Summer is coming to a quick close, but there is still some time to plan a big party. And to make sure it goes off without a hitch there are several easy things you can do to make sure that it is a success.

After all, when the sun sets, and everybody is back to their routines, it will be nice to reflect on how great a time everyone had. Be sure to take lots of photos to show one another when you get tired of the mundane and need a lift.

Here are some quick ideas to get your party started:

Have more than enough food and drinks. It’s better to have more than enough of everything instead of worrying about running out of a certain drink or food. Stock up on the usual essentials that everyone likes such as chips, dips, veggie platters, soft drinks, plenty of ice, paper cups and plates. Of course, you can also double up on the burgers, hot dogs and corresponding buns, potato salad, and other fresh salads you plan to serve.

Provide entertainment. A volleyball net, board games, television, and playing cards are just a few things that can entertain everyone. If you have a swimming pool make sure there are rafts, floats, noodles, and other pool games to keep the guests busy and entertained. Old-fashioned board games can also come in handy when people get restless waiting for the main course — dinner.

Have a CD player with an assortment of music to choose from or ask your guests to bring their own tunes to share. There’s no such thing as too much music on hand.

Make sure there is somewhere to sit or lounge. If you’re serving a meal and need tables and chairs, rent some if you don’t have enough. You want people to be comfortable and you certainly don’t want someone getting a big plate of food and drink, only to have to walk around the house or yard, and not be able to find anywhere to sit.

Be prepared for the mess. If someone spills a drink or gets crumbs on your sofa so what? If you run around the house or yard trying to clean up after everybody, you won’t be able to enjoy the party yourself. People aren’t going to purposely make a mess of your house or yard. Just let the food fall and worry about it after the party or the next day.

Put out waste baskets and garbage receptacles so people can toss their plates, and cups after they are done using them. While most will comply and do so, there may be a few stragglers that won’t and you’ll just have to clean up after them.

The bottom line is to plan way in advance.  Basically, the more prepared you are, the more relaxed you’ll be. The more relaxed you are, the more fun you are bound to have at your own party, right?