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Tips for Entertaining in a Small Space

image source: lily glass
image source: lily glass

I’ve always loved a full house around the holidays. It just feels right to have a little chaos with children running around and too many people in the kitchen. Living in a 900-square-foot apartment makes a full house quite easy to attain. Such a tiny space has its perks — like it’s easy to make the whole house smell great. And folks kind of have to get along because there’s no extra room to hide. But I’m a firm believer that it’s not the space that makes people feel welcome, it’s the environment. As this Thanksgiving was the first holiday gathering we’ve hosted in our home, I’ve compiled a few simple tips we’ve incorporated into our hosting habits to make the most of our tiny space. 

1. Don’t go overboard on the invitations.

Image Source: Lily Glass

Your guests’ comfort is key, so be realistic when passing out invitations. Whether it’s on a floor cushion or at the table, make sure every booty has a seat. 

2. Delegate and outsource.

Most folks love to contribute, so don’t try to play super host and do everything yourself. Delegate a few side dishes or desserts to free up your own kitchen space, dishes, etc. If you have an ideal menu, feel free to assign specific dishes.

If you’re having a lot of out of town guests, include something from a favorite local restaurant or bakery. This checks something off your menu and gives guests a taste of something new!

3. Prepare as much ahead of time as possible.

This frees up counter space and your schedule, allowing you to mingle with the guests a bit more. 

4. Clear shelf space.

Image Source: Lily Glass

Clear off a few shelves or other surfaces to give drinks and small plates a place to rest.

5. Don’t go crazy with the decorations.

Image Source: Lily Glass
Image Source: Lily Glass

Simply adding a few fresh greens to your existing decor will liven up the place without adding to the clutter.

6. Make room for coats.

Image Source: Lily Glass
Image Source: Lily Glass

Clear a space (maybe in your own closest!) for coats, hats, etc. 

7. Make a drink station.

Image Source: Lily Glass
Image Source: Lily Glass

We like to have a drink station outside of the kitchen so guests can feel free to help themselves — this also decreases kitchen traffic and gives folks a “first stop” to move out of the doorway.

8. Apps, apps, apps!

Image Source: Lily Glass
Image Source: Lily Glass

I come from a family of grazers, so holidays really look like a few hours of comfort food tapas. Having a few appetizers ready when guests arrive ensures that tummies aren’t rumbling, and since they will have eaten a little bit by the time they sit down, this frees up some table real estate for the meal. 

9. Have a few crafts or activities ready for the kiddos.

Image Source: Lily Glass
Image Source: Lily Glass

Bringing a child to another person’s home is always a little nerve-wracking. Give your parent guests some peace of mind knowing their kiddos are entertained and not getting into things they shouldn’t be.

Image Source: Lily Glass
Image Source: Lily Glass

Try these fun DIY felt animal pins, or lay out some cookie cutters and markers and have the little ones decorate the table runner! 

10. Get out.

Have a few activities for folks to enjoy outside, or build in some time after supper for a walk to the park to stretch legs and change up the environment. 

11. Relax expectations.

Image Source: Lily Glass
Image Source: Lily Glass

This might not be the year for grandma’s china, and that’s okay. The kiddos are perfectly content to eat around the coffee table on the floor.  

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