Last Updated on January 4, 2020 by Corinne Schmitt
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Applebee’s. The opinions and text are all mine.
Once you know How to Throw a Party the Easy Way, you can enjoy having friends and family over whenever you want without batting an eye. Today I’m going to show you how to overcome the biggest challenges to hosting – cooking and cleaning.
My husband has always been very social. He comes from a family of 14 children so he loves to be surrounded by other people.
Since his mom was obviously a legit Wonder Mom, he didn’t realize that we normal humans need time and advance notice to prepare dinner for a dozen of his fellow Marines.
It’s not uncommon for my husband to call me from work to see if it’s okay to invite his entire staff over for a get-together later that day.
I could say no. But honestly, I like getting to know the people he works with. Likewise, I like having our mutual friends and my own friends over.
We also encourage our kids to invite their friends over, especially our teens. When the kids hang out at your house, you get to know them and you get a firsthand view of how they spend their time.
I’d love to say that I keep a spotless home and can whip up gourmet meals effortlessly, but that would be a lie. And I’d love to say I don’t care if people judge the cleanliness of my home or the quality of the food, but that would also be a lie.
That’s why I knew I had to figure out how to throw a party that required minimal effort. Is it possible to throw together a party in just a few minutes? Absolutely! Here’s how.
How to Throw a Party the Easy Way
When it comes to hosting a party, the two things that stress me out most are the food and cleaning the house. Below are my tips for saving time in both areas.
Easy Party Food
When I have plenty of time to plan a party, I typically spend most of my planning time on the food. You can eliminate all of that work by having your party catered.
Sound expensive? Here’s how to make it less so.
Stick with Finger Foods
If you stick with serving finger foods, you can skip the expense of (or hassle of washing) utensils.
Keep Beverages Simple
For a simple get-together, there’s no reason to provide a full array of beverages. Instead, choose a crowd-pleaser like iced tea or lemonade and water.
Save even more by buying the iced tea or lemonade in half-gallons or gallons and filling a pitcher with ice water.
Choose the Right Caterer
Of course, the caterer you choose will impact your bottom line the most. Unfortunately, a lot of times, you sacrifice quality when you opt for a budget caterer. Even worse, sometimes the budget caterer doesn’t come through.
I realized that the easiest way to get food you’ll be proud to serve and can be certain your guests will enjoy is to go with Applebee’s.
Applebee’s is already one of our favorite places to dine out as a family due to the family-friendly variety. And now that they offer catering, they were an obvious choice for my minimal-effort parties.
You can order up to 14 days in advance, but you can also order with as little as 2 hours’ notice.
It’s less expensive than you’d expect too. I got all of this for under $100 and it was enough to feed 8 people, plus we had leftovers to enjoy the next day.
You can easily feed a group of 6 or more for under $10 per person by choosing the right combination of items from the menu. There are over 30 to choose from on Applebee’s catering menu!
The food stays fresh and warm with Applebee’s packaging. It’s heat resistant to ensure your food can go from the restaurant to your party without losing any flavor.
Price and participation may vary so visit www.applebees.com/catering to find out if it’s available near you.
Ideally, we’d all keep our houses spotless all day every day. But we live in the real world and have kids, not to mention other things to do besides clean all day.
When you need to get the house guest-ready but don’t have time (or the energy) to deep clean the whole house, here’s what to do:
The quickest way to tidy up is to not worry about putting everything in the perfect place. Grab a giant basket, box, or storage bin and toss all the clutter in it, then hide it in a closet or room that won’t be used during the party.
Just remember to get the basket or box out after the guests leave so you can put items where they really belong.
Grab a duster and do a super quick pass over the main surfaces in your party area. Typically, this is only two or three rooms in your home so it should only take a couple of minutes.
Give the toilet a quick swish with the toilet brush and wipe down the sink. Make sure you have clean hand towels, a full soap dispenser, and an extra roll of toilet paper in the bathroom.
If you spend more than 5 minutes on the bathroom, you’re trying too hard. A quick wipe down should be sufficiently clean given that guests will only spend a minute or two each here.
Skip the floors. Unless your floors are filthy, it’s really not necessary to vacuum or mop. No one other than the first couple of people to arrive will even notice.
Manipulate the Senses
Help guide where your guests’ eyes are drawn (towards the clean parts). One easy way to do this is with lighting. Keep the areas of your home dark where you don’t want guests to look or linger.
Also, control where the guests will congregate with seating and food. Want to keep the guests out of the kitchen? Place all the food on a dining room table or in the room where you’ll be entertaining.
Also, move all your chairs to the areas where you want guests to get comfortable.
Place a few drops of essential oils on your air filter to make your home smell amazing without having to light candles. I love the combination of rosemary and lemon (and I think it smells especially clean).
Of course, candles work great too. Place them in key areas like the bathroom and the foyer.
Better yet, use small candles throughout your party area to add ambiance AND a great scent.
Finally, set the tone for fun and festivity with music. You don’t need to spend hours on the perfect party mix.
Instead, pull up a playlist on your favorite music app. I like playlists with popular, upbeat music so guests spend time singing along in their heads instead of looking around noticing dust bunnies.
That’s it! If you follow the tips above, you can be fully ready for a party in under half an hour without breaking a sweat.