How do you manage to collect and have all that party stuff handy?

One of the recent readers of BiteTheRoad asked me how I managed to always have the right “stuff” at each of the parties they have been at my places. Well it took me a minute to figure out what that meant – then it dawned on me. Similar to my post on “Getting a Party On” – its stuff I do that I don’t think about that they were asking.

So – to respond I have a few tips;

Post xmas table runners and nakins

Post xmas table runners and nakins

  • Think ahead. I am always shopping post holidays for things that I know I will need “next time”. Many folks can barely fathom thinking about a celebration or holiday in the days that follow it – but I find that when I get the deals which allow me to stock pile for future events. For instance –  these  “themed” runners such as the ones from I find tend to work nice all year round. The sueded tan  and the paisley runners were discounted to less than $15.00 each and the set of 4 napkins down to less than $7 at Pottery Barn this week.
  • Think creative. Just because that “caldron” punch bowl (Mine is from – you guessed it –  Pottery Barn) was the hot seller for Ocotober – doesn’t mean it won’t double at another holiday or even in the summer with fruit or flowers in it as a centerpiece or tucked up in front of the empty fireplace.

    Oct’s Caldron is Springs flower display

  • Think Space. If you don’t have a lot of it – then you need to figure out the once place you can store it all. In my case I have a garage and invested in the moisture proof plastic crates for storage
  • Shop Second Hand. Many of the table covers come from flea market and second hand thrift stores. Especially ones that I use for the tables with food on them as they tend to get the dirtiest and stain. If they have small stains – plan strategically to cover them with food  – but even thinner throw blankets or scrapes of fabric work well. Hint:  I am also always checking out the “curtain & drape” bins. Single panels make perfect quick table covers.


    This almost neutral runner washes well and holds up to heavy use

  • Be Consistent. If you use it, put it back. When I take something out of my “Party Go Pack” as soon as its clean – it goes back.
  • Think Duplicates. If you like something for everyday use – and you can get a deal on it – but two. Keep one for casual use and a set in the Party Go Pack box – this even goes for utensils and services trays.
  • Consider Plastic vs Metal. Disposable isn’t always the best. I find that for some things its easy and cheaper in the long run to go with the real stuff and not go with toss out stuff like silver wear, plates, etc.

oh.. and don’t lend it out – unless you are truly sure that if it doesn’t come back it won’t be missed!