The Beginner’s Guide to Hosting

You don’t have to be the host with the most to throw a good party or gathering. If you’re afraid to host, this simple guide will help take some of the pressure off so that you dont have stress next time you decide to have people over.


 

1. Buy a bag of ice already!
 
Whether you have a fridge with an ice machine or not, buy a bag of ice in prep for the party in case your ice maker gets jammed or is in higher demand than expected. It’s also much easier to set up a drink station when you can simply pour a bag of ice into your cooler or bowl.

 

Buy Ice


 

2. Ask guests to contribute.
 
You don’t have to do it all yourself. Assign guests something to bring—wine, an appetizer, a dessert. Friends are happy to help, especially when you take the guesswork out and tell them what to bring.

 

Ask Guests to Contribute


 

3. Go simple when it comes to decorating.
 
You can make all the plans you want to make a million little DIY decorations but don’t underestimate the power of a simple, clean party space. Fresh flowers are the perfect addition to any home, so pick some up before your next gathering and call it a décor triumph. Or do a simple DIY that you know won’t take long, like this confetti balloon DIY.

 

Simple Decor


 

4. Do NOT try out a new recipe.
 
We can’t say this enough—don’t try out a new recipe when you’re cooking for a crowd. It’ll only add to your stress level to try out a new recipe that may or may not taste good when it’s ready, unlike the favorites you can whip up from memory that you know are tasty.

 

New Recipe


 

5. Inform guests of the parking situation ahead of time.
 
If your home isn’t walkable for your guests or if the parking situation isn’t obvious, be sure to let guests know the designated places they can safely park without fear of getting towed. This is especially poignant information to share with guests who haven’t been to your place.

 

Parking


 

6. Prepare as much as possible the night before.
 
Prepare as much as you can the night before you host people. This way you’ll know exactly what you have and what you’ll need to pick up on that inevitable day-of trek to the grocery store. For example, putting a tub of ice cream in a bowl of ice doesn’t look so cool but putting pre-scooping ice cream into mason jars takes this party setup to another level.

 

Prep ahead of time


 

7. Have a clearly marked area for trash.
 
Have an obvious setup for trash. The main reason guests leave their plates, cups, and napkins around is that they aren’t sure where to put them. Help them help you by making it obvious where things go when the party starts winding down.

 


 
8. Designate a spot for coats, jackets, bags, and the other stuff guests show up with.
 
It’s important for any party to have a “catchall” for all the stuff guests show up with that isn’t being served, like purses and coats. It’ll make for a cleaner hangout area so people aren’t tripping over other’s bags or wondering where their stuff is if it gets moved.

 


 

9. Get out anything a guest might need–plates, cups, silverware, napkins–so they don’t have to dig through your stuff.
 
There’s nothing that sends a chill down on a spine quicker than having to wonder if you removed everything embarrassing from the cabinet or if guests will notice that you are actually not such an organized person based on the disarray behind closed cabinet doors. To save yourself from having to dig through all that stuff you shoved into the cabinets when guests started knocking, get everything out ahead of time.

 

What Guests Need


 

10. Clean the bathroom and clean it well.
 
Is there anything else to say about this? We’re convinced a pristine bathroom is the unspoken key to any good soiree, so make sure yours is spotless and all the necessary items (soap, toilet paper, hand towels) are stocked.