Soon, ladies, soon: We’ll be able to throw cocktail parties again, and you better believe we’re going to do it up and do it up right. I’m thinking jazz. Not just Miles-Davis-on-Spotify jazz, but an-actual-musician-playing-an-actual-piano-on-my-patio jazz. Will this piano player be wearing a mask? Will we all be wearing masks, sipping on our cocktails through special straw holes? Who’s to say? The point is that it’s time to stop living in limbo and start making plans for a better tomorrow.
In the meantime, I don’t mind telling you that my house is an absolute disaster. Maybe you’ve held it together better than I have over the past two or three months and your house exists in a perpetual state of being ready for guests with 10 minutes’ notice. If so, we’d all love to hear how you do it. But the rest of us? We need to get out the phone book and call the cleaning crew. Or the demolition crew. Your choice!
I myself have discovered the following tips really work for me when it’s time to stop procrastinating and get my house ready for a cocktail party.
1. Set a Deadline
Human beings are born procrastinators, and nothing nips procrastination in the bud like a deadline. What is the best way to set a deadline for yourself? Why, set a date for your party, of course! Design your invitations, send them to the printer, and mail them out. Book the caterer and, if you’re as serious about the live music as I am, book the band. Make commitments that are going to cost you money if you withdraw. Pressure is what is going to make you get this done.
2. Get Annoyed
Honestly, one of the biggest motivators in my life is being annoyed by something. Maybe I will go outside to pick up the newspaper one morning and step in dog doo, which I didn’t see because the grass had grown so high. Disgusted beyond belief, I go right to my phone and call the landscaper. Or maybe I will try to sit outside and soak in a little sun, but the mosquitoes start biting. I’ll look up local exterminators on a networking website I like to use--immediately. Hey, whatever works, right?
3. Get Help
Your one-woman party-planning committee could bypass a lot of the friction if there was a second person involved. The key, however, is that you must find someone of a like mind and you must set clear roles. At the risk of sounding like a raging monster, if this is going to be your party, the one helping you needs to know that all decisions rest with you. And what if you can’t find a willing, enthusiastic partner-in-crime? Then pay one! While I’m not suggesting that you hire a party planner (although wouldn’t that be a dream?), I am suggesting that you hire somebody to help you make your bathrooms sparkle and get the dust off of the chandelier. You can bet your bottom dollar that I will be hiring a house-cleaning service before my next big cocktail party.
4. Set Small Goals & Crush Them
Here’s a secret I learned long ago: Any large, intimidating project can be accomplished if you divide it up into realistic, achievable sections. Write these small goals down if that helps--I know it helps me to put them onto paper. Try this example. Step 1: Design a first draft of the party invitations. Step 2: Design a second draft. Step 3: Design a third draft. See? Isn’t that easier than: Step 1: Send out beautiful party invitations and get the house cleaned. And it’s exponentially easier than: Step 1: Host an amazing party.
From the bottom of my heart, I wish you the best of luck getting ready to party like Beyonce.