House party, housewarming or pres, maybe it’s your birthday, no matter the occasion having people over can be way more stress than it’s worth. And that’s before the overwhelming aftermath littered with bottles, ciggie butts and lipstick stained glassware. Gone are the days of a bowl of chips in the middle of the table or your dear mother preparing a platter, it’s up to you now. But alas you’re not alone, we’ve got the tips to make sure your soiree is quite literally all that and a bag of potato chips.
Treat Your Guest List Like A Bouncer Would
You may be of significant popularity, props to you, but inviting everyone you’ve ever met isn’t the best idea. It’s best to work out a prime ratio of gents to ladies and enough people to fill your space comfortably. Comfortably is key, if you’re planning on cramming a lounge room or your studio apartment please think again.
So refrain from clicking invite to your whole friends list without a second thought, be discerning. Yes there’ll be people who can’t attend for whatever lame excuse they churn out, so have a buffer amount of people to keep the party looking healthy. You can always invite people at a later date and blame the internet for your lateness.
Invite Your Neighbours
Hey, how shit are noise complaints? Well we’ve got just the thing. Depending on where you live and the size of the gathering, inviting your neighbours could the ultimate antidote to a visit from the local po po. If they’re at the party, they can’t complain – simple.
Not only that but you’ll be forging relationships which will be of great use to you later on. Give them a spare key, ask them to water your plants, get them to collect your mail, the options are endless. They could turn out to be cool people too, give them a trial run at your shindig.
Decorate With Effort
If you want things to be memorable (you do), and you want proceedings to be Insta-friendly (obviously), you need to make your house/the event shiny. Think plastic vines if you’re going jungle theme, or buy mass red cups for the frat party style. Or even just simple stuff like hanging streamers on the walls or across the ceilings. If you’re feeling a bit low-key extra, photobooths are a ridiculously good option to hire – and not always as pricey as you may think (esp for 21sts and such).
People are flaky. Even the greatest of pals, grandest of humans, wonderful mates, they all may forget even the most happening of event, if you give them enough time. You don’t have to be a nag as such, but you need to remind your pals of your gathering with persistence. Start with a save the date, then post the event then post regularly up until the event. If you’re popping up in their news feed left, right and centre, you and your soiree will be top of mind. Build some hype.
Time It Perfectly
No don’t set your stopwatch and map the duration of your partying, snooze. But use a little white lie or too to stagger your party entries, so the event always feel full. Tell the late comers it starts at 8pm and the prompt of the bunch 10pm, that way you’re likely to have an influx around 9-9.30pm. Just make sure you don’t fuck up the delivery or you’ll have the fashionably on time arriving while you’re still in the shower.
Tidy And Decorate (At Least A Little)
Please declutter at the very least. But at an impressive level, decorate a little. A string of fairy lights, bunch of flowers or beer pong table will help convert your everyday living area into a space of absolute debauchery. Or darling dinner party, depending on your guest list. It doesn’t have to be themed nor hosted by a female for there to be a little forethought into how things look.
Sure, we’ve all been to those grotty house parties but clean up a little if you want your place to be treated with a little more decorum. No one wants to find gum stuck to every surface or vomit stashed under a cushion on the couch. Cleanup hell.
Tunes Are Key
Know a DJ? Set him up with decks in the corner if you can. If you can’t source a music maker, a great playlist can warm up even the most frosty of peeps, with the help of a little alcohol of course. Craft a playlist to match your desired mood, whether that’s the easy cool with a touch of nostalgia, 90’s RnB is for you. If you’re after a club away from the club, turn the tempo right up.
Clueless when it comes to music? Spotify is your godsend. Trawl through the suggested playlists for a track list that piques your interest. Just please make sure you grab a free trial membership at the very least, no one wants to hear ads in the middle of the party. Certain to kill the mood.
Keep People Well Fed
Hungry people aren’t happy people. If you’re going to scrimp on one area of the party set up, make sure it’s not food. The start time of your shindig will determine how much food you need to provide. 5-8pm starts will see your guests expecting food and likely not eating dinner in anticipation, whereas a later 9pm start requires only snacks or midnight treats just as everyone starts to get a little more lubricated.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, but a spoonful of novelty is always welcome. Think dumplings instead of sausage rolls or the shareable cheesy goodness of pizza, spice it up a little. Have food that leans a little more towards the grown up side of things, unless you’re keen to work that children’s birthday nostalgia.
El Vino Did Flow
Pour. It. Up. What’s a good party unless there’s plenty of booze? Perhaps more of a book club. Even if you’re not providing alcohol, make sure you advise people of that straight up. Plaster BYO on the invite. Most people are more than happy to bring their choice of poison and mixer, but make sure it’s clear.
To go that little extra mile further, you can have mixers ready to go or extras for people to pop in their drink, like slithers of lemon and lime. For those with a solid amount of fridge space and an organised disposition, why not make jelly shots for guests upon arrival? Nothing says welcome like free alcohol.
So Much Room For Activities
Let the games begin! Unless you have a bunch of mates that need no encouragement to get drinking, then games are a great way to build atmosphere early on. Even if they’re seasoned schooner downing larrikins, they’ll enjoy the games even more. You may think it’s labour intensive, but it’s as simple as a pack of cards and a cup. If you want to be an extra supportive host, grab a bottle of cheap liquor to spice up that king’s cup quick smart.
It’s your party and please don’t cry even if you want to. Unless it’s a surprise party for someone else, this event is all of your own making and you deserve to enjoy it. Work that perfectly curated room of people and introduce friend groups like a master networker. These people are all here (except for gatecrashers obvs) to celebrate with you, and good mates will be working hard to get you exceptionally plastered.
Image source: Life Without Andy, Redds Cups. Dan Alien Photos, RAAW Creative.