I love a party. Although I’m more of an introvert than an extrovert, gathering with my friends and family brings me a lot of joy, and hosting a party is one of my favorite things to do. I come by this trait honestly, as I have a big extended family, and my parents’ house was often the main gathering place for holidays and birthdays.
Through helping my Mom prepare for parties and planning and throwing my own as an adult, I’ve found a few things that elevate my parties to the next level. Once you get into the rhythm of planning, you’ll be able to figure out what tips work for you and what don’t. Feel free to take these suggestions and build on them, bringing your own unique style to your event.
Set up space for extroverts and introverts.
As someone who straddles the line between introverted and extroverted, when it comes time to map out where people will be gathering, I always like to ensure both types of people are catered to. I’ve found that having a centralized location big enough to house most of the party and a couple more private areas strikes a good balance. That way, if someone feels overwhelmed by the noise and energy of the central gathering place, they can take a step away by themselves or with others feeling the same way.
Weather and location permitting, utilize indoor and outdoor space.
If you’re throwing a party in January in Buffalo, this may be a tip you won’t be able to incorporate into your plans. However, if the weather is warm, invest in a magnetic door screen. Between May and October, I will take any excuse to go outside. So when throwing a party, I always make sure there’s an indoor and outdoor space.
While shopping online for a party I threw over the summer, I stumbled upon a magnetic door screen. I didn’t hesitate at all and immediately clicked “add to cart.” We have a sliding glass door in our kitchen area that opens to a patio and backyard. Before purchasing our magnetic door screen, we still liked to utilize both the indoor and outdoor space, but that door always ended up getting in the way. If we left it open (especially at night), our house would be filled with mosquitos. On the other hand, if we purposefully left it closed, people would still have to open and close it repeatedly to move between the two spaces. When that happens, people either shy away from using the outside space, or the door ends up being left open anyways (cue bugs swarming inside).
Our magnetic screen door was one of the best investments we ever made. We were able to use it a few times over the summer, and I suspect it will be a staple next year, even when we’re not throwing parties. It’s nice to have a constant stream of fresh air coming through the house without worrying about bugs flying in with that crisp air. Plus, the screen is pet-friendly, meaning our dogs can walk in and out whenever they please. Since it’s magnetic, a simple nudge opens it, but as soon as you’re through, it closes back together.
Seats, seats, seats, and make them comfy!
There’s nothing worse than showing up to a party and finding there’s no place to sit. Regardless of your level of fitness, age or energy level, not having a place to sit at a party isn’t a great feeling. Have you ever tried to eat chips and dip standing up? I mean, it’s doable, but it’s not the most convenient.
Now, I’m not saying to go out and buy an extra couch or anything like that, but I do recommend gathering every seat you have in your house so that you can (easily) move them to the rooms where your guests will be gathering. If you’re short on chairs, ask your guest to BYOC (bring your own chair), especially if you plan on the party running late into the night. Even the most active and agile guest will want a place to sit after a full evening of socializing.
You can never have too many cups.
Let’s talk cups. You may say to yourself, “I’m only having ten people over. 20 cups will be fine.” Two hours into your party, you’ll be saying, “I’ve made a huge mistake.” Even if you put out a marker and insist that people write their names on their cups to reuse, people will forget and pick up another cup, discarding their old ones. You simply can never have too many cups.
Whatever you do to bring your party to the next level, I’m sure your guests will appreciate your willingness to host!
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