DO: the bulk of the house cleaning a few
days before the party. If you don’t have the time, hire
someone to help you.
DON’T: leave details like polishing
the silver, washing the windows, dusting and vacuuming until
the day of your party. If you leave the housework to the last
minute, it will only invite stress. The only room you should
wait to clean on the day of the event is the bathroom.
DO: enlist family and friends to help with
the party-prep work. If you don’t hire someone to help
you, delegate tasks to those nearest and dearest and make
sure you have at least one person to help you in the kitchen.
Ask a close friend to lend a hand with food prep. "You
can make it fun," says Lee. "Catch up on things
while peeling the shrimp." Have the little ones set the
table, older children arrange the centerpiece and your spouse
help with the shopping and menu planning.
DON’T: try to do it all yourself.
Divide and Conquer:
DO: split up the shopping detail. If you
have to visit different stores for your supplies, draw up
a clear list of items and have a family member or friend hit
some of the stores for you.
DON’T: wait until the day of the party
to shop. Everything should be bought by the day before the
party. That way, if you can’t find an item on your list,
you can order it, or improvise with something else.
DO: set aside time for a short nap on the
afternoon of the party.
DON’T: assume you have no time to
slow down. In the long run, even half an hour of rest can
keep your stress level in check. That way you’ll be
refreshed and ready when guests arrive.
DO: consider hiring a dishwasher, it’s
money well-spent, according to Lee.
DON’T: worry about the cleanup while
the party’s still going strong. If you try to take on
everything yourself, you will spend most of your time in the
kitchen. After all, your guests come to spend time with you,
not to watch you work.