Apartment parties are fun—you get to decide the guestlist, menu, playlist, décor– but can also be a bit stressful, especially when you have to make executive decisions with other members of your household.
If you’re planning to host a crowd over the holidays or on on December 31, you want your event to be pretty near perfect, and you’ll need your roomies on board.
1.) Clear the date with your roommates.
When hosting a party, first check with your roommates that the date is clear for all of them. It’s an obvious, but often overlooked detail.
2.) Decide who is hosting.
Next, you should then decide if you’re co-hosting the party or if it’s your party in a shared apartment. This is a huge distinction.
If you’re co-hosting, it’s expected that everyone split the expenses and responsibilities (like confetti clean-up), but if it’s your party in everyone’s home, they’re probably expecting to be treated like guests who maybe help out a tad. If you’re hosting, be clear that it is your party, and if your roomies are allowed to invite guests they should also be people you get along with, not your ex or professional nemesis.
3.) Set the party budget.
Decide what everyone’s budget is and how they expect to spend the party funds. Do you want everyone to pool in $50 for refreshments or are you planning on buying decorations and supplies as well? What if you want to go all out while a roommate wants to keep it cheap? You may need to compromise.
4.) For cash-strapped roomies, figure out alternative ways to contribute.
If someone can’t afford to contribute money, but wants to invite guests, is this fair at all? Perhaps see if she’ll be okay helping out with clean up and set up duties, and maybe can contribute to other low-cost party essentials like cups, chips, or volunteering her room as the coatroom. And maybe have her encourage her friends to bring their favorite bottle…
5.) Be responsible for your friends.
I’ve had roommates who (along with their friends) are rather heavy drinkers and roommates who are only interested in a cocktail or a glass of wine during the evening. I was once appalled when I hosted a birthday party and my roommate and her friends obliterated the single bottle of rum I’d bought to add to spiced cider after a few minutes of shots. Not only was this rude, as they hadn’t contributed anything themselves, but just pretty dumb.
If you know your guests will drink more than a roommate’s invitees, perhaps buy more for them or encourage them to bring a bottle of something (which they should anyway, if they’re polite).
6.) Set a guest list and keep to it.
For the guest list, decide how many people you want in your apartment, and if these people are all close friends, mutual friends, or acquaintances. Will the door be swinging open with strangers all night or will the house just be full of its regular characters?
Of course, some of the regular characters include neighbors. I always invite my neighbors to events in my apartment, so they know something is going on and feel free to drop in—it’s a great way to make new friends. However, some neighbors may not be party animals, but it’s nice to give them a heads up, courteously encouraging them to let you know if it gets too loud. Chances are, they’ll appreciate your consideration and let you have fun.
7.) Use a pre-party checklist to keep up with party details.
The day before the party, have a checklist of everything you’ll need to do and have for the big event. Will you have ice and alcohol in the freezer? Will there be enough napkins? Are valuables and fragile objects put away? Is the playlist on a device that will work with your speakers? When everything is in order before the party, you can relax, enjoy, be a fun and gracious host, and toast to a fantastic new year!
photo credit: http://wpmu.org/wordpress-christmas/
Also check out how my fellow blogger Alissa did her last minute New Year’s Eve party couple of years ago.