School has just started and we haven't really seen the first of the fall leaves — though the seasons haven't officially changed, September is a great month to do a little preemptive party planning before the halls get decked. Here's a few tips to help you get started ahead of the seasonal rush.
1. Check the Calendar: It's best to give notice of big parties or events at least one month out. Check the calendar to make sure your event dates won't be conflicting with any city events or programs. You can even cross-reference the schedules of local schools to avoid parents detained due to pageants and plays.
2. Skip the Evites: Although you're saving trees, we're still really not into evites. Yes, they're easy, you can simply press send and the message is sent to half your address book. Sadly, they don't really convey the love and time you plan on putting into the event. There's so many supplies and sources available for cool invitations, by planning ahead, you have a few moments to try out something crafty.
3. Start Bargain Hunting: So you've always wanted a big party with real dishes instead of disposable plates — start hunting now at auctions, estate sales and even straggler garage sales and start your collection. If you don't want to store them, sell them on Craigslist when you're done!
4. Menu Planning: Try testing out a few menu items early on and even experiment with foods that can be frozen. The idea of having your whole party pre-made and ready to go before anyone says Trick-or-Treat is a serious bonus and stress reducer.
5. House Cleaning: Even though you can always hire someone to come in at the last minute and clean your place, it doesn't always mean you have the money to do so (or the time). If you start now, you can plan what things need to be done before the guests arrive. It will save your spouse from having a huge last minute list and you from loss of sanity. Include indoor and outdoor work alike and pick a few things each weekend to take care of!
If you had a few months to plan a party, what would be at the top of your list of things to do? We've all said, "If only I had the time…" and now you do! Let us know in the comments below!