Great Get Organized Ideas For Your Backyard Entertaining By Manic Managed Mom Rachel Harris

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Great Get Organized Ideas For Your Backyard Entertaining

by: Rachel Harris, Managedmoms.com

After ten years of saving up to put in a new backyard, this is the year that we finally did it.  With a new pool, spa, fire pit and more, our family is thoroughly enjoying, what feels like a room addition, truly, right in our own backyard.  With the new hustle and bustle happening out back, I quickly realized that getting organized outside would save us time, hassle and give me more time to truly relax with family and friends.  Before I got organized I was constantly looking for clean towels, searching inside for bug spray and sunscreen or frantically running back indoors to find a band aid for the occasional injury.  

I also found that entertaining requires some pre-party prep or else I spend the entire time searching for much needed utensils, running out of napkins, etc.  And since we Phoenicians are now diving into our backyard pools or enjoying a meal outside under our desert stars during these warm Spring days, here are some good get organized tips for your life outside in your backyard. 

First My Backyard Background Basic Info

Since I have found that my friends, and even acquaintances, are very interested when I tell them that we did a total backyard makeover 10 years after moving into our home, I will answer the most asked question and that is who did we hire to do the redo.  The local company, Alexon Design Group, was very good to work with and our complete makeover was worth every penny that we spent to upgrade our home.  We chose Alexon because they do everything including the tear out, pools, spas, fire pits, landscaping and even painting the walls with a nice stucco finish.  We are very happy with their professionalism and the time it took to complete the huge job.  The biggest surprise to us is just how much bigger our small backyard now looks.  You can learn more about Alexon at www.alexondesign.com

Outdoor Furniture On A Budget That Makes Sense 

After spending our money on a brand new backyard, we were hard pressed to have budget left over for furniture, so we did two things.  First we asked around and decided that Costco.com was the best value for brand new furniture and they have pieces that are interchangeable.  For instance, the modular pieces can be placed together to form a larger couch or more individual chairs and the rectangular pieces work as a bench, table or can be pushed into the couch to turn it into a daybed.  They also sell good quality bar stools that my teenagers assembled for us, which was a cost savings since they come unassembled from a big warehouse.  Costco prices were significantly less than big name outdoor furniture stores.  The second thing we did was to mix the new furniture with our old pieces.  My daughter actually looked up how to incorporate furnishings with the old stuff.  One helpful tip that she found is to put some of the pillows that came with the new pieces with the old furniture to tie it in and this worked great. 

Organized Backyard Essentials for Less Stress

*Earth Friendly Towel Storage Idea - I saw this on Pinterest and I just love the idea.  Up cycle an old planter to store towels.  Roll the towels to fit more in the container and to make it easy for folks to grab and go. 

*Make Outdoor Essentials Kit - Make one now before you find yourself enjoying the pool only to have to jump out dripping wet to run indoors to find sunscreen, bug spray or a band aid in a hurry.  Make sure the kit also holds antiseptic spray plus lip balm with sunscreen and even hats for extra sun protection.  I also have goggles in the kit and extra sunglasses.  

Outdoor Dining Done Right & Relaxed

When planning a backyard get together, get organized first so that you truly get to enjoy the party.  By thinking ahead and having everything on hand, you get to sit more, sip more and run in and out less!  So try these get organized ideas for your next backyard celebration...

*Stage Seating Area - If you want guests to sit in a designated area, then stage it that way with placemats and a bottle of water in place before they arrive.  Having lots of water on hand keeps guests hydrated and can also slow down consuming the spirited drinks if they remember to drink water as well.  

*Create More Serving Space - To create more buffet space, place a standing 3-tier rack off to the side of the serving area to house plates, condiments, napkins, extra water bottles and more.  I found earth friendly biodegradable paper plates and utensils at Party City.  The line is called Bambu. 

*Be Organized Before They Arrive - Do have appetizers out and ready to go when guests arrive.  This keeps the flow of the event moving and gives you time to finish grilling or making the main meal.  Use a wine chilling stick with a drip free pour spout.  I have seen them as low as $15 on Amazon.com.  This prevents you from having to run in and out to keep chilled bottles on hand without needing to take up space in the outdoor ice chest.  Do use plastic wine glasses to reduce the chance of broken glass and use wine charms so that each guest knows which glass belongs to which person.  

*Have ice packs ready for a potluck - First of all, have a potluck as your job will be made much easier if you don't have to worry about side dishes as well as the main course.  Ask guests to either bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert.  We have found that people really like to see what others bring and it is fun to taste each other's creations.  Plus this will save you money at the grocery store.  Have ice packs laid out on the counter so that when folks arrive with their dish, it can be placed in the chilled area to keep it fresh until serving time and to also avoid taking up your much needed fridge space. 

*Be A Green Host - Don't blow off being green just because it is a party.  Put out a designated trash can marked "recycling" or do what we do and put out a box marked for bottles and cans that can be easily placed in your blue bin during clean up.  

*Use steak charms - I found cool steak charms online at Frontgate at www.frontgate.com for only $9.99 for a six charms.  This helps the busy host/cook keep track of who wants their meat rare, medium rare, medium or well done.  

*Fun Dessert Idea - Have a smores kit ready and on hand for a festive dessert that is enjoyed by all ages.  Keep a container of hand wipes in the kit for washing hands before and for removing sticky marshmallow residue off fingers afterwards.  Wooden skewer sticks work fine for roasting and can be recycled afterwards. 

What backyard get organized ideas do you swear by that have made your spring and summer outdoor summer days more relaxing?  Share in the comments section and be sure to check my blog at www.managedmoms.com for more entertaining tips, recipes, parenting articles, beauty tips and more.  Happy seasonal outdoor fun!