The Fourth of July is coming up! Are you planning on having a party?
If so, we’ve got the ultimate checklist for you to make sure you’ve got everything you need handled. Just follow this list and enjoy your shindig with less stress, less mess, and much less fuss.
TWO WEEKS BEFORE
- Make guest list and send out invitations – for a casual affair like a 4th of July BBQ, e-mail invitations are fine.
- Enlist help. You will need assistance with cleaning, bringing dishes, manning the barbecue, serving drinks, etc. Figure out who can help with what. And many of your guests will offer – to help set up, bring a side, or clean up. Take them up on it and add what they are doing to your list!
- Clean the house. Top to bottom. Yes, the week before. This may seem like it’s a bit ahead of schedule but if you do a big clean ahead of time, the day before your BBQ you’ll only need to wipe down your kitchen, the surfaces guests will see, and the bathrooms guests will use. [Unless you live in my house, where within 12 hours, the house looks like it’s never been touched. ;)]
- Confirm Guest List. Make calls or send e-mails if you haven’t heard back from people you have invited.
- Decide where you’re hosting your party.
- Make sure you have enough seating and shade.
- If it’s your backyard, schedule when you will mow the grass, set up tents, etc. Also make sure you have a contingency plan in case of rain.
- Plan your menu. Consider how many people you expect and what food you’d like to serve. Make lists of what you have, what you need, and any other necessary items Items you’ll need
- Meats for the grill (e.g., burgers, hotdogs, ribs, salmon)
- Vegetables for the grill (e.g., corn, bell peppers, zuchini, eggplant)
- Side dishes (e.g., baked beans, guacamole, potato salad, cole slaw)
- Chips & Dips
- Desserts (e.g., ice cream, cupcakes)
- Drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)
- Table cloths
- Serving platters
- Serving spoons
- Decorations. Decide which decorations, if any, you’d like. Decorations can be as simple as red, white and blue napkins and table cloths and decorated cupcakes.
A FEW DAYS BEFORE
- Do your shopping. Unless there’s an item you need to buy fresh the day of the BBQ, picking things up ahead of time will save you stress.
- Confirm Your Serving Dishes. Match up your many to any cooking/serving dishes you will want to use. Missing something? Borrow or buy it now.
- Pick Your Outfit. You don’t want to be trying to figure this out as your guests ring the doorbell. Keep in mind you want to be relaxed and comfy.
THE DAY BEFORE
- Set up. As much as possible. Lay out your serving dishes, set up tables and chairs, and put up any decorations your heart desires.
- Do a Last Minute Tidy. Wipe down surfaces, and make sure guest bathrooms and party areas are neat.
- Buy Ice (or have tap someone to buy ice for the day of the party)
- Cook and prep any items that can be done in advance
- Make your pasta or potato salads.
- Shuck your corn on the cob.
- Make your dips.
- Marinate your meats and vegetables.
- Bake your desserts but leave the icing for the day of the party so it’s fresh.
- Create a music playlist. Great music always helps set the perfect vibe. Organize your playlist so that when guests come, all you have to do is hit Play. If you don’t like having to make your own, you can find lots of great ones pre-made on Spotify.
TWO HOURS BEFORE
- Last Minute Prep.
- Cut up your veggies,
- Put chips in their bowls,
- Set up drinks in coolers with ice.
- Frost any deserts that need to be frosted.
AN HOUR BEFORE
- Glam up. Shower and get ready before your fabulous guests arrive.
- Party! Put out appetizers and greet your guests. Make yourself a cool drink and relax.
- Have fun! You’ve worked your booty off to have a great party. Enjoy it!
Monick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom. She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers. She’s a busy mom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor. She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms. You can connect with her on the Checklist Parent Facebook Page and on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.