First and foremost clean your house. This may be a no-brainer for some but Iím always surprised how someone can work in the kitchen all day preparing an amazing meal and thereís dust all over the kitchen and the bathrooms have mushrooms growing in their shower.
If you look at a party planner, often there are tips on what you can do a day or two before. Make attempts to pre-plan, even just a little bit. Typically this planning applies to food Ė where etiquette is concerned, begin with a clean home. I suggest starting with the bathroom. If you havenít done a thorough clean in a few weeks, allow one hour to clean and disinfect the entire bathroom. An hour might seem like a lot but most professional cleaning companies will tell you that one hour is a good time determination. You donít know how dirty it is until youíve looked for the dirt. The day of your event put fresh towels out and wipe down the counters. And please make sure your toilet is swished.
Next you want to vacuum and then dust your house. Dusting should always follow your vacuum as many dirt suckers tend to spit back out a little dust into the air.
Once the kitchen is clean then begin prepping the food. If you start with a clean kitchen itís easier to clean up after yourself and/or clean as you go. Clean the kitchen before you begin prepping the food. Be sure to look up and check for cobwebs Ė especially where you are going to be eating. Thereís nothing worse that sitting down to a nice meal in the dining room (which isnít typically used every day) and seeing dust and hanging cobwebs attached to the lights.
Unload your dishwasher before you begin prepping and everything can go straight into the washer and started before guests arrive. If youíre really ahead of the game you can have it unloaded again so the dirty dishes can be loaded as dinner is finished.
If you are running short on time, do the appetizers last. Appetizers, assembling and heating, is easy. They can be prepped and arranged as people arrive.
One nice area decorated for the occasion is perfect. Whether it is the entryway, kitchen island or dining table. The cake, some balloons, maybe a flower arrangement are all great occasion decorations. Placing them where your guests will be makes them easy to see and be appreciated.
Now smile and enjoy the party.