Throwing a fabulous party in their own home can be the highlight of the year for some people. Playing hostess and ensuring guests have an incredible time can be really rewarding, but the aftermath can make it seem as though it’s not worthwhile. Stained carpets, dirty plates, smashed glasses, and all manner of other atrocities can take the entirety of the next day, and a fair bit of money, to sort out. But with a little bit of preparation, and some slightly ingenious hacks, it doesn’t have to quite be so stressful. Just follow these golden rules for an amazing house party that won’t leave your home in a state.
When you invite your guests, make it clear that the invitation does not extend to everyone they’ve ever met. Keep the party selective, although not necessarily small. People who do not know the hostess are more likely to make a mess and leave it than people who already know you.
Keep it off Facebook
There’s always a risk when parties end up on social media that anyone will turn up, and that’s how lovely parties can end up destructive and out of hand. Go old school with your invitations, and keep them on paper, and keep photos off social media until the next day.
Make sure the trash cans are emptied, with new liners and newspaper in the bottom to catch any fluids. Have all the dishes (which aren’t in use) washed and put away, so that you’ve got less to do in the morning. The added bonus is that your house looks lovely when people arrive, so they’re more likely to treat your things with a bit of respect, and it won’t get completely out of hand.
Stick to Appetizers
While it can be nice to have big, filling food options for guests, bite-sized morsels and no plates mean that people have to put the food directly from the platter into their mouths. This leaves less time for the food to find its way onto the floor, curtains, sofa, or into the dog’s mouth. The added bonus is that canapes are fancy, and therefore great party good.
Call in the professionals
If you want a big party, and you know it might just get a bit out of hand, call in the professionals. Home party companies are geniuses when it comes to protecting your stuff from grubby hands and red wine spills, and many will do the next day clean up as part of the service…bonus!
Make the kitchen or pub shed the hub
Other than the bathroom, the kitchen is usually the one room in the house with mostly wipe down surfaces. If you’re lucky enough to have a sizable kitchen our pub shed, try to keep one of these as the hub. Lock off any doors to rooms to which you do not want people to stray, and try to keep everyone in the same one or two rooms, meaning there is less to clean the next day.
Spills happen, and things will end up a mess, however high brow your shindig is. Keep cleaning equipment on hand to deal with any emergencies – there’s nothing worse than running around, desperately looking for a towel, while the red wine soaks into your lovely cream rug. Keep stain remover and towels on hand for spills, and a dustpan and brush for the inevitable broken glasses and you should have most bases covered. You could even limit the risk of stains by providing the alcohol yourself, but mostly going for colorless drinks. White wine, prosecco, beer, and colorless mixers mean that the stains are going to be a whole lot less drastic, and the generous gesture of providing the alcohol wins brownie points too.
Create a smoking area
If you’re inviting smokers to your party, request they only smoke in one room, or even outside, and provide ash trays. That way your home doesn’t end up filled with the smell of smoke for weeks to come, and unfortunate burns in the carpet and furniture are kept to an absolute minimum.
It’s your party, don’t let yourself get bogged down in the cleaning as it goes on. Deal with emergencies, but don’t spend time clearing up empty cups or bottles any more than you need to – that’s what the next day is for. Mingle, dance, and socialize. You’re the hostess, it’s your right!
House parties don’t have to be homewreckers, just be prepared!