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General Party Planning Advice

This is where you can pull it all together with advice ranging from timetables, cleaning tips, and last minute party planning advice.

Do I Need to Worry About Guests' Food Preferences?
Should you tell a host about your dietary requirements before you accept a dinner party invitation?

Do I Need to Worry About Guests' Food Preferences?
How do deal with varying food preferences when you host a party.

Surviving the Supermarket When Holiday Grocery Shopping
Tips and strategies for making short work of holiday grocery shopping.

Top Reasons to Entertain
Hosting a party involves work and expense. Why should you bother? This list will give you 10 good reasons why you might want to entertain more often.

Is It Necessary to Give Guests a Party Favor?
A reader questions whether giving party favors are necessary for proper etiquette.

Holiday Houseguests
How to prepare your home for the arrival of holiday houseguests.

50 Activities to Entertain your Houseguests
Here are 50 different ways you can keep your houseguests amused the next time you host them, whether for the holidays or any other time throughout the year.

Steps to Reschedule Your Party at the Last Minute
Steps to take if you need to reschedule your party at the last minute.

Dinner Party Planning Tips for Newlyweds
How to plan your first party as a newlywed couple. Tips and strategies to make your first big dinner party a success.

Tips for Easy Entertaining
Tips and strategies for easy entertaining.

Estimating How Many Drinks to Buy for Your Party
A guide to how many drinks you should buy to serve guests at your party. How much wine, beer, cocktails and other beverages you'll need to buy.

Recipe for a Great Party
Just as a recipe won't turn out just right if you're missing an important ingredient, a party may be less than memorable without the right mix of important elements. This doesn't mean you need to spend a fortune, either, to have a great party. You just need to pay attention to the necessary ingredients because in this case, the sum really is...

Should My Host Open the Wine I Brought to the Party?
FAQ: Should a host open a bottle of wine that was brought as a gift?

Top Summer Party Ideas that Won't Break your Budget
Find ways to host a great summer party without killing your budget.

Readers share how they deal with party spoilers.
How have readers managed party spoilers - people who have interfered with your party plans.

Thinking About Your Guests When You Plan a Party
When we plan our parties, we spend time thinking about the menu, the music, the table settings, centerpieces and all the other little details that go into making a wonderful event. But the first thing we should really focus on is our guests. After all, that's the real reason for all the rest. Therefore, this collection of tips will help you...

Why Do You Entertain?
Readers explain why they like to entertain.

Tips for Cleaning your House Before, During, and After Your Party
Tips for making and keeping your house clean in preparation for a party, while they are there, and after they go home.

Using Painter's Tape to Make Entertaining a Little Easier and More Fun
Tips for how to use painter's tape to make entertaining a little easier and more fun.

Mac 'N Cheese Muffin Cups
A reader submitted tip for serving appetizer size macaroni and cheese.

How Do I Estimate How Much Alcohol I Need?
How to decide how much alcohol to buy for a party.

A Neat Deviled Egg
Reader tip for a neat way to serve deviled eggs.

How Do I Decide Who and How Many Guests to Invite to My Party?
How to decide who and how many guests should be on your guest list.

What[i]Not[/i] to Do When Entertaining
When we think about hosting guests for a party or a weekend, we usually concentrate on the things we need to do to make the get together turn out the way we pictured it. However, we don’t always think about the things we shouldn’t do if we want our guests to look forward to another invitation in the future. We all do things that may seem perfectly appropriate when we’re with our immediate f…

Preparing for Last Minute Guests
How to prepare for last minute guests.

Television and Your Party
Reader tip for hosting a fun party.

Party Checklist
A checklist to make sure you're fully prepared for your party.

A Creative Way to Serve Food at a Buffet
A reader submitted idea for a creative way to display food.

Keep Your Powder Room Spotless Throughout Your Party
Reader tip for keeping a spotless bathroom throughout your party.

Money Saving Party Ideas
How to plan a party that fits in your budget.

Forget the Dirty Dishes
How to dispose of dirty dishes and glassware at a party.

Forget the Dirty Dishes
How to dispose of dirty dishes and glassware at a party.

Send Your Leftovers Away in Style
How to send your guests home with leftovers that they'll want to take away.

Cook Ahead for an Easy, Breezy Party
Reader tip for how to make your party run smoothly.

Using Nametags as Party Ice Breakers
A reader tip for using name tags as ice breakers at your party

Surprises Happen - So Be Prepared!
Another way to be prepared for the unexpected when planning your party.

Set the Table
How to organize your table in advance for guests.

Help Your Guests Help You
How to organize your party so that willing guests can be helpful.

Guarantee Yourself Time to Party
How to enjoy your party instead of stressing the whole time.

Add Surprises to Your Menu
How to create a menu that offers surprise and variety to your guests.

10 Steps to Becoming Stressed Before Your Next Party
How to avoid stress when planning your next party.

Prepare Today for Future Guests
A quick tip for shortcuts to take to prepare for future guests.

A Timeline for Party Success
A use tip for creating a party timeline.

Keeping it Casual
A reader tip for keeping a party casual and relaxed.

Have More Fun at Your Own Party
How to reduce some of your party planning and hosting work and stress.

Write a Menu Diary
How to make party planning easier by using a menu diary.

Prep Once, Party Twice
A tip for why two parties are better than one.

How to Choose the Proper Portable Toilet for Your Outdoor Event
How to choose the proper portable toilet for your outdoor event.

A Handy Basket for Your Guests
A tip for little touches to make your guests feel comfortable.

Favorite Party Tips for Making the Hostess' Life Easier
Best tips for making it easier to host a party.

Cleaning Up During Your Party
Strategies for keeping up with tidying up during your party, without making guests feel uncomfortable.

Smart Moves as You Prepare for Your Party
Party planning tips to help you as you prepare for a party.

Swiffer Carpet Flick
Review of Swiffer Carpet Flick

Cleaning Melted Wax from a Carpet
An easy tip for cleaning wax that's melted on a carpet.

Easy Cleaning Tips to Speed Your Pre-Party Clean-Up
Tips for making quick work of cleaning your house before the arrival of your guests.

Easy Cleanup for Melted Wax
An easy reader tip to help with cleaning melted wax.

Best Party Tips from a Reader
Three sensible party tips to make things more enjoyable for both hostess and guests.

Two Tips for a Successful Party
Two tips for success when you entertain and host a party, submitted by a reader.

Remember Fire Safety at Your Party
When to think about fire safety as you plan to host your next party.

Martha Stewart Sentencing Poll
Do you feel that Martha Stewart received the punishment she deserved?

Party Countdown Checklist for a Casual Party
A checklist for your casual party as you count down to the fun event.

Keep Track of Your Guests' Preferences
How to Keep Track of Your Guests' Preferences

Presentation is Half the Battle When You Entertain
Your food doesn't have to be gourmet, and neither does it need to take forever to prepare. Not as long as you add a little flair to your presentation.

Estimating Food Quantities
For many people, one of the toughest challenges when planning a party is trying to decide how much food they will need to serve. This article gives you basic rules of thumb to assist you when you plan your next party.

Easy Steps to Create a Timetable for Your Party
To make your next entertaining event run smoothly, it pays to create a detailed timetable of activities before doing anything else.

Preparing a Shopping List for Your Party
One of the keys to successful entertaining is being well organized. Arm yourself with a well-thought-out shopping list before you hit the stores.

How to Do a Last Minute Clean-Up
The house is a wreck and friends call to say they'll dropping by within 15 minutes. Here's how to feel a little more presentable.

Considerations for Entertaining the Disabled
If you were confined to crutches, wheelchair or cane, or used body prosthetics, how would you wish to be planned for by your host? This article will help you plan your entertaining from a new perspective.

How to Throw a Surprise Party
Take the right steps to ensure your guest of honor will be surprised.

A Thanksgiving Planner
If your home will be the central gathering place this year, it's time to make your lists and check them over twice. Here is a simple countdown to take you through the final two weeks leading up to the big day.

What Are Your Tricks for Making Holiday Entertaining Easier?
Readers' tips for making holiday entertaining easier.

Tips for Planning a Party
Kevin Weeks, Guide to Cooking for Two, has prepared an article detailing his strategy for planning parties, along with sample spreadsheets to help you plan yours.

The Best Bash I've Ever Hosted - Readers Share Details About Their Best Party
Readers share details about the best party they ever hosted.

Pre-Party Cleaning Shortcuts
Reader tips for making pre-party cleaning tasks easier.

What Was Your Worst Entertaining Disaster?
Tell us about your worst entertaining disaster! See submissions

What's Your Favorite Entertaining Tip?
Reader's Favorite Party Planning Tips

A Backup Plan for Outdoor Parties
A reader tip for an outdoor party backup plan.

Gift Card Holders
Ideas for gift card holders for parties.

Host a Green Party
In recent years the impulse to “green” our lives, or make it more environmentally friendly has been growing stronger. In doing so, the objectives are to use items that are either reusable, recyclable, or have been made from recycled or natural materials. Entertaining has not been left out of this trend as manufacturers have responded to consumer...

Finding Old Recipes as You Plan Your Party Menu
Finding Old Recipes as You Plan Your Party Menu

Prioritize Your Party Cooking
How to plan your menus to give yourself the energy to enjoy the party.

Prepare Now for the Leftovers
Inexpensive solutions for containers to send leftovers home with friends.

Leave the Groceries Out
Here's another way to save time when preparing for a party.

Don't Overdo the Buffet
lanning appropriate quantities when serving a buffet.

Tips for Planning Your Party Menu

Sometimes it's hard to figure out which recipes to choose for your party menus. And sometimes we bury ourselves in work by the recipes we choose. Follow these tips to have an easier time putting together your party menu, and give yourself a bit of a break once the party's over.

Saving Time with Double Batches
Tips for cutting back on preparation time with double batches.

Let the Food Work for You
Plan an easy party menu, by letting the food work for you.

Avoiding the Big Oops at Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner
How to avoid a mess at your Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner

It's Almost Turkey Time
Prepare early for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Stock Up Now!
How You Can Make Thanksgiving or Christmas Easier by Making Stock in Advance

Warm Hospitality
The Perfect Way to Welcome Guests at the Winter Holidays

A Little Family Fun
Turn your Christmas and Thanksgiving table decorating into a game.

Easy Tips as You Prepare for Holiday Entertaining

There's so much to do to get ready for the big holiday celebrations at Thanksgivng and Christmas. These easy tips will help as you prepare for your Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

How Tall Are Your Guests?
A tip for cleaning your house strategically.

Cleaning Candle Wax
Instructions for cleaning candle wax from a table cloth.

The Cleaning Checklist for Hosting Houseguests
An easy list to follow as you clean your house in preparation for houseguests.

Good Scents
Use this tip to make your home smell inviting.

The explanation for what an invitation to a potluck means.

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