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LEARNING CORNER

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Tips for Hosting a Party in a Small Apartment

A small apartment is often in the eye of the beholder. Asking someone in Brooklyn to define a small apartment by square footage is going to get you a much different answer than asking someone who lives in Kansas City. Each city also has its own minimum requirements for what can legally be called an apartment. At least as of 2014, Seattle had “micro-apartments” as small as 90 square feet.

If you live in one of those apartments, a party might be too difficult, but even a studio apartment of 300 square feet or so is enough space for a good time. You have to know what you’re doing, though. Here are three tips for throwing small space parties.

Don’t apologize for your apartment

When the first guest arrives, you may be tempted to throw open the door and immediately say something like, “I’m sorry my place is so small, it’s all I can afford.” Resist the urge to start the night off by apologizing. Presumably, your friends know you well enough to know that you don’t live in a mansion, and they’re fine with that. If someone didn’t know about your apartment size, you can tell them your apartment is a studio (or something similar) when you issue invitations, but you don’t need to go more in-depth than that. People are drawn to confidence, so be confident about the spot you call home.

Besides, there’s a good chance that your friends are living in spaces that aren’t exactly roomy and luxurious either. There are places like San Francisco where the rents hit the stratosphere a while ago and then kept going. If you didn’t have a small apartment, then you’d need a roommate or a much longer commute. Everyone has to make a choice that makes sense for them, and you don’t owe anyone a long, detailed explanation about why you live where you do.

Hand out miniature party favors

Party favors have a way of livening up just about any occasion. A couple of weeks before the event, start browsing sites like Premier Glow to find glow sticks, bracelets, and other small yet potent objects that will literally light up the room. The beginning of a party can be stressful as you try to figure out what kind of mood to set, and the right party favors can do a lot of that work for you.

Think about how you feel when you see something like a glow-in-the-dark necklace. You might feel amused, curious, or excited. Party favors help people get out of their own head and stop thinking about things like bills, work, and relationship woes. It gives them something to focus on. Furthermore, handing out trinkets gives you something to do besides constantly ask guests if they want a drink.

Get creative with furniture

The next big issue to resolve is the furniture. More specifically, you need to figure out how to arrange the furniture in a way that will encourage people to talk to each other without making them claustrophobic. You can steal one tip from people who stage houses for sale and “float” the furniture away from the walls. Floating the furniture also lets you use more space than you would if you just pressed everything up against the walls and forced people to stand around in the middle.

This is also a wise tactic if you’re bringing in extra furniture just for the party. Something like a throne chair rental is a great way to lavish extra attention on the guest of honor, but you might not think you have room for it in your living room. You have more room than you realize, at least as long as you’re willing to put some thought into things and get a couple of friends to help you play with different furniture arrangements.

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