Holiday Prep: How to Host a Big Gathering in a Small Space

The holidays bring time spent with friends and family. If you’re the host with the most, this also means lots of prep work and planning for your celebrations, especially when your home is the gathering place. And, if you’re pressed for space for a large crowd, you’ll need to employ a bit of creativity to make the most out of the space you do have.

Here’s a list of clever small space entertaining tips and tricks to host a big gathering in a small space.

  1. Make Space for Coats. Your guests will arrive and the first thing they’ll do is take off their coats, scarves, and hats. Make room in your coat closet, or if that’s not an option, purchase a folding clothing rack to stash in a bedroom for use during the party and then fold up and store when not in use.
  1. De-clutter. That curated stack of coffee table books and candles are a chic accent to your living room, but party guests will need surfaces to put their drinks and food down. Temporarily remove any items that take up space on surface areas like a coffee table, end tables, bookshelves, even windowsills, so guests can eat and drink comfortably.
Small Space Entertaining Tips
Photo: Shutterstock
  1. Add or Remove Extra Seating. Will your party be a sit-down dinner or cocktails and hors d’oeuvres? Make sure every guest has a seat at the dinner table. If you don’t have enough chairs, get creative—use the bench at the end of your bed. If you need to create more floor space for guests to move around and mingle, remove small pieces of furniture such as poufs or ottomans.
  1. Create Multiple Areas for Gathering. Set up food and drinks around your home in different rooms so guests can mingle and not congregate in one area. Placing food and drink stations at the back of a room will encourage guests to enter and not block doorways. Utilize tiered platters for finger foods like cheese and crackers to save space on the table. Set up a bar cart that can be moved around or make a signature cocktail in a drink dispenser. Limiting the number of drink options will prevent you from having to find space to store all the bottles that are left over.
  1. Don’t forget Décor and Music. Votive candles and bud vases with a single flower or a few branches will add a touch of holiday spirit without taking up too much space. A simple garland or wreath will bring in the scent of the season and can be hung from a fireplace, door or wall, so it won’t take up valuable space. A playlist of festive music will enhance the holiday cheer.
  1. Stay Cool. Having large groups of people in your home while you’re cooking can make the room warm and stuffy pretty quickly. Crack some windows in preparation for your guests arrival to let cool fresh air in.

Find your home for the holidays.

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