Party Perfect Preparation

I love to give parties! It’s important to me to have everything in place by party time so that I can also enjoy the party.

When planning my parties, I first set my date, and then look at the guest list, the theme, the menu, and the location.

Date: I try to find a date that I feel will work for most of my friends. I usually avoid holiday weekends like the 4th of July and any weekends that I already know my best friends are unavailable. I chose the date at least 6 weeks out and send out save the date emails. About a month before the party I send out paper invitations.

Guests: Guests are the most important component of the party. I love to invite a diverse group of people who will enjoy each others’ company. I usually have a core group of long standing friends and then add some new friends that I think everyone will enjoy. For me, the whole idea of the party is to bring people together to visit.

Theme: The theme holds everything together and makes the planning simpler. The theme determines the invitations, the food, the decorations, and any activities. I feel that having different themes keeps the parties fresh.

Menu: The menu usually follows the theme. I also keep in mind my guests’ food preferences and restrictions. I try to see that everyone has at least a couple of items that they can eat and drink. My house is small so I cannot accommodate everyone sitting down to a table to eat. I have a lot of finger foods. I usually have on the menu a mixture of items I prepare and order.

Location: Usually my parties are at my home but I have had some great ones at other locations. When giving a party at my home, I go for “clean enough” so that the board of health won’t be concerned but not so clean that open heart surgery can be performed. Good enough is good enough. People are more interested in each other than my home.

Once I have found my date, I put together a timeline. I list every task that must be done before that first guest knocks on my door. Then I put an intended date by each one of those tasks and enter them into my calendar. The timeline is what keeps me sane. I know that there is a lot to do but I also know when I plan to do it.

When the date and time arrives, I am ready to enjoy my party as much as my guests. I do love to give a party!

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Summer Fun – Throw a Party

I love to throw a party every July for my friends. Summer is a more laid back time of year and a great time to come together and socialize.

The very idea of giving a party can be overwhelming to people. Like any project that seems overwhelming, it’s not so daunting if you break it down into smaller, manageable tasks and you don’t strive for perfection.

I start with my vision in mind. How do I want this party to look and feel? I usually have a theme but the theme could be as simple as “catch up and have fun.” This year, because I just build a new shed house and deck, my theme is “get decked out and shed your cares.” I want people to have fun, relax, reconnect, and have dialogue. I want the atmosphere to be comfortable, casual, and connected.

Next I brainstorm what has to happen to make this vision work. I start with my guest list. Then I plan my invitations. I also look at what I want to serve and my party location. My list might look like this:

  • make invitation list
  • send out a save the date email
  • design invites
  • print invites
  • address and mail invites
  • plan the menu
  • prepare the yard
  • clean deck furniture
  • prepare/order food and beverages
  • clean house
  • decorate
  • stray yard for mosquitoes
  • put out food/beverage stations

When looked at all at once, it seems overwhelming, but I break it down and do it over a month’s time. I will either hire out some help or ask for some help or usually both. One day I just concentrate on my invitation list, another day I design the invites, another day I print them off, and still another day I mail them. Now my intention is set and the party is on!

The other items on the list are mostly done on weekends and are broken up so that no one day is consumed just by these tasks. By the day of the party there is little to do but finish decorating, some last minute food preparation, preparing the food/beverage stations, and spraying the yard for bugs.

When the guests come, I am ready to party with them. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

The Five Biggies When Organizing a Party


 I love to give parties! I try to have at least one or two a year.

When planning a party I look at the date, theme, guest list, menu, and location.

Date: I look for a date when most of my friends will be available. For example, I give a July party but try to avoid the weekend of the 4th. Many people would have conflicts then and have to make a hard choice –  go to Uncle Clyde’s barbecue or go to Jonda’s annual July party.

Theme: The theme of the party will hold everything together. The theme will determine the invitations, the food, the decorations, and any games or activities. I feel a different theme for each party keeps the parties fresh. Regular guests often ask me months ahead if I have decided on a theme yet for the next party.

Guest List: This is an important component. I love to invite a diverse group of people who will enjoy each other’s company. I usually have a core group that I hope will attend every party and then add some new friends that I think everyone will enjoy.

Menu: The menu usually follows the theme. My guest have food preferences and restrictions and because I love my guests, I try to accommodate them. I like to see that everyone has at least a couple of things they can nosh on and drink. My house is small so I don’t have room for sit down affairs. Because of that, my menu consists of easy things to eat if you are standing or sitting with your plate on your lap.

Location:  Usually my parties are at my home but I have had some great ones at other locations. Again, the theme tends to determine the location. When giving a party at my place, I go for “clean enough” so that the board of health won’t be concerned but I do not stress over having the place “party perfect.”

Once I have decided on the five biggies, I put together a timeline. I list every task that mush be done from setting the date and making the guest list to laying out the food table right before the guests arrive. Every task has a “do” date and that is what keeps me sane. I know exactly when I plan to send out the save the date emails, make the actual invites and mail them, put together the shopping lists, and setting the table.

When the date and time arrives, I want to enjoy my party as much as my guests. Did I mention that I love to give parties?

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Party Preparations

I enjoy putting together a special party for my friends during the month of July. Every year I think of a theme and then start my planning. This year the theme is celebration of good friends and good books. I have asked my guests to bring a book or two that they have enjoyed, tell why they enjoyed the book, and swap it out for a book that someone else brings.
My theme helps me get my vision of the party in my mind. I now know what I want my party to look like and how I want to feel at the party. I want my party to be casual, comfortable, and engaging. I want my guests and myself to feel relaxed and happy.
Next I brainstorm all the tasks I need to complete in order for this vision to come true. I start with my guest list. Then I plan my invitations and have them made. Other items on my list will include: address and send invites, plan dates to do extra yard work, get help with yard work, pressure wash my house and deck, freshen up lawn furniture, plan menu, prepare/order food/beverages, get help and put up tent, clean house, decorate, spray yard, last minute runs for items at store, get help putting out food/beverage stations. I know that my decorations will include books and that I will want a table for guests to put their books on when they arrive.
After I have brainstormed all I can think of that I need to do, I make a time-line. I call and see who can assist me when/where I need help. I post my time-line and check it off as I go. I allow some wiggle room – after all it might be raining when I plan to do yard work or the person who is going to help on a certain day finds they can’t help then but can help later.
When the day of the party arrives, there is little to do except finish decorating, putting out food/beverages, and spraying the yard for bugs.
By breaking down the party project into small, manageable parts, and putting together a reasonable time-line, I make the party stress free.
When the guests come, I am ready to party too.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Re-purpose Party

This past weekend I held a re-purpose party. Everyone was to bring or tell about something that they re-purpose. What a wealth of ideas! Some were very practical, some were whimsical, some were artistic. Let me share some of these ideas with you.
The picture shows a piece of art done by Tami Puckett made from found materials. It is made from: the tip of a palm frond, a peach pit, cherry seeds, the end of a paper roll, Celluclay (an instant paper mache), beeswax, colored pencil and acrylic paint.
Ann Langley took a piano apart that they could not even give away and used parts of it for art. I especially liked the use of the wooden music holder as a piece hung over a doorway. She also has used the rack of hammers as art on the top of a bookcase and intends to use the soundboard as wall art or a sculpture. She is also wanting to use some of the wood as shelving.
Feriel Feldman uses a footed sewing box to hold her dog leashes and collars near her front door. She also uses an antique pottery chamber pot for mail, floral glass frogs to keep small jewelry tools, and a man’s tie rack to hang jewelry.
Diane Robinson uses a bucket to collect air conditioner water to water plants or put in her fountain. She also uses tins (the kind foods or cookies come in) to store food or to wrap and transport gifts. Doug made a beautiful dining table from old found rafter wood.
Claudia uses bounce sheets in many ways- in place of stabilizer on fabric or to put her needle through when sewing (it stops thread from tangling), to freshen the air in drawers or shoes or car seats or the trash can, or to collect pet hair off the furniture. She also had uses for empty cardboard rolls, newspaper bags, sand paper, and freezer paper. She sent me a whole page and could do an entire blog herself.
Darin uses his cappuccino maker to quickly heat water for tea.
Len made a unique candle holder out of a glass P-trap from a lab. He also came up with the great idea of using a metal pasta ladle to clean out gutters (his sister, Ann, also said they were great for dipping ice out of a cooler.)
Amelia suggested using egg cartons for sorting earrings and I used the lab beakers for vases.
I’m afraid there were some other good ideas that I may have forgotten.
I would love to hear from some of you about what you re-purpose.
Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Party Preparations

Summertime is a wonderful time to have a party. I love to throw a party every July for my special friends.
The very idea of giving a party can be overwhelming to some people. Like any event that seems overwhelming, it is not so daunting if you break it down into smaller, manageable tasks.
I start with my vision in mind. What do I want this party to look like and to feel like. I usually have a theme but the theme could be as simple as “catch up and have fun.” This year my theme is “re-purpose.” I will have everyone bring an idea or item that demonstrates that idea. I want people to have fun, relax, reconnect, and have dialogue. I want the atmosphere to be comfortable, casual, and connected.
Now I brainstorm as to what has to happen to make this work. I start with the guest list. Then I plan my invitations. I also look at what I want to serve and my party location. My list may look like this: make invitation list, design invites, print invites, address and mail invites, get person to help one day with yard work, pressure wash deck, have deck painted, prepare yard (3 Sundays), clean teak furniture, paint some deck furniture, plan menu, prepare/order food/beverages, put up tent, clean house, decorate, spray yard, put out food/beverage stations.
When looked at all at once, it seems overwhelming, but I break it down and do it over a month’s time. I will either hire out some help or ask for some help or usually both. One day I just put my invitation list together, another day all I do is design the invites, another day I print them off, another I address them and put them out. Now my intention is set and the party is on! The other items are mostly done on weekends and are broken up so that no one day is consumed just by these tasks. By the day of the party there is little to do but finish decorating, some last minute food preparation, preparing the food/beverage stations, and spraying the yard area for bugs.
When the guests come, I am ready to party with them.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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Everyone loves a party!

I love parties! I love to go to parties and I love to give parties. While putting on a party is a lot of fun it does take planning and organization. I have one party that I give every year in July. Each year I have a theme to the party. I start thinking about the party months in advance. I think about different themes that might be fun. Then about a month before the party I put out a timeline for myself so that I am able to relax that all will get done in a timely fashion with no panic. I brainstorm and think of all the things that need doing. I make my list and then I assign dates to do each of the items on the list. Some examples of what might be on my list are: 1) Make a guest list- June 4; 2) Make invitations-design June 5, print June 6. 3) Mail invitations-June 8 (OK now I am committed); 4) Serious yard work- June 7, 14, 21, 28, July 2; 5) Paint lawn furniture and clean teak furniture- June 7 and 14; 6) Put up tent- July 1.
You get the idea- other groups of tasks on the list would include planning, preparing food/beverages, cleaning house, setting up on the day of the party, getting material to go with the party theme and more. This year’s theme-“Everyone has a story to tell”. I am really looking forward to it!

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Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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Party time!

I love to organize and plan parties- all kinds of parties. Theme parties are the most fun and I have been giving them for years. This year a special friend of mine was turning 50. He had been to many of my parties and usually picked at my food. Once I asked him what food he would serve if he was giving a party and he replied “chili dogs”. I remembered this and also was aware of his love of RC and the Varsity. So for a surprise party for his 50th- we had chili dogs, naked dogs, slaw, fried peach pie, moon pies, peanuts in the shell and RC as the main menu (also tucked around was some shrimp, vegetables, cheese, fruit, a regular birthday cake and wine for the not so chili dog group). I thought I had ordered plenty of chili dogs but they disappeared fast. My friend, Len, was certainly surprised and a fun time was had by all (especially me as it was not at my house).