Get Ready for Next Year’s BBQ Right After This Year’s BBQ

There may be no feeling more debilitating than waking up the next day after a big outdoor party just to see your house and backyard completely ruin. The last thing you need to do is plan your next lunch when you clean up after last night’s dinner. But maybe now is the best time for that.

At least that’s what Reddit user u / xenomorphgirl wrote on / r / LifeProTips, saying that they’ve learned over the years that annual barbecues are much easier to plan if you know what went wrong last year:

We had our annual fireworks party last night. It is never wrong that we cannot remember what we did in the past. How many pounds of brisket did we order last time, how many people showed up, what did we run out of, what would we like to think about in advance? We ran out of buns and water bottles last night, so I will definitely celebrate next time. I’ve also found that cotton candy doesn’t stick very well to candy sticks – next time I’ll really need paper tubes. So, I collect my notes and include them in my Google calendar for next year!

Here are a couple of simple things that will make this distant day less hectic when it finally comes. You will thank the future for the past.

Schedule it

If you’re always home to watching the Fourth of July, it’s easy enough, but you may be more into building a fire in the middle of summer. Check your calendar and pick the most likely day. For u / xenomorphgirl, the best way is to use a digital calendar that allows you to attach notes on things like ice, member numbers, and horrible cotton candy sticks.

But I like to set reminders in my GCal for things that I need to remember for a week, but which will inevitably fly out of my head. If it took longer than you thought to defrost the hamburger patties, set a reminder a few days before this distant party. If certain items are out of print at your local store for the holiday, remind yourself to get them early.

It does n’t make sense to keep a running list of these things in your head, especially since you will forget it . Write it down now that all the hiccups of the last 24 hours are fresh in your mind. Maybe you have a notebook for that, but I often forget to check my notebooks. A pop-up reminder on my phone or computer works wonders.

Shop all year round

My grandmother is a sales champion: she buys random shit all year round cheaply, packs it up and labels who needs it. On Christmas morning, she is as surprised as we are at what is inside. It’s actually the perfect system for things like jewelry and supplies, because there will be a lot of inexpensive Independence Day-themed items on July 5th. Keep it in your party box, ready to go. This will save you money and you will need one less thing the next time.

U / celeriacc wrote that they do something similar with frozen foods, which most often disappear when the grill gets hot:

I believe that the main thing that is sold in stores is bread. Hot dog rolls or hamburger buns. Key point: People can’t just eat hamburgers with their fingers. I buy a batch at quiet times, then freeze them and then add on a day if available.

Write a resume for yourself

Take a moment to think: you threw a great party (hopefully), but you probably noticed at that moment some things that could have been done differently. Not all of them will be as simple as “More Buns”. Maybe you noticed that Aunt Sasha was joking after switching to tequila and there won’t be any strong drinks next year. Maybe the dog needs to wear a sign that says “Don’t feed me.” Or maybe this year you finally got the right garden furniture arrangement. Throw in a diagram there. This is a treasure map that you keep for yourself; it’s worth doing, even if you’re recovering from your 4th of July hangover.


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