1. Put out the welcome mat

Place welcome mats outside (and inside) the front door to catch dirt before it makes a lasting impression on your carpets and rugs.

2. Keep kids safe

Scan your medicine cabinet and put any potentially dangerous ones out of reach. Consider moving all medications to a bathroom that won’t be used at the party.

3. Keep your valuables safe

Move valuables, rugs, antiques and fragile items in a locked cabinet or in a room with a door that won’t be used at the party.

4. Put candles away

The only candles that should be lit at a kids’ birthday party are the ones on the cake. Keep your candles for your next adult gathering.

5. Keep a fire extinguisher handy

Just in case those birthday candles get out of control, be prepared with a fire extinguisher.

6. Protect your furniture

Cover your wood tables with tablecloths to protect them from condensation from cups and accidental spills. And toss a throw over any stain-prone upholstered pieces.

7. Be prepared for messes

Face it–things can get messy! Hide a Tide to Go stick or some Shout Wipes in a basket in the living room so you can easily swipe any spills before they become stains.

Cheryl Says

As the mother of three children, my house is perpetually child-proofed. However, if that’s not the case, feel free to invite one of your mommy friends over for a quick walk-through.