A Guide to Small-Space Entertaining

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A Guide to Small-Space Entertaining

Rachael Weiner · Jul 26, 2009

One of the perks of living in your own place is having guests over to entertain. While entertaining guests in a small space may pose more logistical challenges than, say, entertaining in a spacious house, you can throw great apartment parties if you plan ahead.

Decide How Many Guests Will Fit

Unfortunately, a small apartment is not conducive to a spur-of-the-moment party where you invite everyone you know. Small apartment parties require some advance planning due to limited space. The first step in the planning process is to think realistically about the maximum number of people who could fit comfortably at any given time. Take a look around at the seating and standing room available and estimate that number. For the sake of explanation, we’ll say that number is 10. If you intend on inviting more than 10 people, plan to host a longer party that functions more as an open house than as a gathering where guests are required to be there for a fixed amount of time. Guests coming and going at intervals will alleviate any congestion you might otherwise experience.

Make Certain You Have Enough Seating

So you know you have enough room to fit 10 people comfortably, but that includes the three people you envisioned standing in the corner next to the iPod dock. Chances are nobody will want to stand the entire time, so it’s best to provide appropriate seating. Talk to neighbors or friends to see if you can borrow chairs. If chairs are too cumbersome and create a crowded look, borrow or buy some large decorative pillows to toss on the floor. Stores like Cost Plus World Market and Target usually have a great selection.

Arrange Refreshment Stations Accordingly

At parties of all sizes, it’s typical for crowds to gather around the food table. To avoid a crowd in your small apartment, set up several stations of food throughout the space that allow guests to congregate in different areas. Your apartment will feel much larger when your guests are evenly distributed, and they’ll be happy not to have to wait around a crowded table for a snack!

Plan Inclusive Activities

Board games and card games are great activities for small spaces. In a small space, it’s important to choose an activity most everyone can agree upon. For instance, don’t put on a movie or video game that only interests half of the guests. With little room to move about, the uninterested guests will be bored, but forced to participate unless they leave your party. Make everyone happy by planning something fun and inclusive beforehand. Ask your guests what movies, games, or activities they’d be interested in when you invite them.

Other Comfort Issues to Consider

Whenever a mass number of people gather in a small place or room, temperatures tend to increase. If possible, open some windows throughout the apartment to keep fresh air circulating. If you have ceiling fans, use them. Consider setting some small oscillating fans around the apartment. Your guests will thank you!

Follow these tips and enjoy your party…there might be limited space, but there will be unlimited fun!

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Rachael Weiner: I’m a communications professional for a non-profit, which financially necessitates my status as an apartment dweller. Constantly “on-the-go,” I’ve resided in five different apartments across the United States over the past five years. Roommate issues, budgeting, organizing and handling problem neighbors are my specialty.

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