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,