If you’re like us, you love to entertain guests! Whether it’s for Sunday football, summer barbecues or holiday parties, hosting an event is fun, but it can be stressful–especially while living in a small apartment. But just because you’ve fit your life into a tiny space doesn’t mean you have to give up on hosting a dinner party. Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to superstar host status.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

As much as you think you’ve prepared so you don’t have to clean up while guests are over, it never seems to be enough. Before anyone comes over, put together any appetizers and cut up veggies, and get the meal ready to go. This way, you can make sure all the dishes that come along with cooking a meal can be cleaned and put away, and you’re only left with serving dishes–this is especially helpful if you don’t have a dishwasher. Plus, you’re not stuck in the kitchen getting food together while everyone else is hanging out in the living room or outside.

Consider the Best Meal

Maybe hosting a dinner party with swanky style has always been a top-priority, but that doesn’t mean that you have to fire up steaks and five different sides. Making a tapas-type meal may be a better solution because it doesn’t require everyone to sit down at once, and the food can be much easier to make for a large group. Having a buffet-style meal makes the occasion much more casual, but you can still make those yummy recipes you found on Pinterest. Family-style dining is another apartment-friendly option, and goes perfectly with wine and Italian cuisine!

Arrange the Space

If you don’t have a lot of square footage in your abode, don’t fret. You can rearrange your furniture to allow maximum seating or space to stand and chat. Pushing furniture against the wall is a great way to clear space so that people can sit down to enjoy some food, stand and have a conversation or dance. This also allows you to utilize your coffee table as a serving station. Line your wall with chairs from your kitchen table to make for more seating and walking space.  

Counter space can also be troublesome for a dinner party. Try to clear your coffee pot, toaster, dish rack or and any other appliances that are typically sitting on your counter before the party starts. Stick them in a bedroom, closet or even in your bathtub!

Make a Playlist

Maybe it’s just us, but having people toy with your music throughout a party is a little annoying–as is having to change it several times throughout the night. Creating a playlist on Spotify or iTunes before the gathering will ensure that lively tunes are continuously pumping through your speakers. Try to mix up the style to accommodate everyone’s listening needs and wants for the evening.