Last week I told you about the surprise birthday party I gave my husband, Mark. (Here is the link if you haven’t read it yet: What could possibly go wrong.) This week, I promised I’d tell you about a simple method I came up with that made setting up the party incredibly easy.
However, before I do, I need to go back to the party to fill in the ending. How could I have forgotten to tell you!
When Olivia brought Mark back to the house, he walked into the mudroom, as usual, but this time he found the door to the kitchen closed. We were all quietly waiting behind the door. According to Olivia, he hesitated and didn’t open the door right away. Apparently he was trying to figure out why it was closed. Olivia, who knew why, decided to jump in and open the door. When Mark saw everyone looking at him with big smiles on their faces, he just stood there. Then instead of walking into the kitchen, he walked away from the door and out of sight. “Where did he go?” someone asked.
I stepped into the mudroom to see: he was hanging his coat up! Who does that? “What are you doing?” I asked. “Hanging up my coat,” he replied as if that was the natural thing to do.
Then he walked back to the kitchen door, looked in at all his friends, and didn’t say a word—even when someone handed him a glass of wine. That is the picture I posted last week. His smile said it all; he was indeed surprised and a happy guy. BTW, a week later he’s still smiling
Now about setting up the party and the magical power of Post-its:
I use sticky notes a lot in my office. (They're currently demarking a storyboard, a visual outline of my impending book; it’s a great way to see how individual ideas fit into the whole plan.)
With only three hours to cook and set up the party, my big fear was that, since I had people helping me, I’d continually be asked, “What should we do next?” The thought that I’d have to stop, look around, and figure out what was next made me anxious.
I’d never thought about using Post-it notes to organize a dinner party, but why not? I broke the list of to-do's in my notebook into individual steps written on Post-its, creating a storyboard. Instead of writing "set the table," I wrote down all the steps of setting a table that needed to be done—one to a Post-it. For instance: set up tables, folding chairs, tablecloths, napkins, plates, forks, knives, teaspoons, dessert forks, water glasses, wine glasses etc.
I placed all the sticky notes on part of my kitchen island where everyone could see them. Then instead of asking me what to do next, we just glanced at the Post-it notes to find out. As each task was done, the Post-it was removed, making it easy to see how much progress we were making—so simple.
May I say again I LOVE POST-IT NOTES! Using them to organize a party was genius and I will do it again and again.
I hope you try it. Let me know if it works as well for you as it did for me.
What about you?
Do you have organizational tricks that make your life easier?
Let us know—please.
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