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Entertain in your apartment with these space-saving tips

party in a small spaceJust because you live in a small apartment doesn’t mean you can’t entertain a group of people. There are temporary things you can do to open up the space and make it more “group friendly.” As long as you don’t overdo it and invite 80 people over for a formal dinner party in a three-room apartment, a party is do-able.

We’ll help you out with some space-saving tips that will help make entertaining in a small space a snap!

First, clean

The first thing you need to do is deep clean because that will give you an idea of what you might be able to move to make space, and it will also mean you might be moving some things out permanently.

Get rid of those clothes and other household items you’ve meant to donate, and that will free up space in your closets.

That freed up space in your closets? That’s where you are going to stash stuff to make room temporarily.

The mug collection that takes up half of the counter on one side of the kitchen that you find fascinating and “eclectic”—it’s going into the closet. Buy a roll of bubble wrap and pack it away until after the party. If you’ve got other decorative knickknacks, do the same. 

Continue to de-clutter

Try to put away all the kitchen appliances that you know you won’t use to free up counter space. Hey, look at all the room when the mugs got moved! You’ll have even more room if you put the food processor the toaster oven away. Wait, you might need the toaster oven because there are food items you can prepare there while the oven and the microwave are in use. Put the toaster oven back and put the toaster away.

Put away anything decorative that might get knocked over accidentally. For example, that glass piece you inherited from an aunt that looks really cool, the partygoers will not appreciate it as much as individual visitors. Put it away until later.

Designate a place for coats

Having everyone throw their coats on the bed means people will be wandering in and out of the bedroom rooting through coats. Try and find some reasonably priced coat racks. If you have a small entry area, think vertical. Borrow a ladder or two, get “S” hooks, and have people hang their coats on the ladders.

party table with food and waterThink outside the box

If you have bookshelves, stack the books to leave little spaces for people to place drinks or hors d’oeuvre plates. Use the radiators. Have a 2×6 cut to fit the length of the radiator at a lumber store and make that a shelf.

Put pillows on the floor for seating, buy some inexpensive poufs, bring out the little stool you have by the vanity in the bathroom for people to perch on.

Use one side of the sink filled with ice as a cooler.

If you are worried about beverages and people getting their drinks, think about serving a signature drink in pitchers. 

Have a dining strategy

If everyone isn’t going to fit in the kitchen area, set up areas for different food stations. Put the appetizers in one area, the larger food items in the kitchen or on the dining room table, and the dessert items elsewhere. Not only will dividing up the food items help with space, but it will also help move traffic and encourage mingling.

woman cleaning shelvesControl the ambiance

Figure out how you are going to get music in every room.

Think about the lighting. We are all in for using twinkling lights in some areas and stringing a rope or two of lights but don’t go overboard. The entrance to the kitchen shouldn’t be lit like the entrance to the midway at the fair. Subdued lighting is nice, though; you can switch out the brighter bulbs in your lamps for softer party lighting.

Remember, it’s a party

People are supposed to have fun, mingle, and meet new people, so don’t worry if an area might get crowded. Don’t worry if all the appetizers don’t get done at the same time. As long as there is something for people to munch on, beverages are flowing, and there’s music, you’ll be just fine.

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Kathleen Ostrander
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kathleen has worked for United Press International and she's written about everything from style to pets for newspapers…
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