'Tis the season for lots of cookies and eggnog, and tipsy parties with friends and family alike. Do you want to host a holiday party but have a small apartment or home? If I can fit 30 to 40 people in my 500-square-foot apartment, you can too.
Here are five rules I live by when hosting a bunch of people for a party in my apartment in Brooklyn.
Rule #1: Rearrange Your Furniture
When I prepare my apartment for a larger party, I move a lot of stuff from my living room (where I entertain) to my bedroom. I move the TV stand, TV, carpet, bike, and any extra clutter that may have made its way onto my dining room table and kitchen island.
You want to maximize the amount of space in the room you're entertaining in. You need less stuff and more places for people to sit or stand comfortably.
Rule #2: Be Mindful of Temperature
It gets hot when you have a ton of people in a small space. The best way to cool things down is to turn on the AC and turn off the oven about one hour before your party is supposed to start. I also crack a window open and leave a fan on in the room I'm not entertaining in, so people can find some respite if things get too hot.
Rules #3: Designate a Spot for Your Guests' Stuff
This might seem like an obvious rule for any party, but I think it's crucial if you're entertaining in a small space. While I'm normally a shoes-off kind of apartment, I always insist guests keep their shoes on when we have a large party (to minimize clutter). I also designate my bed for people to put their coats and purses on during the party.
Rule #4: Limit the Amount of Utensils Needed for Food
I love making a ton of snacks and drinks for my holiday parties, but I'm very concerned about producing a ton of waste or excess clutter during the party. I try to find snacks that you just use a napkin for instead of a plate. If I'm using non-disposable cups, I always make sure my sink or dishwasher is empty, so things don't pile up too much on tables.
Rule #5: Spread the Snacks Around Your Home
People tend to congregate around food — so at a party, it's good to spread the snacks out to avoid a bottleneck situation in your small apartment. I use my dining room table and my coffee table to spread things around a bit, and find it very helpful.