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We have 2 parties every year and I am so happy to say that this is the very first year that I haven't had ANY pre-party stress! :D

Our first is this Saturday and the second is on Halloween. We started decorating last week and have been chipping away one room at a time every day after work.

I am buying all food/drink related items tonight and have simplified last year's menu to more items that require less baking and assembly (crockpot mac and cheese, lots of dips, buying cupcakes instead of making them).

One of the things that has helped tremendously has been this app I downloaded called Swipes. It lets me make several "to do" lists and even set deadlines. I cannot believe the difference starting earlier has made. Last year was soooo stressful because we started so late, but this year has been very fun so far!

I wanted to put it out there and see what everyone's tips/ideas are to avoid pre-party stress. Doing a little bit each day this week has worked out so well and I am not burned out! Also simplifying our overly-complicated and labor intensive menu has helped a lot :D
 

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YAY, good luck!!! I think this year I was the most stressed I've ever been due to several other things going on, but my party was this past weekend and I don't have to worry about it anymore. Just time to plan next years, lol.

Take pictures and share later!!!

Have a super awesome time, and wishing you all the Halloween success!!
 

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I'm in the opposite boat, I guess. :eek:
We're having people over on Halloween - an open house kind of thing - and there's a LOT that isn't done yet. We did start early, but we have two little ones who interrupt everything, practically every 5 seconds. AHHH! If we had the money for a babysitter or a tween-ager to hang out with them while we unpack bins, decorate outside or just do the general cleaning, it would be a TON easier. But that's not an option for us right now, so I get like one thing hung, then I have to break up a fuss, kiss a boo boo, get more food or drink, help pick up or find toys, read them a book, give a hug or just generally be MOM!

I love it most of the time, but when I'm about to have people over & want my house in order, I'd love to send the kiddos away for a coupla days. Staying up super late each night, then getting up super early with the kids is NOT helping DH and I to be at our best. Oh well... what are ya gonna do? I tell myself they'll only be this little for a short time....

Glad some of you are escaping the stress this year! :D
 

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I feel a lot less stressed about my party this year than I did last year. Last year I was super sick the first week and a half of October so I fell behind on decorating and my friend from out of town (who typically came the Thursday night before the party and stayed through Sunday to help with last minute decorating cleaning and cooking) had a baby shortly before my party so she wasn't able to come or help. Most of the people who said they would help didn't show up. This year I didn't get sick, still don't have my friend from out of town coming for the weekend although she (and her family) are coming for the party. I have no idea who is going to be around for all the last minute stuff but I'm feeling pretty good about where im at at the moment. I do have one offer from a friend to come help but he would have to bring his daughter who is a year and a half old since his wife will be working so not sure how much help that would be.....we would all be chasing her I think so I'm not sure I'll call him over for help. Hope everyone else has a great party.
 

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Thanks for the well wishes! I will definitely post pics after. I hope all of your parties go well, or went well this year!
 

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Argh. The house is not quite company ready. We usually have house guests staying over Halloween as well as a party. I have a strict cleaning, grocery shopping, & decorating schedule for Halloweek. The party is a no stress pot luck affair (bringing food is optional) because we have plenty of excellent & prolific cooks in our circle. I usually make shepard's pie.

Anyway, i am going a bit further decorating this year and putting remote controlled LED RBG bulbs in most of the recessed lighting in the place for more ambiance. I also have to wait till a few days before to do most of the indoor decor because we have 4 cats who like to destroy things.

Yes, I am stressed!
 

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Queen Halloween, I am with you! My goal this year was to get more organized with To-Do Lists and planning. I think I have done well. On the other hand, DH is feeling the stress. He went back to college after the military, and Halloween is always mid-term time. This means he wants to spend all of his extra time on homework and studying. Which I definitely want to support, but here's the deal. He insists on hosting the party in the garage because our friends get really messy and spill a lot when they're drinking. He's also a mechanic, so the garage is always in some state of disarray and half-completed car projects that I cannot clean up. Now, I would be fine hosting the party in the house (it's been decorated for weeks and I can manage the cleaning), but he insists we have it in the garage. Anyway, this means he has to take time away from studying to clean the garage.

I am a little nervous about timing tonight, as I have to leave for a few hours right before the party to go to my cousin's baby shower. Uhg! Why can't people arrange their lives around Halloween for me! :p I told DH that if he didn't want to have to do all of the decorations himself, that he needed to have the garage at least mostly cleaned out so that I can decorate before I leave for the baby shower. He cleaned until late last night. Now, I'm up early! Too excited to sleep. Guess I should start! Good luck with everybody's parties and I hope to see pictures!
 

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Last year was a write off so I am stressing more about having a come back this year - having it this Friday !! Usually not so close to Halloween but my work schedule doesn't allow for earlier
 

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Me and my roommate throw a party. I'm the one that the months...weeks...days before gets really stressed and my roommate is the opposite, day of she is really stressed. I feel like this year was much calmer than the last 2 years and she was a little less stressed. I try to tell her that there is no reason to stress the day of the party, because it's the day of...what gets done, gets done what don't, don't! Nothing we want do about it.
 

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Ok well other than the actual cooking I am finally done as of tonight. I'm posting pix in the indoor decor 2015 thread. Anyway just have to do cooking prep tomorrow and cook (while in costume urgh) Saturday. Our houseguests just arrived. I feel like I have stuff I still need to do, but my to do list is all checked off!
 

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Congratulations on a stress-free affair! Even with the best of intentions we were running late this year. But, it all came together, and we and our guests all had a good time. We both took time to work out the day of the party to relieve some stress.
 

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I just had my first Halloween Party last year and I did a lot early so I wouldn't be stressed. One way that helped, was that I didn't make TOO much food and allowed my guests to bring things. Luckily I have lots of friends who are creative and brought lots of great stuff. But what food I did make myself was a bunch of dips! Mostly because that seems to be what people eat the most, especially if they are drinking alcohol. Most like salty stuff they can munch on. So I had all of the food done the night before and some done 2 nights before as well. I had a drink bar too that was the only thing I really had to assemble the day of, and it didn't take much time at all! I'll definitely be doing the same thing this year because it was nice being stress free on the day of the party! :D
 

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One of the biggest stressors in the past has always been that dreaded last hour. You know, trying to get makeup and costumes complete and then realizing all the things you've forgotten to switch on, and we always make our witches brew right before the party, so there's that. After hosting a party for so many years I feel like our last party in 2014(we took a break for 2015) was fairly stress free. In September we take about 3 days off from work to pull everything out from storage, sort it, and decide what we are using/not using. That usually takes the majority of the first day and then the other 2 days are spent putting all the "basics"(stuff that fits in with any theme that we're doing that year). I then take an entire week of PTO from work before the party which helps me set a plan for what i'm getting done each day. On Monday I may focus on placing the themed decorations, Tuesday may be spent cobwebbing each room, Wednesday will be grocery shopping day/making any adjustments to the rooms, Thursday is usually the yard day, Friday is final outdoor decor that we save for last(tarp to enclose porch areas, outside lighting, etc and usually food prep day + party decor set up(streamers, food table, etc). Saturday we woke up and DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO, IT WAS GLORIOIUS! We got up, fixed a pot of coffee, hung out around the house...went into town for lunch, swung by the bakery and picked up our cake and then came back to the house to warm the food in the oven and slip into costume! I made the mistake before about forgetting to switch everything on before getting into costume so while my co-hosts set up the food/drink I went room by room and turned everything on. Then we all got dressed and was ready and waiting when our guests arrived!

It really is a HUGE lifesaver to have a plan and a schedule...and that's coming from someone who is NOT about making lists and being organized.
 
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