Hosting In A Small Space

How To Host In A Small Space

Author: Sarah Cousins

Having people over to your house is always a little stressful (at least for me). Dust the shelves! Vacuum under the sofa! Do we have enough glassware? Serving trays? Actually change that lightbulb that you’ve had on your list for a few months. Then as you’re figure out all of this, you need to actually fit all of these people into your smaller (or shoebox if you’re like me and live in New York!) apartment. Not to worry, as a veteran party-thrower, I’ve got you covered. Here are my tips for entertaining at your place, no matter how small your space is.

Step 1: When you’re shopping for food and drinks for the party, the classics always seem to do really well. When was the last time you had a bagel bite? Or some mozzarella sticks? Seriously, go into the freezer aisle and load up on your favorite childhood snacks. Cheap, easy to heat up, and always a crowd-pleaser. And if you’re crunched for time, bulk order a ton of Chinese food. The spring rolls were a huge hit at my last shin-dig.

Step 2: Try and clear and clean as many surfaces as you can. For me, this means putting away mail, laundry, chords and computers, tucking my coffee ingredients into their corner, and putting everything into the medicine cabinet except the soap. Yes, I leave my toothpaste and floss on the counter every night, but not when I’ve got my boyfriends new boss over.

Step 3: Have some fun with the appetizers/light bites! Instead of trying to fit all the food on a small counter top, put dishes around the space everyone will be in. For me, that’s putting a tray on a side table next to the sofa, a few on the dining table and in the kitchen, and maybe one closer to the TV. Have you ever rounded the corner to a tray of chicken nuggets? Stumbled on a platter of chips and hummus on the way to the bathroom? These are the simple, underrated joys of life.

Step 4: When it comes to decorating, really have fun with it. Take advantage of your petite space! Less decorations to buy and hang! I completely covered the apartment in streamers and balloons last month for a birthday and it only took me 20 minutes to hang them all. 2,000 square-footers can’t say that, now can they? I also love a bodega flower arrangement -- budget friendly and smells fabulous.

Step 5: Get a cake. Or cupcakes. Even if it isn’t a birthday. Cakes are always fun and you don’t need a reason to have one. Happy Friday cake! Congrats on making it through another week cupcake!

Step 6: Wooden cutlery and paper plates are fine. You don’t need to go out and buy a whole new dining set. I recommend getting something from an eco-friendly brand that is recyclable. You don’t need to spend your whole Sunday doing dishes, that’s not very “hostess with the mostess.”

Finally, and maybe this is just a note to me, I would recommend you take a deep breath. People don’t actually care if the fringe on your rug is combed out. They want to have a good time and maybe create some memories. So put down the lint roller, pour yourself a glass of your favorite beverage, and answer the door.

P.S.: You don’t have to serve people the whole time. You should actually enjoy having people over. They know how to put food on a plate. If you’re serving alcohol, you can make a fun punch or something premixed so all your guests will have to do is pour.