Whether it be a birthday party, graduation celebration, family picnic or holiday blowout–a backyard party should be fun for everyone, including the host! Dial back the stress on your next outdoor gathering by deploying these six time- and money-saving maneuvers:
1. Don’t get trapped in the kitchen with food prep. Guests always ask what they can bring, so take them up on it. But be sure to specify whether they should bring an app, side or dessert so you don’t wind up with 10 brownie platters and zero potato salad.
2. Clean only where it counts. If your party is taking place outside, there’s no need to go crazy and deep clean every corner of your home. Focus on the rooms guests will actually use, such as bathrooms, the kitchen and maybe the family room.
3. Scale back the bar. Stock up on beer, wine and water, and maybe offer one specialty cocktail, like margaritas. There’s no need to offer a full bar, especially if your party is during the day.
4. Create a user-friendly setup. Use disposable plates, and keep a garbage can and recycling bin close to the action. Not having to wash dishes or wander around collecting bottles, cans, napkins and plates will cut your cleanup time in half.
5. Don’t fuss over decor. The beauty of an outdoor party is, well, the outdoors! Light a few candles, hang some string lights, and cut flowers, branches and grasses to gather in mason jars. That’s about all the decorating your backyard will need to create a festive atmosphere.
6. Have takeout containers at the ready. Send guests home with leftovers so you won’t have to deal with finding room in your fridge and freezer. Plus, you won’t have to resist the urge to plow through those extra chips and cookies.
Simplifying the details of your next backyard bash will create a relaxed environment not only for your guests, but also for you.