Almost everyone who throws a party now and then has a cool cool/fun/labor-saving trick they use. We collected some from readers, including a few that have appeared before in Saturdays Im So Clever feature.
Include a place on the RSVP card for guests to write in their favorite party/holiday song. Use these to compile a playlist for the party. Laura Jenkins, Wilmington
Cool wine glass tags
I had a group of friends coming over for a party. I do not own wine tags. (And I have been at parties where people cant remember which one is theirs, anyway.) So, I grabbed Post-it Sticky Flags (super narrow Post-Its). I plopped a permanent marker next to them and told everyone to choose one and initial it.
We stuck the labels on the base of the glasses and it worked like a charm. No one forgets their initials! And I dont have to store tiny items. Emily Lekoski, Charlotte
Unique secondhand plates
Whenever Im out shopping at thrift stores or during sale events, I buy several inexpensive plates with interesting designs or pretty colors and by the time Im ready to host a party, I have quite a collection. Guests often want to know where I got them. They enjoy knowing they can set a plate down and remember which one is theirs, and I enjoy knowing that if one or two get broken, its no big deal. Sometimes I even send leftovers home on them! Diane Kindlick, Charlotte
Make them sign in
Having your guests sign an old-fashioned guest book is one of the simplest ways to record the memories you make while entertaining in your home. I have kept one for over 20 years! I love to browse through its pages, read what my guests have written, and reminisce about the wonderful times that were shared at my house. Sheila Smith, Charlotte
New use for broken wine glass
If you break a wine glass at the stem, use the top portion as a candle holder in plants. The broken stem sticks into the soil and the cup part is a great place to put in a votive or other small candle as a decorative way to light up an outdoor space. Sherri Young, Fort Mill
Take leftovers containers to parties
When I go to a holiday party or family get-together where I know the host will be sending home leftovers with the guests, I bring my own containers. That way the host doesnt have to scramble for containers and I dont have to worry about returning them.
Diane Hurst, Charlotte
Editor chimes in: And if youre hosting a party and dont want leftovers, have guests bring their own containers.
Festive funnel does the trick
We all know how frustrating it can be to get ice from a cooler when theres lots of water from melting ice. A great way to retrieve ice not water is to put a festive funnel in your cooler. Ice can easily be scooped out and water is no longer a problem! Patti Alexander, Shelby
Cooler with a permanent press setting
When I have parties, I put the ice and drinks in the washing machine so I can reuse the melted ice to wash clothes later. Marilyn Frazier, Charlotte