Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Big Event hosting check-lists -or- how I keep my sanity before hosting a shingdig

I just finished emailing and phoning some relatives for some last minute checks on our Thanksgiving feast we are hosting this Thursday. We have about 20 folks coming by for supper, and since I mentioned checking my list in yesterday's post, I thought I'd share my lists.

These are lists I use every time we have a big gathering. They help me mentally walk through the day and all I have to do, and frankly, save my sanity and my sleep the days before a big event.

I hope they may help you too!

House Preparation:
*Empty out closet space or prepare a place for jackets and outerwear (sometimes as simple as a free bed or sofa)
*Spot clean the bathroom, make sure there is plenty of toilet paper and soap, and clean hand towels
*Sweep the entryway to make sure it is presentable
*Have the boys put away toys, especially ones that might cause others to trip
*Do a quick, general spot clean and pick up of any errant items
*Since we have lots of young kids in our extended family, make sure there are no dangerous or toxic items in toddlers’ reach
*Prepare guest accommodations if hosting overnight guests, including towels and linens.

Kitchen Preparation:
*Pull out any serving pieces I might need to use, check that I have counter or table space for dishes and other sides folks might be bringing, also checking serving utensils.
*Determine a space in our home for drinks, dinner serving and desserts.
*Pull out plates, napkins, silverware and glasses, making sure I have enough of each.
*Figure out seating (this can be as casual or formal as you like) and do place cards if necessary.
*Review menu and ensure I have all the food items I need--for instance, if I am using a box mix, that I have all the items needed to make said mix.

Dining Room/Tables Preparation:
*Set up enough chairs, do a headcount if doing a seated dinner
*Put out tableclothes and placemats, if using.
*Either set tables if doing a formal seating, or stack dinnerware for use
*Spot clean or polish anything, if necessary
*Figure out centerpieces, if using.

Final touches:
*Chill wine or other drinks, if necessary
*Make sure your grocery shopping is truly finished (I am notorious for thinking “we have onions” and then realizing I need 3 or 4 and I only have 2), checking each recipe carefully
*Check cleaning supplies, especially dishwasher detergent and dish soap, paper towels, etc.
*Make sure you have a good supply of kitchen towels.

Last but not least:

*Take a load off...and chill for a bit. Chances are, if you are hosting a big group, you will need the extra energy!

Anything I am missing? I would love to hear your ideas!

Life is sweet,

1 comment:

Julie Fraley said...

Post-Thanksgiving, there are a couple things I am going to add to my list for next year.... One is to make sure I have plenty of foil, ziploc bags, and tupperware WITH matching lids for putting away leftovers. The other is that next year I am going to invite my guests to bring their OWN tupperware to take leftovers home in. That way mine is not scattered all over the city.

Hope you had an awesome day!