We are planning to have a birthday party for my youngest son at our house in less than a month. We are in the middle of some chaos at the house (nothing new), so we have our work cut out for us to get everything ready. If money was no option, we might just hire things out, but as it is, we are opting for low-cost or no-cost ways to get it all done.
Here are the ideas I am batting around today, as we start to make our plans.
Cleaning in Pieces
In the last few weeks, we have been repairing, painting, landscaping, and decluttering. This means that a lot of stuff has gotten moved around (bookcases in the dining room anyone), and the deep cleaning has been neglected. In order to get the house back in shape for party guests, a lot of work will still need to be done.
In order to accomplish all of this without hiring a maid service (and maybe a moving company), the deeper cleaning will have to be done in pieces of 30 minutes or more a day. With a little cleaning done on a steady basis, everything should be ready in time.
Cooking and Freezing
In order to save some money on the party food, I will make some of it ahead of time and put it in the freezer. This may even include the layers of cake needed for the elaborate castle cake that my son wants. This way, when the party is closer, I can simply concentrate on the last-minute cake decorating and easy food prep while avoiding catering fees.
Before I order a single item for the craft table or adventure station from Oriental Trading, I plan on taking inventory of what we already have. Unopened fast food restaurant toys can make great prizes, as can my stock of 20 cent boxes of crayons I stocked up on during last years back to school sales.
What do you think? Any more suggestions?