There’s nothing more fun than enjoying food, family, and friends than by throwing a party. All too often, however, those who live in apartments feel discouraged at the idea of inviting a group of people into their small homes. Whether it’s a birthday, the big game, or a dinner party, entertaining in a small space is not easy.

What if it feels cramped? How will people eat if there’s no dining room? Will neighbors be bugged by the noise? With a bit of creativity and flexibility, even folks who live in a small apartment can have big fun with small space entertaining.

6 Tips for Small Space Entertaining

Apartment Party

1. Invite the Neighbors

First things first: get your neighbors in on the party action by inviting them to stop by. This is not only the friendly, neighborly thing to do — it will also help cut down on complaints about crowds or noise when the guests arrive. After all, who can complain about noise when they’re part of the party? This also applies to roommates if you have them; make sure they’re included in the festivities. Even if neighbors decline the invitation and stay home or roommates leave for the evening, you’ll have spread goodwill all around, which will hopefully cut down on any ill feelings about the get together.

2. Stick to Finger Foods 

Nachos, BABY

There’s nothing more frustrating than hosting a sit-down dinner in a space where there’s no room for folks to … well, to sit down. Serving an assortment of handheld food will allow your guests to wander around and nosh (or simply plop down with their food wherever they can get comfortable — more on that later). Think in terms of quesadilla slices, sushi, pizza, pre-cut fruit and veggies, deviled eggs, bruschetta, as well as cookies, cake bites, and candy for dessert. You can have them all laid out on paper plates or plastic cake stands. This will also cut down on utensils and required cleanup later.

3. Label the Libations

With a large group of people coming together in a small space, drink mix-ups are inevitable. Use a permanent marker to label plastic cups, drink dispensers, or accessories such as wine glass charms to identify who’s sipping out of your permanent drinkware. Remember to have non-alcoholic drink options available for those who choose to abstain, and make sure to watch out for guests who do enjoy a few beers or your signature cocktails and ensure they don’t drink and drive.

4. Get Flexible with Your Apartment Space

Another way to maximize a small apartment for a party is to do a little planning ahead of time to make the most of your square footage. Think of the entire apartment as a party space — not just the living room and kitchen areas — and use all of it. Make up the bed in the bedroom, string up some party lights, hang decorations, and make that part of the mingle area. Set up a small table with a bowl of snacks in the hallway. If you’re limited on space, don’t be afraid to every square inch (just don’t go overboard and put out a bowl of chips in the bathroom).

5. Use Nontraditional Seating

Sitting Party

When it comes to apartment life and parties, one of the biggest hurdles is having room for everyone to sit. While a lot of people will opt to stand and wander around, some will want to get comfortable. You may have limited seating in terms of couches and chairs, but don’t be afraid to get creative and put out some nontraditional extra seating in the form of big pillows and folded blankets on the floor. For those who are comfortable settling in and relaxing cross-legged with a snack and a drink, this is an excellent way to make sure that everyone has a place to relax.

6. Take Time to Enjoy!

No matter if you’re having a party in a huge house or a compact apartment, the most important thing is to take time to relax and have fun. With all the preparations made ahead of time, don’t forget the reason you’ve gathered everyone together — to spend quality time with family and friends. Eat, drink, and be merry!