How to Host a New Year’s Gathering in Your Apartment

As New Year’s Eve approaches, you might be wondering how you can properly celebrate. If you’re the entertaining type, you might be considering hosting a gathering in your apartment (or at least a smaller event for some close friends before heading to the night’s big blowout). You’re probably confident your gathering will be fun, but you’re certainly aware of the challenges of hosting a New Year’s gathering in an apartment: Capping noise at levels respectful to other tenants in your building, fitting a bunch of people in a tight space, and keeping your apartment clean. Here’s how to host a New Year’s gathering in your apartment while addressing these challenges and more.

Make the best of your space

As with any time you’re hosting a gathering in your apartment, making the best of your space is key. This means clearing pathways for guests to walk, providing ample seating, having a plan in place for coats and shoes, and generally keeping clutter out of the way to fit more people into a small space. To make sure guests can easily navigate from your front door to your bathroom, kitchen, living room, and other key areas, reorganize your furniture to eliminate any traffic obstacles. Stock up on folding chairs if you don’t have any – they’re great for gatherings and hide neatly out of sight at other times. Set up a corner of your apartment to accommodate all your guests’ shoes and jackets. Place snacks, drinks, cups, and the like on a table to the side of the action.

Appeal to the senses

An apartment that looks, smells, and even sounds good makes for an unforgettable New Year’s gathering. The trick starts with good lighting, which can make or break your gathering’s mood. If you’re going for more of a party vibe with dance-friendly music, you might want to dim the lights and even break out a few color-shifting light bulbs. If you’re aiming for a relaxing gathering with some simple snacks and drinks to accompany watching the ball drop, dim the lights, but hold back on the flashy colored lights. 

Next, figure out your musical selections. A dance vibe calls for empowering pop music with strong beats. A relaxing vibe might mean you should look into lower-tempo music that isn’t as upbeat. No matter what music you choose, though, keep it at a modest volume – respect your neighbors! Top off the sensory experience with scented candles or incense, or if you’re worried about fire hazards, use an oil diffuser or electronic candles instead.

Have emergency plans ready

Whether you’re planning a low-key gathering or a more bustling one, you’re unlikely to stop people from drinking to reel in New Year’s. Drunk driving incidents occur far more frequently on New Year’s Eve, so in case your guests become too intoxicated to navigate home safely, have emergency plans on hand. Make sure ample designated drivers are present, clear sleeping space for unexpected overnight guests, and keep a local cab company’s number on hand – the ridesharing apps might experience much longer wait times and hiked fares on New Year’s.

Don’t miss the ball drop!

It’s not a New Year’s celebration without counting down the 10 final seconds of the year and shouting “Happy New Year!” If you have a TV in your apartment, turn it to the right channel and keep it there all night. Even before the ball drops, you and your guests can enjoy special performances and festivities that will only add to what’s happening in your apartment. Who said you have to leave home to properly ring in the new year?

What tips do you have for how to host a New Year’s gathering in your apartment? Sound off in the comments!

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