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Party Prep Part 2: What to focus on before your guests arrive

My dad stopped by this morning to help me  get some last minute things done for my party. I made a list of some easy morning fixes that I thought would be important to finish before the party. A lot of times, when we are renovating our homes, it’s easy to get used to the way things work. But when your guests come, they may not KNOW something works a certain way, or they may not be as careful as you are. Here is my last-minute list and what we did to get ready for the party:

  1. Fix the bathroom door knob. I bought a really pretty door knob at Anthropologie while I was visiting my friend Andrew in Washington DC (hi Andrew!!). They have some really cool vintage knobs, and I found one in the clearance rack for $15.00. I had installed this knob a few weeks back… but something still wasn’t working right. It was sticking a little bit when you try to shut the door, and the latch wasn’t exactly lining up with the latch bolt. After about an hour of fiddling we decided it was probably best to move this door knob to a “less used” door, and put something more practical (with a lock) on the bathroom door. My dad came prepared with a new doorknob, and 10 minutes after we made the decision it was done! I will put the other knob somewhere else in my house and document the steps in a later post!
  2. Install door stops. Another really important pre-party tip is to install door stoppers. All it takes is a quick swing of the door and suddenly the knob is through your drywall. Before you know it you have a whole list of “post-party” work to do. Prevent this from happening by taking the 2 minutes to install door stops . They only cost a buck or two, and will save you from a headache so you can focus on nursing your hangover.
  3. Fix the screen door. My “screen door closer” was broken when I bought the house, so I removed it. Now is a good time to fix this. For about $10-$15 at the local hardware store, we picked up a storm door closer. After some fiddling with the tightness, it closes nice and easy. My dad also reattached the chain (you can pick up a screen door chain kit for about $3). This prevents the door from swinging all the way open, smashing into the house, or hitting one of your friends in the face. Definitely a good idea to fix this up before the party starts.
  4. Fix/cover drain. This was my dad’s idea, but a very good one at that. He decided to find a better fitting drain for the floor of my basement, since all of the party games would be down there. In addition, I moved the table over the drain, just as another safety measure so no one breaks an ankle.


That was my morning fix list before the party. Although I didn’t have to do these, a few other suggestions I have are:

  • install a new toilet seat, if needed
  • fill any holes in the yard so someone doesn’t twist their ankle
  • make sure that the steps and railings inside and outside your house are clean and sturdy. I had some nails in my stairs going to the basement because there are treads on them. I went through and meticulously nailed these down earlier in the week. Getting snagged on a nail or a bump can be SERIOUS. If you like your friends, make sure it’s SAFE.
  • mark anything you think people might miss. If you have a quick step down right after you open the door to the backyard, maybe adding a sign that says “watch your step” is a good idea?
  • make sure you add trash cans EVERYWHERE. It makes it more likely things will get thrown away. And if your guests have immediate access to trash cans, they wont be walking through the house carrying junk, dropping things, or possibly tripping because they don’t see exactly where they are going.


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