Birthday parties are like every other event – they can get messy. The way you organize your party is the same as the way you organize your life. If your life tends to be haphazard with lots of procrastination and unfinished tasks, then your party will most likely end up a disaster. If your schedule is pristine and you tick off task with a great sense of achievement and pride, your party will be a huge success. Getting organized is, therefore, more of a lifetime commitment than a one-time event.
So why do you need to get organized? Well, chaos and failed commitments are the sources of constant stress and anxiety. Organization, on the other hand, makes you feel like you are in control, minimizing panic attacks. Since proper organization also helps you achieve goals, it makes you more confident in your ability and skills.
It is impossible to become organized overnight, but there are certain tips that you can follow to bring a little bit of structure into the crazy world of partying and fun.
- Get an early start
The earlier you start planning the better. Some parents even start planning a new party on the day of the previous party. Why? Because being at the party they start getting ideas and can see what improvements they can make. You don’t have to as extreme, but 2-3 months in advance is a good planning timeline. The more elaborate your party is the earlier you should start planning. For example, one month in advance can give you enough time to organize a party at home, but the best entertainers and popular party venues often require advanced bookings.
An early start also gives you an advantage when shopping for menu items and decorations. You might be able to snatch good deals and discounts on particular items and create beautiful invitation design.
- Set goals
Goals help you stay on course and maintain motivation. They also mark important milestones in party planning timeline, they make you feel good because even minor goals are steps to a bigger change. Remember, that your main goal is to make your kid happy and throwing a great party is just the means to it. This mindset will guide you through difficult decision making and will help you streamline processes.
Once you understand the main goal you can set smaller ones for each week. For example, the first week you can aim at finding the perfect venue, the second week might be dedicated to choosing a theme.
However, always make sure your goals follow the SMART framework:
S – specific – define what you want to accomplish
M – measurable – how will you know when it is accomplished?
A – achievable – the goal must be realistic considering the resources you have access to
R – relevant – the goal must be meaningful to you in this particular moment
T – time bound – set a deadline by which the goal must be achieved
- Plan in detail
Making a plan comes easy to those with a strategic mindset and is a torture to impulsive present moment thinking people. Developing a plan might seem like a burdensome process, but here we’ve outlined the most important parts that your plan should cover:
- Choose a venue
Home, pool, public park, outdoor kids venue, beach, restaurant – there are so many party venues to choose from. Have a look at the full list of venues with their pros and cons and dedicate enough time to research, calls, and meetings. After all, a venue is probably the most important part of a party since it sets the tone for the whole event.
- Choose a theme
Create your own theme or choose one from the myriad of options. The theme is the second biggest decision that you’ll have to make. Involve your kid, follow your intuition and pick the one that speaks to your heart.
- Decide on the menu
With all the recipes around the net specifically created for birthday parties, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. But kids love simple stuff, you just need to add a bit of fun to it. With simple dishes like cupcakes and pizza, you can add edible decorations or make a personalized version of each dish.
- Sending invitations
Here are some steps you need to take before your invitations go out: decide on the time, date and attire, create a design, post or email the invites, collect RSVPs and send out a reminder 3 days before the party.
- Buy decorations
Decorations largely depend on your theme. Create personal unique DIY decorations like paper clouds, garlands or funny hats. Or buy ready-made theme decorations in store. No matter what option you chose make sure you create a list of decorations you need in order to not miss anything and not go overboard.
- Make a playlist
Music raises fun levels at the party so pick some happy tunes and add them to your playlist. Create a varied playlist with tracks for wild dance time, chill breaks between the activities, and some classical melodies for dinner time.
- Make a list of activities
Pick 5 activities maximum and try to make them varied as well. From reading to playing Hopscotch – you need to ensure kids have the chance to expand their energy and to recharge too.
- Document everything
Great planners are known for their meticulous note taking skills and incredible memory. If you want a perfect professional party, put everything you do in writing. Whether it is a new goal that you set for yourself or a new idea of decoration that came to you in the shower – everything needs to be well documented. Keeping the track of records will help you stay within the budget too. Recording ideas has another side advantage – you can always use them at the next year party.
- Let go of control
While it might seem counterproductive, staying organized also means having faith that things will work out in the end. Don’t try to get organized just for the sake of being organized – you might end up even more stressed than before. Instead, keep a final goal in mind, do the best you can and believe that you are doing enough.
- Inspire your helpers
Leadership means giving the people the direction and resources and getting out of their way. If you are throwing a party and have other people helping you, remember that having bigger picture works better than setting and following up on tasks. If you, being a born leader, are able to communicate the goals and help your helpers see the contribution they are making, you won’t have to micromanage them, meaning there will be more time for you to work on important stuff.
Being organized is a great thing. It can help you achieve the impossible and enjoy some leisure time on the way to bigger goals. Always keep in check of whys: if you want to get organized to get more work done – it is an unsustainable strategy in the long run since more work will be coming your way. But if your goal is to make up some time for the family or yourself, getting organized can reap incredible results and finally bring some balance into your life.