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Summer is about to kick off in Central Texas, and that means outdoor parties: graduation parties, pool parties, neighborhood barbecues, family get-togethers, etc. Memorial Day weekend is coming up, too, and that's the perfect time to host an outdoor party. It's not too early, either, to start planning an outdoor July 4th bash. As a junk removal business near you, we at Space Makers live and work in the San Antonio area, so we know firsthand that when it comes to July 4th and fireworks displays, San Antonians go BIG! Anyone lucky enough to be flying over San Antonio, from Schertz to Shavano Park, Bulverde to Cibolo, Spring Branch to New Braunfels—and everywhere in between—is going to see a spectacular fireworks display that night!

Whether you're planning a Memorial Day get-together or a fun July 4th party, you'll need a plan. And to help you prepare that plan, we've got some tips to make sure your party goes off smoothly.


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You don’t want to spend the entire party stuck in the kitchen or standing at the grill. Keep the offerings simple. If you’re just having a few people over, keep from getting stressed out by serving one main item (burgers, for example), one hot side dish (like baked beans), and one cold side (potato salad), and a made-ahead dessert. For a larger party, try doing one or two grilled items (if grilling) or main dishes, a cold salad or two, a few sides that you can make ahead, plus a make-ahead dessert.

NOTE: How do you know how much food to buy? Figure on 1.5 servings of a burger, hot dog, or sandwich per guest. For sides, figure 1.5 cups total per person.

Have guests pitch in by making your party a potluck. You provide the basics, such as the meat and fixings, and ask guests to bring sides or desserts.

Buy store-bought or frozen items like quiches or pre-made trays of fruit and veggies to make snack prep easy.


Setting up a buffet-style table enables guests to serve themselves. A basic buffet table starts with plates. Next come the hot foods, followed by the cold foods. At the end of the table should be the napkins and utensils.

Place your serving table near electrical outlets so you can keep foods warm in a Crock-Pot or on warming plates. For cold foods, slip a tray of ice cubes beneath dishes or platters to keep them chilled. Don’t let foods that spoil easily sit out too long.

Place the drinks station at a separate table. Or have coolers filled with options for guests, such as water in one cooler, sodas in another cooler, and adult drinks like beer in yet another cooler.

Have a separate table for desserts. Protect the food from flies with mesh covers.

Set up trash cans where guests can throw paper plates when they’re done. If you’re using dishes that’ll need to be washed, set up a table with separate tubs or bins for dishes, utensils, and glassware.


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No one likes to go to a party and have to stand around, juggling a plate of food in one hand and a drink in the other. Make sure you have enough seating for all your guests. Even if it’s a motley assortment of lawn chairs, patio chairs, folding chairs, or chairs from inside, make sure you’ve set up groups of seating or “conversation” groupings, along with tables for people to set their drinks on.

Blankets are an option, too, for guests who are game for sitting in the grass, provided the grass is good and dry. If necessary, it’s okay to ask guests to bring their own chairs, too. You can also rent chairs if you’re expecting a big crowd or simply don’t have enough seating.


Be sure your guests can safely navigate your yard as night falls. String mini lights around, or set up lanterns or candles to provide light and ambience. To prevent accidental fires, buy flameless candles with batteries. Paper lanterns bring a festive atmosphere to parties.


Tailor the music to the guests you’ve invited, but in general keep the tunes upbeat. Classic rock is always a good bet. Use streaming services like Spotify to create playlists that last about five to six hours, the standard length of most parties.

No need to blast music across the yard. Keep the volume at a level where people can hear the music yet still carry on conversations.

If you live in a neighborhood, it’s always a good idea to notify the neighbors that you’re having a party with music. Again, keep the volume at a level that keeps everyone happy.


If your party is going to include kids, make sure they have things to occupy their time. Water activities like a splash pool or water pistols are popular with kids. Set up a crafts table with paper and crayons or markers for kids who prefer quiet activities. For a group activity that even adults can get into, have a pinata filled with items that match the theme of the party, such as Fourth of July-themed items.

Have a good first-aid kit on hand for cuts, scrapes, and other boo-boos. Because you know they're going to happen.


July + heat + humidity = mosquitos. Cut down on the likelihood of mosquitos in your yard by removing all sources of standing water, since mosquitos lay eggs in water. That means dumping plant saucers, bowls, kiddie pools, wheelbarrows, etc. If your yard is large, consider hiring a pest control company to treat it ahead of time, or do it yourself with a spray product from Austin-based company Wondercide.

Set out citronella candles or insect-repelling incense sticks in jars to discourage mosquitos on the night of the party. You can also get citronella torches to station around your yard.

Provide repellent options for guests: spray, wipes or lotions. Make sure they’re DEET-free.


For a hot summer evening, provide guests with a cooler filled with wet washcloths to use as cold compresses, if needed.

Set up plenty of fans to keep air circulating.


It’s Texas. The weather can change on a dime, even on Memorial Day or July 4th. Make sure you know what to do if the weather turns rainy or windy. Can you accommodate everyone inside? Do you need to have canopies on hand? Lots of umbrellas?

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Of course, the first step to a great party is really to make sure the space looks its best. If you have junk lying around—maybe worn-out lawn furniture, defunct lawn equipment, or old play equipment—Space Makers Junk Removal can haul that off before your party, leaving you the room and the time to mow, trim, and generally spiff up your yard. If it’s an unsightly shed or a collection of old garden tools or pots, we can take care of those, too. Call us at 210-405-1410 today!