Holiday Party Prep: Ready Your Supplies

By Laura Gaskill, Houzz Contributor


December 14, 2016

This article originally appeared on

Why wait until the day before your party to find out you’re short on coffee mugs and the silver is tarnished? Get a jump on things by sorting out your entertaining supplies, shopping for missing pieces and making room in your kitchen … before you come home with five bags of groceries and no where to put them. We are prepping for holiday hosting, one week at a time — see this week’s plan below.

1. Think about the kind of gathering you will be hosting. A cocktail party for 20 friends will require totally different supplies than a holiday meal for your immediate family or an open house where 50 to 100 people may traipse through in the course of a day. Now is the time to decide on the type of gathering you want to host, how many people you will be inviting and the style and level of formality of your party.

Sellwood Library House

2. Find your entertaining supplies. Once you know what you’ll be preparing for, it’s time to take stock of what you have, from serving dishes to coffee cups. How many of each thing? Do you have enough for the crowd you are expecting? Start a list of items you may want to pick up to fill in the gaps.

Related: Holiday Party Prep: Plan Your Table Settings

Sellwood Library House


 3. Clean as needed. Stuff gets dirty sitting around in a cabinet all year. Don’t wait until the day of your party to find that the the gravy boat is grimy and the silver needs polishing; take care of that stuff now. Wash dusty platters and dishes, iron table linens and polish silver a little at a time, starting now, and it won’t seem like such a chore. Just be sure to keep the items behind closed cabinet doors afterward, so they won’t get dusty again before your party. Hang freshly ironed linens on hangers in the closet instead of folding them.


4. Check your cookware and kitchen tools. Missing anything? Now is a good time to plan your party menu, if you haven’t already given it some thought. Use your menu to figure out exactly which pots, pans and cooking tools you will need to get the job done. If you need to pick up an extra cookie sheet or pastry brush, put it on the list. While you’re at it, check to see that the small appliances you will be using are working and not missing any parts.

Saddle Butte

5. Have your knives professionally sharpened. Nothing slows a cook down in the kitchen like a dull knife. Keep your party prep running smoothly by taking all of your go-to blades to a knife sharpening pro now.

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