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17 Little Things I Wish I'd Known Before Hosting My First Party

Label wine glasses with a Sharpie and wash it off later!

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1. Send out a Google Calendar invite, so even your most forgetful guests have your event details written down.

Emily Shwake, Djelics / Getty Images

Facebook events and email invites can easily be lost and forgotten. Make sure to include all the information they could possibly need: Can your guests invite other people? Do you need anyone to bring anything? Does the buzzer to your apartment only work if you press the button seven times, spin in a circle, and click your heels together? Include it all in the description.

2. And set up a collaborative Spotify playlist, so everyone can add their favorite jams.

Just put 20-ish songs in the playlist and include the link in the invitation. Otherwise, your guests are going to be bothering you with song requests every five minutes. Everyone has different music taste so giving them the power to add their faves will ensure that all your guests have a great time.
Emily Shwake

Just put 20-ish songs in the playlist and include the link in the invitation. Otherwise, your guests are going to be bothering you with song requests every five minutes. Everyone has different music taste so giving them the power to add their faves will ensure that all your guests have a great time.

3. Give any neighbors within shouting distance your number so they can let you know if the party gets too loud.

You do not need to be making enemies out of your neighbors. Plus, it's just polite to give them a heads-up! If they know in advance, they can make plans to be out for the evening. They'll also be wayyyy more willing to tolerate a little noise. If you're really worried about their reaction, give them a gift — like a bottle of wine or box of chocolates — as a thank you for being so accommodating. Or just invite them! Even better!
Maritsa Patrinos

You do not need to be making enemies out of your neighbors. Plus, it's just polite to give them a heads-up! If they know in advance, they can make plans to be out for the evening. They'll also be wayyyy more willing to tolerate a little noise. If you're really worried about their reaction, give them a gift — like a bottle of wine or box of chocolates — as a thank you for being so accommodating. Or just invite them! Even better!

4. Start cleaning a few days before the event so you aren't frantically shoving everything into a closet the morning of.

myhomemadehappiness.com

You probably have more to do than you realize. Use the party as an incentive to deep clean. Throw out junk, give your bathroom a good scrub, and sweep the floors. Get more cleaning hacks here.

5. Make a big-batch punch if you don't have a ton of cash to spend on alcohol.

I'm not talking about the jungle juice you drank in college. One bottle of gin is enough alcohol for 10-12 generous, classy cocktails. Get more big-batch cocktail recipes here.
distillerista.com

I'm not talking about the jungle juice you drank in college. One bottle of gin is enough alcohol for 10-12 generous, classy cocktails. Get more big-batch cocktail recipes here.

6. And leave a Sharpie out for guests to label their glasses — you can wash it right off after the party.

Clink, clink, clink. Yes, hi I have an announcement to make: You can write on your glassware with Sharpie and wash it off at the end of the night. Just draw over the writing and wiping it off with a paper towel while the ink is still wet. You could also use dish soap, rubbing alcohol, or hand sanitizer. My mind = blown. Learn more here. See a bunch of other ways to get Sharpie off glass.
reluctantentertainer.com

Clink, clink, clink. Yes, hi I have an announcement to make: You can write on your glassware with Sharpie and wash it off at the end of the night. Just draw over the writing and wiping it off with a paper towel while the ink is still wet. You could also use dish soap, rubbing alcohol, or hand sanitizer. My mind = blown. Learn more here. See a bunch of other ways to get Sharpie off glass.

7. If you're cooking, go for recipes you already know how to make.

More likely than not, if you try to take on that cool-as-heck cake recipe you saw on Pinterest, you're going to get yourself all stressed out. Stick to simple finger food, slow cooker recipes, or dishes you know are crowd-pleasers. See more charts that'll help you host here.
Yumi Sakugawa / The Little Book of Life Hacks: How to Make Your Life Happier, Healthier, and More Beautiful

More likely than not, if you try to take on that cool-as-heck cake recipe you saw on Pinterest, you're going to get yourself all stressed out. Stick to simple finger food, slow cooker recipes, or dishes you know are crowd-pleasers. See more charts that'll help you host here.

8. And have a few vegan and gluten-free options on hand just in case a new-ish friend hasn't told you about their dietary restrictions.

nutritionalfoodie.com

You don't want them feeling awkward, or just filling up on alcohol. Go for dishes that almost everyone would eat: guacamole, sweet potato nachos, or cauliflower tacos! Get more vegan recipes here and gluten-free recipes here.

9. Remember to buy a lot of ice.

Ice is an essential no matter what kind of party you're hosting and people always run out. Buy a few more bags than you think you'll need, or ask people to pick up a bag on their way if they insist on bringing something.
Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

Ice is an essential no matter what kind of party you're hosting and people always run out. Buy a few more bags than you think you'll need, or ask people to pick up a bag on their way if they insist on bringing something.

10. If you're hosting a big group, replace your bathroom hand towel with a roll of paper towels.

I'm all about conserving paper, but that towel you left for 15+ people to use is going to become a party for germs. Instead, leave out some paper towel, napkins, or disposable hand towels for your guests to enjoy.Get six boxes of disposable towels from Amazon for $17.94.
V. Alatorre / Via amazon.com

I'm all about conserving paper, but that towel you left for 15+ people to use is going to become a party for germs. Instead, leave out some paper towel, napkins, or disposable hand towels for your guests to enjoy.

Get six boxes of disposable towels from Amazon for $17.94.

11. And leave extra toiletries out in the open, so your coworker isn't fumbling around in your cabinets looking for a tampon.

ikea.com

Leave an extra roll or two of toilet paper out in the open, along with anything else you think guests might need. Also, sort through your medicine cabinet to make sure there's nothing in there that you wouldn't want people to see. Get more tips for stocking your bathroom for guests.

Get this cabinet from Ikea for $70.

12. Arrange your seating thoughtfully so people can still get around without bumping into the furniture.

NBC / Via society19.com

If you're working with a small space, leave seating in another room for the first few hours, then pull them out when guests are getting tired. Or leave folding chairs off to the sides so guests can set themselves up!

13. Turn off the heat an hour or so before your guests arrive.

youtube.com / Via giphy.com

Don't make me show up lookin' all cute just to make me sweat RIGHT through my ugly Christmas sweater! All those sweaty bodies packed into a teeny space is gonna turn the heat up real fast, so adjust the temperature accordingly.

14. Remember to introduce guests who don't know anyone so they aren't awkwardly standing in a corner texting.

Warner Bros. / Via giphy.com

You want people to think of your parties as a fun place to meet cool people, not just another social obligation! Obviously you don't have to hold their hand through the whole thing, but make sure strangers don't have to hover over conversations in order to find an opportunity to introduce themselves.

15. And have a few games in mind in case things get awkward.

NBC / Via gfycat.com

If you have a lot of friends from different circles, it can be a good idea to break the tension with a little party game. "Cookie pocket," for example, can literally be played while everyone is socializing. Basically, guests can try to sneak cookies into other people's pockets. If they're caught, they have to eat the cookie. If they're not, the target has to eat the cookie when they find it. See more fun party games here.

16. Send guests home with leftovers in the containers that are cluttering up your closet.

It's the perfect excuse to replace them with that neat little nesting set you've been eyeing for a while. Or order some restaurant containers — they're super cheap!
Caroline Miller / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com

It's the perfect excuse to replace them with that neat little nesting set you've been eyeing for a while. Or order some restaurant containers — they're super cheap!

17. And have a game plan for (politely) kicking out those guests who tend to linger.

Raise the lights, slowly start cleaning up, take out the trash...don't be afraid to be direct if you have to be! There are plenty of ways to get the message across that they don't have to go home, but they can't stay here:* "Thank you so much for coming! Can I help you with your coat?" * "Can I offer you a bottle of water for the ride home?" * "It's been so nice having you, but I am dead on my feet. Let's make plans to catch up soon!"* "Do you need directions to get out of here? I know the roads/transit around here can be tricky at night."* Ask one of your bolder friends to say something like "Hey, wanna head out with me?" if confrontation is not your thing.Or get this subtle "Please leave by 9" banner from Amazon for $10.99.
amazon.com

Raise the lights, slowly start cleaning up, take out the trash...don't be afraid to be direct if you have to be! There are plenty of ways to get the message across that they don't have to go home, but they can't stay here:

* "Thank you so much for coming! Can I help you with your coat?"

* "Can I offer you a bottle of water for the ride home?"

* "It's been so nice having you, but I am dead on my feet. Let's make plans to catch up soon!"

* "Do you need directions to get out of here? I know the roads/transit around here can be tricky at night."

* Ask one of your bolder friends to say something like "Hey, wanna head out with me?" if confrontation is not your thing.

Or get this subtle "Please leave by 9" banner from Amazon for $10.99.