Now that the holidays are over and all of your Christmas decorations have been packed away, it’s time to start organizing. One area that you might not initially consider when organizing for the new year is your entertaining plans. Just like January is the ideal time to organize your house, it’s also a great time to evaluate how you’ll tackle entertaining for the next year. With just a few steps, you can get organized for a year’s worth of stress-free entertaining. 
Get out your calendar
Look through your calendar for upcoming birthdays and other special events. Knowing in advance when you’ll be hosting big events will help you be prepared. If a wedding or other large scale party is scheduled for this year, you can also start making your budget for the event. Looking at your calendar can also help you formulate a plan for events that fall only a few weeks apart. For example, if your child’s birthday is just one week before Easter this year, having an advance warning will keep the events from overwhelming you. Also, if you’ve always wanted to host a certain type of party, such as a Derby Party, but have never had the chance to do so, this is a good time to mark off the date on your calendar. Scheduling the party ahead of time will give you ample time to plan.  
Start searching for inspiration
Knowing which parties you have planned for the upcoming year will also allow you to start brainstorming for party ideas. Magazines, blogs, and books all provide great inspiration for party decorations and recipes.  If you have already decided on a few decorations or centerpiece ideas for a party, you can begin to shop around for the items you will need. 
Shop in advance
Once you have a list of your upcoming events, you can be on the look out for good deals. After holiday sales are a great time to purchase items for parties. For example, pink and red items are always on clearance after Valentine’s Day. It’s a perfect time to shop for upcoming birthday parties or play dates for little girls. Looking for party supplies in advance will also allow you to compare prices, avoid last minute purchases, and score better deals on the items you need. 
Assess your party supplies
If you hosted any parties at your house over the holidays, you probably have a few items you need to replace. Whether you have a broken wine glass, a hand towel that is starting to fade, or not quite enough serving bowls, make a list of the objects that need to be replaced. To organize your supplies, first, examine your napkins and table cloths. Throw out any stained or ripped linens. If there are table cloths you no longer use, it is a good time to donate them. Second, inspect your collection of serving dishes and drinkware. Make a note of any items that need to be replaced. Since stores often offer discounts on home goods at the beginning of the year, now is a great time to look for new items. 
Organizing your entertaining supplies and planning the next year’s parties now will make party planning much easier and smoother in the long run.  

Posted on 2013-12-30 by Deanna Talwalkar