7 Ways to Get Organized for Perfect Party Planning ...

In order to have the most fun at your next bash, you need to keep organized for stress-free, perfect party planning. Hosting or planning a party takes a lot of work, and making it as smooth as possible will ensure you have the best time before — and during — the event. So be my guest, and read on for seven ways to get organized for perfect party planning.

1. Pre-Plan

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Perfect party planning involves pre-planning organization. Get all of your ideas out early, then break everything up into portions. I like to start with a brainstorm list, and then create separate lists from there. What can be bought, made or somehow started now? Usually, the guest list and invitations are initial steps, and food and final decorating touches are last. Start by thinking big then narrow it down, so that you don't miss a single thing in between!

2. Inventory List

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Keeping a list of your inventory as you go along will not only help you on the day-of the party (think checklist!), but throughout the entire process. You won't purchase duplicates, or miss an important item. If you have a budget, keeping an inventory list with costs is a great way to stick to that budget. It will also force you to prioritize your purchases and overall end up with less clutter for the party. Make your inventory list and budget, and stick to them!

3. Guest Path

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I find that it helps to think of the party in terms of where you want the guests to start, and what you eventually want the guests to do. This helps shape your layout, decorations and planning. If any guestbooks or photos are involved, it's great to hit your guests early. If it's just a mix and mingle kind of party, a place for coats and purses or drinks bar always add a touch of class. Plan for the type of party you are throwing.

4. Acquire Ambassadors

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If you've got a lot going on, especially the week or day-of, ask a few friends to lend a hand. Maybe you need someone to pick up the cake, or remind you to pull the champagne out on time. You're not being a bad planner to ask for a few appointed "mini" hostesses on the day or week-of the party. Ask your closest friends who you know will already be at the party. They won't mind lending a hand!

5. Ask around

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Looking for the perfect cake platter or a couple more chairs? Ask around! A guest or friend of a guest could have the perfect item you're missing but don't want to splurge on. Using borrowed items instead of only what you have on-hand keeps your parties different and full of variety! Just make sure to take care and return each piece.

6. Practice Run

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Practice anything you may be unsure about - how the table spread will lie, where the decorations will hang, or which angles you'd like photographed. Just a few hours of pre-practice will help you keep things running smoothly before the big bash. You'll feel better and have caught glitches early. This way, you'll also have more time to get the next most important thing ready: yourself!

7. Take Note

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Once your party is a great success, take note of the things that did and did not work for you in the planning stage. You'll have a plan of attack for next time! It also helps to clean and store any new party items you purchased that you could use again. You'll now have a larger inventory on-hand for your next bash! Also don't forget to return those pieces that you borrowed!

Planning a party can be stressful or a fun little activity for weeks in advance. Remember these quick and easy tips for the perfect party planning and have a ball at your next bash! What has worked best for you?

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