In just a few days, we will be in 2017! But before we get there, we have to do New Year’s Eve. While many people travel to find a party, others stay at home and have their own party. For those of you celebrating at home this year, we’ve got tips to relieve your stress and allow you to have more fun!

Set a limit for the amount of people you invite, and stick to it

It can be tempting to invite your friends, neighbors, gym buddies, and everyone else you see on a regular basis, but keeping the party on the smaller side will not only make your event more intimate, but it will also be less stressful! One huge benefit of having only people close to you at your party is you know what everyone is like. You won’t have to worry about your gym buddies offending your neighbors or any other potential missteps. Less drama more samba!

Make a “to-do” list

To avoid feeling overwhelmed with party-planning tasks, make a list of everything that needs to get done. You can use a whiteboard and color coordinate everything that needs to be done by priority. Red can be important and blue can be not as important. Prioritize and enlist the help of a significant other, family member, or close friend so you don’t feel like all responsibilities fall on your shoulders. If you have children or little ones that can help, have them pick up their toys or personal items and put them away where they belong. That way you can focus on the bigger things that need to be accomplished. Don’t forget about the after party clean up! Recruit some friends that spend the night to help clean up before you head out to brunch. That way you aren’t stressing about all the work that needs to be done when you just want to relax.

Ask everyone to bring a food or drink item

Providing all of food and drinks for your guests can get pricey and time consuming even if you hit up Costco. Ask your guests (in advance!) to come with an appetizer, dessert, or drink. To make sure that you don’t end up with loads of one type of item, feel free to ask particular people to make an appetizer, dessert, or drink. Also, have your guests label what they bring. That way, in case of allergies, everyone is aware of what is on display. With your guests bringing food or drink for your party, there will be less pressure on you to make all of the food for the party. Now you can make a few missing items and enjoy your party!

Plan ahead

Tasks like bringing folding chairs up from the basement, washing out those champagne glasses that have collected dust in the cabinet, or cleaning up your kids’ toys from the foyer may not seem too daunting, but don’t wait until the morning of the party to get it all done. You will find yourself rushing around and feeling stressed — which is the last thing you need before welcoming guests into your home! Have a timeline prepared detailing what will be done and when. That way you know what needs to be done and aren’t rushing to get stuff done mere minutes before your party. Also, plan for any potential lulls in the party. Have some fun games planned that everyone invited can play.

Keep the bar well-stocked

An essential part of any New Year’s Eve party is the bar. Only problem with the bar is that someone has to stay behind it all night making drinks. You want to be able to mingle with your guests throughout the night – not feel like you’re working the whole time. Set up a “bar” area with various drink options, cups or glasses, ice, and napkins and let guests help themselves. Keep an eye out so you know when it’s time to re-stock! You can also keep all of your spare supplies out on the kitchen countertops. That way if a proactive guest tries to restock the bar for you, they don’t  have to search through the entire kitchen.

Have fun

Remember, the whole reason you’re hosting a party in the first place is to enjoy time with your guests. Don’t get so caught up in the planning process that you forget to enjoy yourself! A party in your home is a great way to make a lasting memory, so relax and soak up every minute! +

Stay safe this holiday season. If you need a ride in Nevada County, there will be a cab program set up so that everyone, no matter where you are in the county, can get home safe. Happy New Year!