don’t forget about things like snacks and appetizers. It’s always a good idea to have some finger foods on the table for people to snack on. It does not have to be anything fancy – simple dip and chips, fruit/veggie platter, or party tray will be great. If you have a lot of kids at your house party, make sure you have some snacks for them as well. The last thing that you want at your party is a group of ‘hangry’ kiddoes running around 🙂
Remember that food also includes drinks! Think about a little area where you can put a variety of drinks for the guest to choose from.
And don’t forget about plates, napkins, utensils, cups, and serving utensils!
This might sound like a random item on your house party checklist, but you have to think about the clothes you are going to wear. Do you have something in your closet already or do you want to get something new? Same goes for your kids.You want to plan ahead on what they will be wearing.
If you have to get something new, get shopping! And if you already have something in your closet, make sure that it is clean and set it aside in your closet. I also suggest thinking about an alternative outfit. Or more accurately – a back-up outfit. This is mostly for kids if they get really dirty. You want to have another outfit ready for them to change into. And because kids sometimes get other people dirty (hint: their moms) you may also think about an alternative outfit for yourself.
GAMES AND ENTERTAINMENT
Depending on what type of house party you are having, you may want to think about organizing some games or entertainment activities for your guests. This is particularly important when it comes to kids birthday parties. But also for the parties where guest bring their kids. You want to give them something to do.
This does not have to be anything extravagant or expensive. This can be as simple as setting up a few activities outside for your kids: water table, bubbles, and chalk. You can set up games like bean bag toss, toss game, or some other type of outdoor activity.
If it’s indoors, get some coloring books, magnetic tiles, board games, or some craft activities.
This is definitely an optional item on the house party checklist. It is still very popular to give party favors to your guests – especially for things like kids’ birthday parties. So you decide this is something you want – start thinking about it now. Great places for that would be Party City or Oriental Trading.
THANK YOU NOTES
And lastly, think about how will you thank your guests for attending your party. I suggest using the same method as you did for sending out the invitations. If you sent the invites electronically – do the same with thank you notes. Usually the platforms that you are using for invitations have that option as well. And you you decided to send the invitations via mail, do the same with thank you cards.
This is something we usually don’t think about until after the party. But it makes so much difference when you already have the thank you cards picked out. If you will have to go to the store and get them, it will likely take you a few extra days 🙂
What party are you planning next? And do you enjoy the whole planning process?
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