Invite your guests: I go the old fashioned route: Facebook Event Page. I save paper, plus I get to converse with my party-goers BEFORE the party. Sort of like the pre-party.
Decide on menu: Decide what to make (or rather what you want your partner to make) or whether you're going to be cheap and make it a potluck. I like to do both, so I ask our guests to bring something to share. And as my friend observed at our last party, you know it's a Bloomington-party when two of the dishes involve quinoa. Holla. This time I made two soups, which I admit is risky. To ask your party-goers to hold a bowl of soup and their plate and their drink may be a bit much. But I trusted. And I went with it.
Shop for ingredients/supplies: Bring a list and expect to buy at least 20 additional items than what's on said list, especially if you're headed to Target or another big box store that tempts you with their wares. If you have a child (or more than one) and you know what's good for you, find a time when you can leave them at home, preferably with an adult. Otherwise your shopping trip will take three times as long and you'll end up purchasing useless shit that you don't really need for the party.
Clean for party guests: If your invitees are your nearest and dearest, you may not need to clean as thoroughly as you would for a party where you've invited acquaintances, FB friends and those you're still trying to win over. But for most parties, you're going to want to make sure you've done a good cleaning of certain areas in your home. These include, but are not limited to: the bathroom your guests will be using. Sit down on the toilet and let your eyes wander. What are you noticing? Isn't that chocolate pudding from last night on the door knob? Yes, but you'd better believe that won't be what your guests think. Do you expect your guests to open your refrigerator? No? Guess again, because even if you have everything you need OUT on the counter or on a table, some asshole is going to find a reason to open your refrigerator. So you'd better make sure it's clean in there and void of pubic hair (don't ask).
Create a music playlist: Back in the day one would have to change the records or even CDs. Or maybe you created a mix tape or a mix CD. That's cool. But now you can use the world wide web, and I'd highly recommend Spotify. Much to my husband's annoyance, I listen to the same two playlists aptly titled: Amy's Exercise and Fast Birth. Those playlists have songs that make me want to dance, move, and shimmy, so obviously they belong at a party. Done. Bam.
Cook, finish cleaning, and get party-ready: Alright, throw together the recipes you found on Pinterest, pour the Doritos in a bowl and put the Blue Sky soda on ice. Make sure the juice boxes are lined up neatly in the refrigerator as to impress party guests. Wipe down the counter, the bathroom sink and load the dishwasher with last-minute dirty dishes. Head to your room, throw on those moccasin slippers that may pass as regular shoes (they don't, asshole) and brush your hair one last time. Throw on a dab of Chapstick and get ready to party.