Magazine article USA TODAY

Get Ready to Party

Magazine article USA TODAY

Get Ready to Party

Article excerpt

Charming and friendly guests are the key to a successful party, but it also is important that everything go smoothly. Making a checklist well in advance ensures every detail will be covered. If you are organized and ready to have a good time, your relaxed and festive mood will be infectious. To help bring off your next bash without a hitch, here are some suggestions from Clutter Control, a professional home-organizing service based in Lake Forest, III.

Theme: Celebrating an occasion? Intimate group or large gathering? Formal or casual? Your invitation should make it clear, so your guests will know what to expect.

Guest list: Be sure to include a few fresh faces--people who are interesting, but also interested in others.

Menu: Determine what you will serve in advance, with an itemized list. If you are using a caterer, be specific about what you want and how it should be prepared.

Beverages: Always have more wine, liquor, mixers, and nonalcoholic beverages than necessary. Leftovers will not spoil or go to waste.

Servers: You will require an experienced and reputable person or group--individuals who know when to refill drinks and clear away unfinished plates and glasses. …

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