Organized Hosting Cuts Stress
Oct 15, 2013 04:38PM ● Published by Scott Blackwell
Topping the list of benefits:
1. You will feel less stressed.
2. Your guests will have a nicer experience as things run smoothly. Those who don’t feel planning is necessary for entertaining guests are often those who do very much the same thing with the same people every time. The organization is there, it’s just not as obvious. You can always, for example, count on Aunt Sarah to bring a homemade pie, and you know your cousin will bring that awful casserole that no one eats.
Here are some general suggestions for you to utilize as-is or to adapt for the kind of events you host.
• Plan a larger event in a general way first. Decide on the type of event and think through how and where your guests will spend their time at your home. A sit-down dinner involves a lot more planning than serving beverages and snacks on the patio, for example.
What is the occasion – a particular celebration, a holiday or season, or just because? And whom will you invite? This is a good time to visualize your space and the people, decorations and food in it.
• As you plan the work, schedule actual times to do the activities, not just the deadlines. Plot out the times in your planner.
• Plan the table or the layout of the buffet area, the serving dishes, the table linens,
• Plan whatever help you need or can afford. If not a fully trained chef, a high school student who would enjoy helping for somewhat less money might be the answer.
• Plan the day of the event in detail. Final food preparation, final arranging, final cleaning, final setup, all need to be given time slots so you know everything can be accomplished, guaranteeing a smoother event and less hassle. Who will prepare what and when? When will everyone get dressed? Who’s responsible for last-minute touch-up cleaning?
I even used to plan which people were working in the kitchen while others were taking showers – it kept people from falling over each other. When can you run the dishwasher so you have less after-the-fact work to do?
– Katherine Anderson, CPO-CD, has been helping businesses, groups and individuals get better organized for more than 30 years. You can reach her at www.AndersonOrganizing.com