Summer is the perfect time to throw a party, but for the hardworking host, it’s not always as fun as it’s supposed to be. Cleaning, decorating and food preparation can take days, and by the time guests arrive, you’re exhausted. The good news is that it’s possible to both entertain and enjoy the fun by tackling stress with these expert tips.

Start Planning Early

Nothing makes a party more stressful than waiting until the last minute to start planning. Send invitations out at least a couple of weeks in advance to ensure your guest list is set in stone by the big day. Make lists of the supplies you’ll need and shop early. Last-minute trips to the store for forgotten items will only leave you frazzled, and you’ll run the risk of not finding what you need.

Make it a Pool Party

If you have access to a pool, planning a summer pool party doesn’t take much effort. When water is the star of the show, you’re off the hook for providing entertainment. Simple foods like hamburgers, hot dogs and pasta salad are sure to be a hit, and the only supplies you’ll need to provide are chairs to sit on and a pile of colorful towels. Make it a night party and decorate with inexpensive strings of lights. It will be dark out, so you won’t need to worry about sprucing up the far corners of the yard.

Take Shortcuts

Hiring a caterer costs a bundle, but food for your party doesn’t have to. Platters from your supermarket deli can be just as delicious, and they’ll cut down on your cooking time. Use the extra hours to rest up before guests arrive. To save hours on cleaning after the party, nix the fine china and break out the paper plates.

Find Help

Casual summer get-togethers don’t require a party planner, but getting a helping hand will keep you fresh for the big event. If you have kids, hire a babysitter for a few hours while you clean, or you can have your groceries delivered to save an hour on shopping. Better yet, enlist your teen to mow the lawn and take care of odd jobs around the house.

Don’t let stress stand in the way of throwing a spectacular summer bash. Just take a deep breath, remember you’ll be among friends, and embrace these four stress-reducing party planning tips.

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4 Stress-Reducing Party Planning Tips

by balloon artist time to read: 2 min
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