Hosting parties at home can be a lot of fun. It can also be a lot of work. Those of you who have hosted at-home get togethers before have probably realized that sometimes being the “hostess with the mostest” isn’t as easy as it seems.

To make entertaining at home just a little bit easier, we’ve assembled a list of 10 tips that will help you throw a stress-free party that both you and your guests will enjoy.

Tips for Hosting a Successful Party at Home:

  1. Do As Much as You Can Ahead of Time

This may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating. You may be surprised just how much party preparation you can take care in the days, weeks and hours before the party. Whatever you can do ahead of time, you should do ahead of time in order to save yourself additional headache and stress on the day of the party.

  1. Use What You Have on Hand

If you’re like most people, when you’re hosting a get together you feel inclined to go out and buy party supplies for the occasion. While that may be necessary sometimes, most of the time it’s feasible (and totally appropriate) to use things you already have on hand. Make a list of what you think you will need for the gathering, then go through the list and note anything you already have covered. For instance, use greenery from your backyard (for free) in place of expensive floral centerpieces. You’ll save a lot of money and time by thinking outside of the box and reusing party supplies and decorations you already have.

  1. Don’t Try To Make It All From Scratch

Just because you’re hosting the gathering doesn’t mean you have to cook and bake everything from scratch yourself. Ask guests to bring things (when appropriate) and don’t hesitate to buy some things store bought. It’s great to have a few semi-homemade items on the menu to make things easier – and if you jazz up the store bought items a bit chances are your guests won’t even notice they aren’t completely homemade!

  1. Serve Buffet Style (Or Family Style)

At home parties don’t need to be overly formal. In fact, they tend to be more fun for everyone if they’re somewhat informal and casual. Instead of hosting a formal-feeling sit down dinner, consider serving everything buffet style (for larger gatherings) or family style (for more intimate gatherings). This will make things easier for you as the host (since you won’t have to worry about serving everyone, setting the table, finishing every meal item at the same time, etc.), and will make the party just as enjoyable for your guests.

  1. Create Cozy Sitting Areas

Encourage people to make themselves comfortable by creating cozy sitting areas throughout the party space. These areas will give guests a place to sit and relax, put their food and drink down, and strike up a conversation with others at your party. By setting up these spaces ahead of time, you’ll help to make your guests comfortable and encourage conversation so you won’t have to worry so much about making introductions and stimulating conversations and interactions once your guests have arrived.

  1. Don’t Forget Your Pets

When hosting a party at home, don’t forget about your pets. You’ll want to make sure you have a plan in place so your pets will be comfortable throughout the duration of the gathering. Give anxious pets a quiet, comfortable and safe place to relax while guests are around. Have a more social pet? Invite him/her to the party but be sure that someone is carefully supervising. You’ll want to ensure that your house (and party) are pet proofed to keep your furry family members safe.

  1. Clean Your House Gradually

Don’t make yourself crazy by trying to clean your entire house all at once before you host a get together. Instead, clean and organize your house gradually during the weeks leading up to the party. When the day of the party rolls around and you’re focused on finishing up last minute touches, you’ll be glad to have one less thing to worry about!

  1. Serve Snacks/Appetizers

If you’ve ever hosted a party before, you probably know that people tend to get antsy right before it’s time to eat. If you’re cooking, they may even start gathering around the kitchen as you’re finishing up. To help avoid this, be sure to put out plenty of appetizers and snacks to keep your guests occupied as you finish the cooking for the main meal you’ll be serving.

  1. Plan Some Activities

Most of the time, guests can entertain themselves while you’re taking care of your hosting duties. However, every once in awhile you’ll need an icebreaker or activity to get the party and conversations started. Take a few minutes ahead of time to plan a few guest-appropriate activities just in case you need them. Whether that means putting out a few board games for the kids or organizing some lawn games for the adults, you’ll be glad to have them to fall back on if your party is initially a little bit awkward.

(Hosting a kids’ birthday party at home? Check out our tips on how to throw a successful at home birthday party for your child!)

  1. Keep An Eye Out For Sales/Coupons

When you’re hosting at home, there will inevitably be things you will have to purchase to make the party happen. To keep your party budget friendly, make a list of what you think you will need way ahead of time. Then, keep an eye out for sales and coupons in the weeks and months leading up to the party. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress and money by doing your shopping gradually, so the expense of hosting an at home party won’t feel so overwhelming.

Entertain Your Guests Like a Pro – And Enjoy Your Party!

With these easy at home entertaining tips and tricks, you can host a party your guests will LOVE and enjoy the gathering while being a composed, graceful host.

Looking for a home in the Capital Region where you can host fabulous get togethers? Want to custom design a house that will be perfect for entertaining? If so, contact Heritage Custom Builders today! With three great neighborhoods in the greater Capital District and years of custom home building experience, we can help you find – or build – a home that’s perfect for entertaining!

Give us a call today at (518) 348-0931 or contact us online to get the conversation started! We’d love to help make your vision of the perfect home a reality!