Tips For Throwing A Party In A Small Space
Do you avoid hosting events because you live in a small apartment or quaint-size house? If you love to entertain, cook, and spend time with friends, don’t let the size of your space get in the way. Here are some tips for throwing a party in a small space:
Preparation is key to having a party in small space because it will help you be ready for the party, and relax during the party. A week before the party, shop for food, décor, drinks, and other items. Stock up on toiletries for your guests and trash bags for the cleanup. The day before the party, pick up all the items that couldn’t be purchased in advance. Pick up and arrange flowers, decorate your space, and prepare food and drinks.
Make sure your space is very clean and well-organized to help your party go smoothly. Empty your dishwasher so there’s room for dirty dishes, which will eliminate clutter from dishes piling up. Put away all breakables and fragile items in your bedroom or a safe spot so you don’t have to think about them. Before guests arrive, set out food and drinks, and have plenty of ice in the freezer. Use your sink as an ice bucket by filling it with ice and drinks. Your party may get a little warm with a lot of people in a small space, so adjust the temperature and crack a window. Start playing music from your favorite playlist.
Keep décor simple, since a cluttered space can feel even smaller and cramped. Use simple centerpieces, like a vase with flowers from the grocery store. Decorate the windows, walls, and ceilings to maximize space and avoid taking up room on the tables. Use streamers, pompoms, or string lights. Adding mirrors will make the space seem bigger.
Throw a simple party to mingle and hang out with friends, or create a theme to incorporate in the décor. Have a game night, movie night, seasonal theme, or watch a game. For a party during the day, let in as much light as possible by turning on lights and opening the curtains. For an evening party, string lights along the walls and across the ceiling. Also, create an ambiance with candles and tea lights to make the space feel softer and warmer.
Be creative with seating by using pillows, ottomans, stools, and folding chairs in addition to furniture. Most guests will feel comfortable standing and walking around while mingling. Create more floor space so your guests can easily move around by rearranging furniture, pushing it against the wall, or moving it to the bedroom and closing the door. Use your bed as a place to keep coats and purses.
Creative Flat Surfaces
Be creative with your flat surfaces. Put a table covering over anything, like a small kitchen table, dining room table, kitchen counter, coffee table, side table, kitchen cart, foldable trays, or even a desk. Clear a bookshelf and use it for drinks. There are a variety of table coverings to choose from, including a table cloth, fabric, flat bed sheet, shower curtain, or hand-decorated craft paper.
Spread out food and drinks on different surfaces throughout the space to help create flow so people are not gathering in one place. Split up the surfaces by having snacks, appetizers, desserts, drinks, etc. on different tables with a stack of napkins on each. Maximize table space by using tiered trays, cake stands, and boxes to create a variety of heights.
Food & Drinks
Buffet style will be much easier to maintain. Make a variety of finger foods so guests can use small plates or sturdy napkins, and don’t require many utensils. This will be easier for your guests to eat while they stand and chat, and will also be easier to cleanup.
There are many simple food options, like a cheese plate with crackers, crudité, hummus dip, pita chips, fruit plate, candies, etc. There can also be a fun food activity station, like make your own slider bar with buns and toppings. The bar can be fancy or simple, while saving a lot of food prep time. Make one or two signature drinks in punch bowls. This will reduce the amount of clutter and take up less space than having multiple bottles.
Since there’s not a lot of room for décor on the tables, incorporate design into your food displays. Decorate your cheese plate with herbs and garnishes, arrange a variety of fruit in a colorful design, and get creative with what you serve food on or in. Use a clear vase or a rough-edged wooden plate that looks like a tree bark. Putting similar foods on one plate can be a creative way to save space by eliminating the need for multiple bowls and trays.
Be accommodating to your guests who have some restrictions, like offering vegetarian options, light options, etc. There’s no need to build the whole menu around one guest, but have some options everyone is able to eat and enjoy.
Flatware and Party Supplies
If you would like to offer flatware, it doesn’t have to match perfectly and it’s completely fine if it’s different sizes, which can make your décor more charming. There are several options for adorable disposable cups, flatware, and plates. Susty Party makes eco-friendly, compostable, non-toxic party supplies with many designs to choose from.
Use small or medium-sized plates so guests have enough room to put food on their plate, but they don’t take up too much space when their put down on tables. Leave markers by cups so guests can label them to also reduce clutter on tables.
There are alternatives for small spaces. Ask your neighbor or best friend to co-host a party with mutual friends in their larger space. Offer to do most of the planning and preparation since they’re hosting at their place. If you live in a building with a rooftop or party space, that may be a great place to host a party. Take into consideration reserving the space, the weather, and getting everything organized and to the party spot.
Progressive Dinner Party
Start with a group of neighbors and have them each host a section of the party at their place. Everyone meets at the first host’s place to have appetizers, then everyone walks over to the next host’s place serving the main course, and the last host will have dessert at their place. This party idea lets a few hosts share in the preparation, food, drinks, and host duties. My Recipes explains in more detail how to “Plan a Progressive Dinner.”
Relax and Enjoy
Let go and relax. Don’t expect everything to be perfect, just aim for cozy and fun. Enjoy your time with friends and eating wonderful food. And always remember to thank your guests for coming.
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