How to Organize a party

What is the best way to organize a party? It all depends on what type of party it is. 

Luckily, whether you will have a Birthday, dinner, lunch or special event party (like Christmas Dinner) coming up, allot of the basic concepts will overlap.

Whenever you are in the position of organizing a party here are some general ideas and guidelines.

We always start with some basic questions:

  • Who is coming?
  • How many people?
  • Where will it be?
  • When?
  • Why?
  • How should I invite the guests?

What will you need? 

This is often determined by the Venue and could include, but is not limited to:

  • Menu
  • Groceries
  • Drinks
  • Additional items like crockery, serviettes etc.

Other questions could be:

  • Clothing what will you wear?
  • Is it a themed event?
  • Who will run the Party? (- you alone or will others help?)

Think about creating a timeline 

This will allow you to link what needs to be done, with when things can be done.

For all parties there is a clean-up process

  • So ask yourself in regards to the clean-up
  • How will you do this?
  • Who will do it?
  • When straight after or will you pause reflect and then get into it?

This might seem like allot of questions but if we miss a few we might get stuck later, forget something or be not as organized for the party as we would like.

Often we can answer these questions in a few minutes. It is there for, a worthwhile investment to see what are the strong points and what are the points we still need to work on to prepare for a party that runs smoothly.

Initial steps to organize a party

Start the invites

If you start the invites early than that is done, there is a concrete date and you will find it easier to get organized with your party as there is a clear time frame and expectation. You will also know how many people will be there.

Inviting people can be as informal as a text message or a casual come offer for lunch! In other cases, you want to create an invite, this is easy done via email or you can make printed out invites. 

If you are still learning to become more organized, make sure you ask at each step if this is too much work or puts too much pressure on you. 

It is better to aim for simple party and achieve this than for perfect party and fail.

Think about the menu

If you are catering for a big group of people, make the food easy and something you are very good at. Experimental cooking is for small caterings and plenty of time. When you have your house full of guests - easy and familiar does it.

I generally like to have snacks/ entrees, main meal and desert. If you have a more difficult or time consuming desert, make the snacks and main meal easier and vice versa. Again – easy does it! Don’t try to be a Michelin star Chef (unless that is your future ambition).

The main aim is to learn how to organize a party and stay sane in the process. We want to make sure you feel cool, calm and collected and can actually enjoy the party as well.

Organize your party's food beforehand, if possible

  • Make a list and check it twice!
  • If you have to pre-order things put this is in your diary. A few 2 minute calls can save hours running around and it helps you stay cool, calm and collected.


At this stage also check if you have enough crockery, knives, forks cups etc. for the amount of people you will have over. If you think you need more, purchase some extra or go for the disposable option.

When you organize a party -
Decide when you start cooking and what you will cook first

If you make things you are good at and know very well, then you know approximately how long it will take you. This helps you budget a realistic time for the dishes. It also helps you when you need to ‘guesstimate’ portions for the food.

Also think about what you can make ahead of time so it will save you time pressure later.

On the day when you organize a party

Wake up early even if you are well prepared things will always take longer than expected and if they don’t. You can sit and relax before the party starts.

I like to always make sure my bins and dishwasher are empty pre-party. There will be an extra sweep of the floor but nothing major as the house will trampled on anyway. If you want to show off your organized and decluttered house use these pages to get you on the road to a clutter free and organized home to entertain in.

When you organize a party you need to: Enjoy the party!

If possible, work together with your / a partner, so you can share the load and enjoy the party for what it is. Things will never be perfect, but if visitors have good food, good company and a happy relaxed host, it generally makes for a fantastic party. See the birthday party page as an example.

Let me know how the tips and ideas have helped you when you had to organize a party!

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