Let’s face it: the minute you move in, everyone you know will be expecting a housewarming party. The minute you’ve got your own space, that’s sometimes an open invitation to friends and family members. You’re pushed—no, required—to have gatherings for various occasions. Sometimes, you might even have to make some of them up as you go along.
At first glance, it might seem unrealistic to host a condo party, especially when space is limited. The very thought of cramming a large number of people into a tiny room, the noise, and general potential for mess is enough to turn anyone off the idea. One thing you have to know though is that it can be done and quite successfully too. The very first thing you have to do is:
Lay Down the Law
All parties, big or small, require a certain amount of planning. You have to put in an hour or so into conceptualizing how you want your gathering to turn out. Decide on a theme, decor, supplies, and budget and make a note of these in a small notebook. It’s better if you confine the party to one area of the apartment to minimize mess and general clean-up. Be realistic about the limits of your place. If you can’t accommodate an all-night keg party, don’t even try.
Practice, Practice, Practice
If you don’t plan on serving finger food, make sure to try your dishes out way before the party date. You don’t want to run the risk of trying to cook a fancy apple-stuffed roast chicken on the night itself and discover that you don’t have the tools to complete the dish. It always pays to know that when the time comes you can execute everything spot on. The worst thing you can do is make a late night run to the convenience store with a group of hungry guests in your living room.
Get Your Guest List under Control
Be strict with the number of people you have coming over. This is a really important thing to remember when you don’t have a lot of space. If it’s an intimate dinner party of five to six guests, keep it that way. Don’t say yes to every friend of a friend or aunt’s cousin’s sister so you can conserve supplies and have everything go as expected. It’s better to host your friends and relatives in small groups rather than take them on in one big go.
Once you’ve got the prep down, all you’ll have to do is put your energy into the night itself. Keep in mind that anything can happen, especially when things get rowdy. Here are some things to do before the guests arrive:
Put Breakables Out of the Way
Your vases, fragile keepsakes, and precious items go into the family safe or any other place where no one can get to them. You’ll minimize the risk of damage and have less to worry about as the night wears on.
Buy Six of Everything
Supplies, that is. Get as many paper plates, plastic utensils, and disposable cups as you can. Your good china may be limited but at least you’ll have replacements on hand. Buy more than you expect to use, you’ll need a steady supply for the next time you have people over.
Go Big on Booze
Let’s admit it: a lot of guests come for the drinks. Try to go beyond beers and mixed drinks. Pull some recipes online and get busy with your blender. Your guests will definitely appreciate the personal touch and you’ll be more likely to see them again. It pays to be that cool pal with the handle on their alcohol.
Now that you’re ready to take the condo owner’s rite of passage, make sure to enjoy every moment. You can only leave so much room for the unexpected so once all preparations have been made, let go and have fun. As you go along you’ll develop your own rules and tips for making each party a success.
Do you have cool party planning tips you can share? Tell us in the comments!