WEEK­END MAKEOVER: PARTY CEN­TRAL

Trans­form a new or used pot­ting bench into a tricked-out side­board that or­ga­nizes all your out­door en­ter­tain­ing es­sen­tials.

Secrets of Getting Organized - - Contents - WRITER RE­NEE FREEMON MULVIHILL PRO­DUCER JANNA LUFKIN PHO­TOG­RA­PHER JOHN GRANEN

Cre­ate a cart to ease out­door en­ter­tain­ing.

Make back­yard host­ing eas­ier by keep­ing all your sup­plies in a con­ve­nient do- it- all buf­fet. Here’s what you’ll need.

1 STURDY BENCH

A pot­ting bench with a gen­er­ous coun­ter­top will pro­vide more space for food and drink. Look for a unit with a shelf wide enough to hold a drink dis­penser. The tough gal­va­nized metal fin­ish on this bench com­ple­ments a range of styles.

2 EX­TRA SHELVES

Boost stor­age with a low shelv­ing unit on wheels. Tuck it un­der­neath your pot­ting bench to hold items, then slide it out so guests can help them­selves to food and bev­er­ages.

3 LIDDED BINS

Store glass­ware and serv­ing pieces near your out­door din­ing area in a plas­tic bin with a lid. A zip­pered round case keeps a set of plates clean and dry.

4 SMART IN­SERTS

Use or­ga­niz­ers in large bins to help group smaller items that could oth­er­wise get lost. Keep flat­ware, can­dles, tooth­picks, and cock­tail nap­kins in a tray with sec­tions. Or em­ploy glass jars to hold uten­sils or tongs up­right so you can quickly see and grab them.

5 EASY HOLD­ERS

Shop your lo­cal of­fice sup­ply store to fi nd con­ve­nient up­dates for your pot­ting bench. For ex­am­ple, snap a mag­netic pen­cil cup onto one of the bench’s legs and you in­stantly have a handy (and un­ob­tru­sive) way to keep cock­tail tools within reach.

6 DOU­BLE DUTY

Make the most of avail­able space by us­ing con­tain­ers for mul­ti­ple pur­poses. When it’s time for the party, trans­form the bin you use for bar­ware and serv­ing pieces into a large ice bucket. When the party is over, sim­ply dump the ice, dry it, and pack it up.

RE­SOURCES BE­GIN ON PAGE 93.

Open trays work well for items you need to ac­cess of­ten. 4

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