Vino is a favourite at any kid of bash, and it's the perfect beverage to store for long periods of time. Win-win! Katherine, mum to two girls, said she always keeps a few bottles of wine on hand. "Red is easy," she says. "It doesn't need to be refrigerated. [It's] always nice to be able to offer a friend a glass of wine if she drops in for an impromptu get-together." Even if you don't drink wine, chances are your friends do.
Don't worry too much about fancy food, particularly at an impromptu bash. Ali, mom of three, says, "I always buy chips, pretzels etc. when they are on sale just in case I decide to have people over." Jen, who has a son and a daughter, agrees that chips are the way to go -- "for our tween boys… not for us, I swear!" And Katie, a mom of two, takes it a step further by always keeping rice crackers on hand in case a guest has a wheat allergy. "Great with cheese, dip or salsa -- instant appetizer," she says.
Paper and plastic
Katherine suggests "paper plates, napkins and plastic cutlery for when a horde of kids descend on the house and you want to feed them without using all your clean dishes." If you weren't planning on hosting a party, chances are you weren't planning on spending all night doing dishes either. So, instead of dirtying up a bunch of dishware, stock up on clear plastic plates, cups and utensils that look simple and classy. Set out the garbage bin, then sit back and enjoy the party -- no muss, no fuss.
No party is complete with certain supplies -- candles for a birthday party, for example. Ali says, "I have, in my possession, those number candles for ages 1 through 8, and I keep them around for whoever has a birthday." A few rolls of streamers, balloons, some party hats and decorations also can take any impromptu party to another level.
One great accessory
What party is complete without a great party outfit? If you don't have one planned, that's OK. You don't really need a whole new outfit. A really great accessory can be all you need to dress up any ensemble. Nancy, mom of two teenage girls, says her one party-time accessory is "a beautiful, ornate and usually cheap necklace. This makes any outfit a party outfit."