Monday, August 22, 2011

Give Yourself a Week To Gather Your Party Favor Supplies

Do you like to make your own party favors?  If so, do yourself a favor and pencil in at least a week to gather the supplies.  I give my self three weeks to do favors for a party: one week to gather and two weeks to make them.

When my timeline says "Plan favors," I create something similar to the photo above.  I've already brainstormed the favors by this point, so I know what I want to do/make.  During the planning stage, I make a list of the favors, a list of what I need to gather and/or buy, and a list of the things I need to make.  This only takes 15 minutes but it saves me so much time as the party draws near!  

I do this well before it's time for me to actually make the favors.  In fact, I "plan favors" four weeks before I actually start making them.

"Why in the world do you do that?" you ask.  It's simple.

When there is an impending deadline of completing a task like favors for a party, I find my mind starts to race and feel like it's already behind.  By planning everything out when the party is still weeks away, I allow my mind to relax and focus. I give it time to ponder exactly what I want to do, without worrying about whether or not I actually have time to do it.

In my opinion, this is the key to throwing a great party without having to say, "THIS would be such a cool thing to do, but I just don't have the time."  By planning well in advance what it is you actually want to do, you have an idea of how long it will take you and how much time you need to give yourself to create your masterpiece.

Once I have made my lists, I continue to follow my timeline and work on other aspects of the party until 4 weeks later when it's time to start gathering my favor supplies.

Since I've know for a month what it is that I want to do/make, it's quite possible that I have found most of the supplies during regular shopping trips (often on sale!) and I don't have much to gather.  But if not, I have a week to gather them.

Amazon prime is quickly becoming my shopping method of choice for things like this.  You cannot beat free 2-day shipping to your door!  If it's something I can't get on amazon, I will sometimes take the four weeks to visit Hobby Lobby or Michael's and use a 50% off coupon.  This is a luxury you have when you plan ahead, since you can usually only use the coupons on one item and will likely need several supplies for your favors.

During the next two weeks I work on making the favors.  It doesn't usually take me anywhere near two weeks- usually only 1-2 nights with my partner in crime (aka my sister) helping.  But having two weeks keeps me from feeling under the gun and makes the whole planning process more FUN for me.

And enjoying the party planning process is my goal for any party I throw.  While studying happiness for her Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin found that we tend to feel happier when we relish in the anticipation leading up to an event and that we often enjoy the anticipation more than the event itself.

I find that to be true with party planning as well.  When hosting a party, you are often pulled in several directions and fluttering around to make sure all runs smoothly.  Why not enjoy the planning and make yourself happier?

When is your next party?  What can you do for 15 minutes this week to make it a HIT and a BLAST to plan?  Check out my 12 week timeline  or the online timeline I created and start planning!

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