How to Have an Effort”less” Outdoor Party

How to Have an Effort”less” Outdoor Party

Enjoying Your Party Instead of Missing it from Working so Much

Spring, Summer and Fall are the perfect times to enjoy hosting a relaxing and fun outdoor party.

The smell of barbecue always livens up the neighborhood with great food cooking on the grill.

These days there are less outdoor events happening in neighborhoods as the cost is overwhelming if you’re doing it alone. However, there are solutions to make it easy to prepare the festivities and include your guests to participate.

After reading this article you’ll be better prepared to host your own outdoor party and I also share a link to get a complete outdoor party planner checklist!

Here’s some tips for planning your next outdoor party:

Pick A Date

Party planner calendarApril – October are great months and shouldn’t be limited to humid July/Aug.

You can easily check the forecast by Googling a monthly weather calendar for your area – it may not be 100% on the money, however it’s a good guide to check rain and humidity expected. Consider picking a rain date if forecast looks iffy.

Send Out Invitations

After picking a date, send out your invite by email including date and start/grilling time. Definitely put an end time to prevent laggers.

People enjoy participating and this can be stress-free by taking them up on their offers of what to bring.

Make it easy by using this outdoor party shopping list and assign tasks by name so they bring exactly what you need without duplication.

This makes your party “easy breezy”  for you to enjoy and not shoulder the work and cost, which is why I’ve heard people have cut down on summer barbecues.

This list makes it super easy to make a budget for the party so you don’t go over your $ limit.

Pre-Party Preparations

Before the party, here’s some considerations to keep in mind for your pre-party preparations:

  • Request set-up and clean-up volunteers who you know are reliable.
  • If you have a pool, make sure it’s cleaned the day before and guests bring their own towel.
  • Have the lawn cut and leaves raked to make your yard inviting and free of debris.
  • Have enough chairs for guests. Rent or have guests bring folding chairs.
  • Rent a canopy if shade is needed.
  • Outdoor lighting needs to be sufficient for your front/backyard and walkway safety.
  • Make sure extension cords are not in pathways or near seating areas.
  • If decorating, you can use piñatas, hang lottery tickets, or string lights.
  • Fans keep guests cool and flies away. Avoid putting them in walking paths or too near food.
  • Keep music at reasonable levels if using a DJ, boom box, iPod dock, or laptop. Do you need dance area?
  • In case of injuries have ice packs and Band-Aids handy.
  • Have fire extinguishers available in kitchen and in yard near the grill.
  • Keep grill area apart from guest seating area.

Bottom line is for you to want to host a party at your home so YOU can enjoy entertaining without feeling overwhelmed.

The new norm is for guests to contribute and share in the planning as it’s a well-known fact entertaining these days is expensive but easy to do so all can enjoy.

“Pot luck” dining is always a good option too. If you’re worried about running out of food, you can simply suggest a “chip-in” pizza delivery for those late stayers but get the approval and $ collected ahead of time.

Keep in mind, most people won’t see the tiny details of how things look so budget, plan, execute, sit back and ENJOY!

And be sure to CLICK HERE to  download the Ultimate outdoor Party Checklist.
Need help getting organized for your next party? Schedule a complimentary Discovery Session to discuss organizational and productivity challenges we can conquer together.

Are you an ORGANIZED networker?

I remember when I first started my business 23 years ago.  I did the setup steps – started a business based on what I do best, established a name, registered the business, set up a bank account, logo, biz card, and brochure.  I had all the marketing materials – but why wasn’t anyone knocking on my door?  Don’t they know I have a service to offer to help them?  How come my phone isn’t ringing?  Guess I needed to do more to show the world I exist!



Networking? That was a concept I never heard of.  Hmmm, what’s this Networking Calendar of Events in the business section of my newspaper?  Looks interesting – is it a party?  

So I went to my first networking event with my beautiful business cards.  Walked into a room filled with business women who obviously knew each other and they greeted me warmly.  What – a 30 second intro – what’s that?  Shaking in my boots, I was able to come up with a quick intro how I help people get organized which actually brought some attention to a woman who said “I need you”.  Hey this networking sounds easy peasy!  Continued to go to every group around and saw they were different but had same concept – to make yourself known to get business.  


Slowly I was able to secure some business within different groups and became known as “Dr. DeClutter”.  However, I sensed something else needed to be done.  I needed to learn to listen and pay attention to other people selling themselves.  I went to a top notch group who had a form with questions laid out about what to ask the other person you’re speaking with to show your interest during one-on-one calls.  But I’m meeting so many people and can’t keep track of everyone so what can I use to help me pay attention and remember their specific business and needs?  




I created my own networking “homework” form.


It had various pieces of info such as the date, time, name, and contact info for the private meetings I set up.  I realized this was about relationship building which is needed for successful networking.  I added key questions to ask the other person – like what’s their business, who are their targets, their background, outside interests, ideas we discussed to help each other, leads given/received, action items I said I would do for my fellow networker (follow through is KEY).  I then noticed my brain was now engaged from getting to know my fellow networkers as I was able to come up with contacts from other groups in my circles to connect people together so they could possibly do business together.



Networking is not one sided.  It’s a mutual respect for each other and for sharing a common goal – to get business.  That meant stepping outside my own picture frame and expanding my interest in learning to build relationships by simply listening and asking questions of the other person.  It shows compassion, a common ground, a real interest in what I could do for them and not just what they could do for me.  It was a lesson in selflessness.


Last week I attended a networking event where I ran into people I’ve known for over 20 yrs.  Their welcoming hello’s were proof that doing networking professionally and with consideration pays off.  


If you’re unsure about how to go about networking, then try any of these:

  • Check the business section of your local Sunday newspaper.
  •  is great for networking both professionally and personally.
  • Eventbrite has local networking events, business mixers, and more.


I’ve helped clients nationally find groups in their location that they didn’t know existed, It opened up a whole new world of opportunity. Successful networking involves being professional, interested, resourceful, and organized! is the best place to find information and solutions you’ve been searching for to manage your life more efficiently!  Schedule a complimentary Discovery Session to learn more …


What You Need to Know About Clutter and How It Affects Your Life

What You Need to Know About Clutter and How It Affects Your Life

Clutter: A Quick Definition

What exactly is clutter? Here’s some thoughts to put it into perspective:

  • Something you don’t need
  • Something you wish you didn’t have 
  • A whole lotta nothin’
  • Useless “stuff”
  • Meaningless mania
  • Unsorted mess
  • Illogical thinking      
  • Junk
  • Valueless items  
  • Someone else’s…
  • Unrelated items
  • Postponed decisions
  • Unfinished actions
  • VISUAL NOISE                                                   

How Clutter Makes You Feel

Can you relate to any of these?

  • Disorganized
  • Unproductive
  • Sloppy
  • SadToo Much Stuff
  • Tired
  • Overwhelmed
  • Like you want to run away!
  • Unprofessional
  • Drained
  • Guilty
  • Out of control
  • Unfocused
  • Out of sorts
  • Guilty
  • Angry
  • Stagnant/Frozen

What Clutter Causes

The sad truth is, clutter can have a very adverse effect on your personal and professional life. Here’s a variety of ways clutter can be causing you costly mistakes:

  • Lost time looking for things              
  • Lost $$$
  • Misuse of valuable time
  • FrustrationPaper Avalanche
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Arguments
  • Miscommunication
  • Paper “pain”
  • A physical mess
  • Lack of space
  • Confusion
  • Inefficiency
  • Depression
  • Lack of focus and concentration
  • Distraction

If you feel like you’re the only one on the planet who feels disorganized because there’s cluttered chaos in your home or office, rest assured you are not alone.

From my 23 years of being a Professional Organizer, I have heard words listed above directly from clients and those who have shared their feelings in general life conversation.  It takes over your life resulting in the causes I listed.

Huffington Post did a recent survey stating 84-87% of those polled worry their home is not clean or organized enough causing anxiety over maintaining their homes.

What’s interesting is that people have similar issues – a/k/a “symptoms” – however they still need a customized solution.

When dealing with disorganization, I use an “outside-the-box” approach that caters to a client’s specific needs and personalities.  Each person is unique in their situation. I help clients understand the why and then develop a long-term solution.

Why do they feel this way? I listen with compassion and design systems from their comprehension of how it will work for them.

These days home offices are the “norm” which has taken over space unplanned for in their original design and success only happens when systems are set up. Business owners, department Managers, and employees need to be on the same page via an organized, systematic environment improving the bottom line.

Organization starts at homeMost of the time I find that it goes back to their roots. Was organization taught at home? Did they have a place for everything? What role models did they have to show them the logic behind the solutions?

School does not teach you how to keep your bedroom neat or how to keep your kitchen set up to cook with ease.  You learn that from your environment.

I came from an organized environment.  When Sundays used to be Sundays – oooh so long ago – we all gathered at Grandma & Grandpa’s house – aunts, uncles, cousins.  Whoever was left at the end helped clean up assembly style.

I remember the routine fondly.  The men got the living room back in order the way Grandma had it.  The women handed each other items off the kitchen table in line to the appropriate cabinet to store dishes, glasses, silverware to the exact spot they came from.

My fondest memory was standing in front of the open fridge next to my Grandma and handing her the next item for her to store.  It went exactly in a specified spot.  Just to be a prankster with her, I moved things around when she wasn’t looking and she laughed.  But it always came back to her system.

Little did I know then that she was actually teaching me the profession I so enjoy when I can teach others the logic behind what goes where.  Having set chores on Saturday was a built-in benefit that started young.

I started my business after she passed and I would sense her hand on my shoulder at the end of client sessions in recognition of a job well done!  I will add that she taught each of her 6 children the “art” of organizing.

I never knew what a cluttered home looked like until I had my first babysitting job. I took the task of washing the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen for the parents who were busy with their 5 children – trust me, there were no organizational skills taught in that house so my help was so appreciated!

Time to DeClutter

It’s Time to DeClutter!

Whatever age you are, it is not too late to learn. Let’s discover together how to remove the “chaotic clutter” from wherever you are nationwide through virtual organizing sessions in your office, home office, or home.

Click here to sign up for a Complimentary Discovery Session 

“Think Out Loud” Sessions also available to declutter your brain!