I shared this post one year ago, and it ended up winning the Summer Organizing Tips Contest sponsored by the National Association for Professional Organizers (NAPO) in 2014.  So I thought it was very timely to share this post with you all again!  Enjoy!

SummerOrgTips_WinnerBadgeIt’s finally warm enough to be outside and I couldn’t be more excited!  And with being outside means having backyard parties!  But, if you are like me, you can get overwhelmed with all of the supplies needed to keep your bash a smash!  (Yes, I was just that cheesy!)  To help ease my anxiety, I created a planning sheet.

how to throw a backyard bash

The nice thing about having a planning sheet helps you stay organized before, during and after the party.  If we are having a few friends over, I would just run through this list in my head.  But if we are having a lot of people over, I would make sure to write down everything!Organizing A Backyard BashSo I always start with planning the space we will use for any party.  At our house, we have the backyard, the front yard/garage and inside the house.  By choosing one location, you can then decide what to eat, drink and where you will be eating as this makes meal planning easier.If we are having a party in our backyard, I would plan for items that we could grill.  I would make sure we had sturdy paper plates and eating utensils for our food since people would be likely to be walking around, mingling or sitting at a card table.  The drinks would be in coolers, so I would want all bottles of drinks for people to have.  We usually take out the bags (corn hole) set for people to play and we have a swing set for the kids to play on for activities for our guests.  If this is a backyard party, I would keep the decorations simple…mostly table clothes.  And if the weather isn’t cooperating, I would plan to move all of the festivities inside as a back-up plan!

Now if I were having a party in a backyard with a pool, I might plan to have sandwiches or finger foods to keep things light while people are enjoying the pool.  I might make some specialty drinks so there are no bottles by the pool.  I would want small plates and napkins but might not need utensils as everything would be able to be eaten with your fingers!  I might have small tables and beach chairs out for people to sit on since the main activity would be swimming.  Beach balls, pool noodles and rafts might add to the decoration aspect of my party along with some other beach-y things.  Finally, I might have to reschedule the party if the weather doesn’t permit for swimming.

Hope this useful planning sheet can come in handy for your next backyard bash!