The season of dinners and parties has arrived! You can have just as much fun hosting events as you can attending them. If you live in an apartment, don’t let that throw you off. You can still have a great party, regardless of the size of your place. Here are some tips to help you plan with the space you have.

1. Clear Some Space For Guests

Apartment living can be limiting at times, but it doesn’t have to be. One of the best ways to create more space when you’re entertaining is to rearrange your furniture. It’s likely that most of your party will take place in the living room or dining room, so you can move most of the furniture to other spaces that will not be used much, like your bedroom. In short, any clutter needs to go, so that you can maximize the amount of space in the living room and allow your guests to be able to sit or stand comfortably.

In addition to creating more space, make sure that you have a designated area for your guests to put their winter coats away. Whichever area you choose to designate for coat storage, it helps if the coats are not all placed in a visible space, because that creates more clutter in the main entertainment section.

2. Take Care In Your Food Selection

There is so much around food that you can be mindful of in an apartment, from where to place it and the utensils you use. Your menu is going to be key – everything from ham roll-ups to mini pigs in a blanket will give your guests a plethora of finger foods to munch on, keeping them satisfied all night long.

If you have any guests attending who are allergic to foods, be sure to clearly label any items with those allergens and keep them separated from the regular menu. Also, remember to be considerate of anyone with a special diet such as a vegetarian or gluten-free diet. Try to have something those guests can munch on as well.

This list of finger-friendly food may help with your menu planning:

  • Ham roll-ups: Deli sliced ham filled with softened cream cheese and one dill pickle spear. Once put together, slice into finger sized bites.
  • Mini Pigs in a Blanket: Cocktail sausages make for the perfect mini “pig” when wrapped into warm and flaky croissants.
  • Cheese and Crackers: Always easy to add variety, this is a quick and easy appetizer that will please everyone who attends your party.
  • Punch: For anyone not drinking alcohol, or if you’re throwing a virgin party, a punch is essential. An easy recipe is a mixture of Hawaiian Punch and Seven Up. Mix to taste and chill before serving. Festive and bubbly, it’s sure to please.
  • Dessert: Nothing follows finger foods better than desserts you can also eat with your fingers. Both Lady Fingers and Pretzels dipped in chocolate make perfect finger foods for the dessert lovers among us. If you have the time and inclination, mini cupcakes and doughnuts also make great additions to your festive dessert menu.
  • Keep it fresh: A great option for all your guests who indulge in their favorite food cravings is to offer after-dinner mints. Easy to pick up, cheap and reliable.

3. Be Mindful Of Your Guests’ Safety

If you’re serving alcohol at your party, keeping everyone happy means keeping everyone safe. Make sure you get a permit if need be. If there are guests you are not familiar with, be sure you know they are of drinking age. The last thing anyone wants is to be cited for underage drinking. Also, a great way to keep everyone safe is to have a key exchange. Party guests hand over their keys in exchange for entrance to the party. This allows you to safeguard your guests so they can enjoy every moment and make it home unharmed.

Another safety point that can go unchecked when everyone is in high spirits is temperature. Small spaces are bound to get very hot with more people around. Assuming that the heat will be on (it is winter, after all!), make sure it’s set to a lower-than-normal temperature in order to compensate for the extra body heat in the room. Also, try to have the oven off before your guests arrive so your guests don’t roast. 

Have Fun!

The best advice you can get when planning a holiday party is to relax and enjoy the process. No one, including your guests, wants you to be stressed out as you host. String your lights, set out your food and cameras and turn on your music. Then take a deep breath and have a great time, because everyone else will.