Spring is in the air! The sun is out, the sky is blue and it’s a great time to catch up with friends and family. If you have a dinner party or gathering coming up, here are a few tips to help you start your planning.

Theme it // When throwing a party, come up with a fun and unique theme! A theme will not only inspire decoration ideas, but also encourage participation among your guests. Costumes and props can also serve as great icebreakers among guests who may be just meeting. Themes help to build excitement as well as buzz among the attendants in the days approaching the event.

Decorate it // Once you’ve chosen a theme, it’s time to decorate accordingly. Depending on your budget, store decorations may not be the most efficient route. Consider a DIY project using online resources such as Pinterest. It allows you to search other people’s creative ideas and projects from all over the world. Re-pin things that catch your eye and store ideas for future projects.

DJ it // Music sets the mood, which is why it’s essential to create a playlist. From classical piano to reggae to techno, your tunes will set the tone and energy of your party. Services like Spotify, Pandora and iTunes Radio allow you to create a station tailored to your genre preferences. Spotify allows you to personally select songs and also listen to playlists that other users have created. All of these services are great for parties because your guests aren’t limited to the music on your iPod. Don’t worry about updating or downloading new music while you’re frantically preparing.

Feed it // The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and it’s the same for guests. Food is essential for almost every gathering. Whether it is a small refreshment table or a 5 course dinner, food gives your guest something to discuss, bond over and enjoy. Potlucks cut down on your party-prep time and ensures that every guest will have something they like to eat. Pinterest is also a helpful tool when it comes to food ideas. Pick and chose from an endless library of recipes and create your own spread to match your theme.

Clean it // Cleaning before and after a party can be stressful, but there are several steps you can take to make it easier on yourself. Make sure to have easily accessible trashcans throughout the party for your guests to easily throw away garbage. Also, using paper plates will cut down work in the kitchen. Setting up your furniture to create an open area and organizing a system for traffic flow can also help reduce how much clutter your guests will leave behind.

Of course, you can always call Mini Maid to cross cleaning off your “To Do” list!

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