Entertaining: 5 Tips For Better Organization

It's holiday season again, so we've enlisted a "lady friend," Laura House of the Good House Guest blog, to school us on all matters of being the host with the most.

At this stage in your life, party prep hopefully no longer means rolling in a keg and popping open a few supersized bags of chips (OK, maybe if you're still pre-senior year in college). Sure, hosting a proper bash takes a little more effort, but if you get a jump on the evening you'll actually be able to kick back and enjoy your own party. Here are five simple solutions to help you get organized for your next event.

  1. Go with what you know

Save yourself the anxiety (and a call for last minute pizza delivery) by making a familiar recipe you feel confident about. If have any dishes that you can prep ahead and simply pop in the oven or throw on the grill day of, even better.

  • Lost in the supermarket
  • People always underestimate how much time the whole grocery shopping process takes. To avoid mad-man rushing an hour before guests arrive, make grocery and liquor store runs in advance–you'll have plenty to do on game day.

  • Clean as you cook
  • Scrub pans, run the dishwasher, wipe down countertops as you go. It will save you from the doorbell ringing while you're elbows deep in dirty dishes.

  • Set the stage
  • Have serving platters and bowls (if you're über-organized, use sticky notes to tag which dish or appetizer goes where), plates, silverware, napkins and glasses out and at the ready.

  • Self serve
  • Make sure the bar is fully stocked so you aren't stuck pouring drinks all night. Stock the bar with fruit, olives, mixers, openers, glasses, stirs and napkins. If you need to save fridge space, set up a tub with ice for beer and wine right next to the bar.

    This holiday entertaining guide is presented by our friends at Rioja Wines.