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Blog: Busy Moms Can Be Organized Too

Several months ago, my very dearest friend announced that she was going to plan a surprise 21st birthday party for her daughter. How exciting! But what an undertaking in such a short amount of time.

You might think that because she is my best friend she would have a similar personality and the likelihood is there that she is organized. Not in the least bit!

She called me in a panic the week before the event because she had taken the first step of inviting people - 73 that is! She basically told everyone she knows and probably some she doesn't know too well to "come on over" that coming Saturday. So, before she knew it, she has 73 people showing up. Yikes! Where would she put them all!

Now with only days away from the party and there no plan as to what she is serving or how she is serving 73 people, she is at her wits end.

Of course, I volunteered to help her out and create an action plan to get everything organized so that the party could run smoothly.

The first mistake that was made was that she did not make a set guest list to see how many people she was inviting. She just randomly asked everyone without taking into the consideration the ramifications of her actions. It was all done by word of mouth - not a formal written invite.

The next issue when planning such an event is determining what the menu should be and how much food to provide. (My friend is notorious for purchasing way too much food because she cannot judge how much everyone is going to eat.) The end result of not planning is that you can end up with so many leftovers, you end up giving it all away because you just don't have room to store it afterwards.

Next, how the food will be prepared and served. Will it be brought in by a caterer or will it need to be prepared at home? If made at home, when will it be prepared? Can it be prepared in advance so everything does not have to be done on the day of the party? How will it be stored? Is there enough room to store the food until its time to heat it up or serve it? Do you need to create a schedule for placing items in the oven so they all are done at the same time?

Do you have enough supplies - plates, cups, plasticware, napkins, bowls, serving trays, sternos, crock pots, aluminum foil, plastic containers for storage, etc?. When planning the food, you need to determine how it will be served to make sure you are not left stuck in the end with nothing to serve your food on.

The next issue is decorations. Since this is a surprise party for her daughter that lives at home, no decorating can be done until that morning when she leaves the house to go to work. It does not mean, however, that you don't plan what to decorate with and where to place it when the time comes.

Lastly, where will you put everyone - in the living room, dining room, kitchen, basement, outdoors? With a large crowd such as this, the hope is that the weather will cooperate so many will be out in the backyard. But, if the weather does not cooperate, what is the backup plan? Will you put up a tent in the backyard? Do you have enough seating? Will you be doing a buffet style service and where will it be set up?

No matter what the special event might be - birthday party, anniversary party, christening, bar mitzvah, wedding, it all takes planning.

Be sure to leave yourself enough time in advance to figure out all the various aspects of planning the special event so that it goes off smoothly. Reduce stress by planning ahead and then you can have a great time along with your guests.

If you are planning a wedding, why not check out my "U Can Do It Wedding Preparation Checklist" at my ABS Store on my website at www.4abetterspace.com. It provides you with a comprehensive list of what to do, starting a year before the wedding.

Now, that's how you plan a special event!

posted on: 11/26/2010 8:30:00 AM by Audrey Cupo
category: Family

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Busy Moms Can Be Organized Too

by Audrey Cupo

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About Audrey:

Audrey Cupo is a full-time Professional Organizer and sole proprietor of A BETTER SPACE based in Bucks County, PA. She specializes in residential organizing and focuses her business on helping busy moms get organized with her services and her U Can Do It product line. To sign up for her free newsletter full of great monthly tips, resources and product reviews go to www.4abetterspace.com.

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