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The holidays bring lots of joy, but they can also be a challenge when trying to entertain. This is especially true when you have a small space. I’ve pulled together the top 5 tips for holiday entertaining in a small space. You can do it – I did it for years!
TIP ONE: Prep Ahead
I say this all the time, and it doesn’t matter the size of the home you’re entertaining in. Prep ahead of time. If you’re in a small space, the last thing you want to be doing is preparing food while guests are milling about your kitchen. Even when I lived in a small space, I always had two crockpots. This allowed for me to prep ahead two warm dishes (usually the day prior or the morning of), and simply warm them up that day. Additional food that I served was fine served room temperature or cold. Prepping ahead also means putting out plates, napkins, and silverware (all can be disposable if you prefer – just try to use something earth friendly like one of the options below).
TIP TWO: Avoid the Party Bottleneck
I’d be remiss not to include this tip in my 5 Tips for Holiday Entertaining in a Small Space. When setting up your space, think of how people will congregate. If you have everything set up on one long table, that is where every guest will be drawn. Instead, set up stations around your home. For instance, use an existing sideboard, end table, or bar cart to set up beverages. Make sure that this area is set a distance away from where you will set up your food (I suggest chafing dishes on your kitchen counter if you have the room). Lastly, place appetizers on different tables throughout the space so guests can grab an app and chat.
TIP THREE: Set Aside a Space For Guest Belongings
When guests arrive, have an area ready to receive coats and purses. I’ll usually clean out a part of a main area closet and fill it with empty hangers for this purpose. If you don’t have a coat closet, simply put a sheet down on top of your bed and use that space to lay coats down. Have a couple of large baskets on the floor next to the bed to hold purses.
TIP FOUR: Clear Anything You Aren’t Using
My counters are always clear the day of a party. I use them to serve food, house different serving pieces, and that’s it. Also, I clear out my bathroom counters of anything that doesn’t need to be used during the time of the party. I always set out guest towels like the ones below in a pretty basket, and soap. Remove any medications other than ibuprofen, and always put out extra toilet paper. Spaces should all be free of additional clutter, and in common areas, coasters should be available on each surface.
TIP FIVE: Move Your Furniture
I can’t even tell you how many times friends would say that they didn’t have the room to host large gatherings in their small space. Also, I can’t tell you how many times they never even thought of moving things around for a night. Remove anything extra that you don’t need. Put the extra table in your bedroom, push the couch or dining table up against the wall. Bring dining chairs into the living room and serve only finger foods and dishes that can be placed on a smaller dish. You’d be amazed at how moving a few things around can completely open up a space. Don’t worry – it can all go back tomorrow!
Use the 5 tips for holiday entertaining in a small space and you’ll be well on your way to a successful holiday party! If you’re looking for additional holiday entertaining inspiration, I’ve got you covered! Click on the links below for more!