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How to Throw an Unforgettable Last Minute Party

Think the only way to throw a great party is to spend weeks planning? Think again. You can create a last minute party that's just as memorable as a gala months in the making. Use these guidelines to make the process as simple (and fun) as possible.

6 Tips for Throwing an Unforgettable Last Minute Party

  1. Use a Cheat Sheet: What do you need to do to make sure your party is a success? Things like putting out a garbage bag, wiping down the counters, setting out cutlery, and making sure the bathroom is stocked with toilet paper are easy to forget. The next time you have a calm moment, make a checklist of what you need to do before your guests arrive. Work through it before each party to make sure nothing gets forgotten.
  1. Schedule Around Important Guests: Finding a time that works for all of your guests can be difficult in the best circumstances, but when throwing together a last minute event? Forget it! Simplify your logistics by identifying two or three guests your party wouldn't be complete without. Find a time and date that works with their schedule, and don't worry if a few of your other guests can't make it.
  1. Raid Your Pantry: A last minute party is not the time to experiment with fancy new hor d'oeuvres. Raid your pantry for simple, satisfying fare. It's easy to whip up a dip using sour cream, mayo, and canned fish. Pick up chips, crackers, and prepared cheese and vegetables for easy platters. Go simple with drinks - think wine and beer, or a simple house cocktail.
  1. Use the Supplies You Have on Hand: Don't have time to pick up disposable cups and plates? Don't worry about it. Use what you have on hand. Silverware, cloth napkins, unbreakable cups, and small plates are easy to set out and use. Yes, you'll probably end up with a sink full of dishes, but time will be on your side once the party is over.
  1. Clean Strategically: You probably won't be able to make your space showroom ready in time for a last minute party, and that's okay. Declutter high traffic areas (don't be afraid to stuff your stuff in closets), wipe down the counters, and spritz some air freshener in the bathroom. If you have a couple of extra minutes, straighten up your entryway. A good first impression will more than make up for a little bit of mess in the kitchen.
  1. Breathe: Party planning is stressful, especially if you're feeling crunched for time. That's why it's especially important to take a moment to remember why you're doing it. You're throwing a party to connect with the people you love the most. A successful last minute party comes from great relationships, not a spotless house or gourmet food. Leave the stress behind, connect with your guests, and the rest will fall into place.

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