The holidays are upon us, which means it’s time for in-laws, parents, siblings, and friends to pack into your apartment, gather around the table, and rifle through your fridge.
Whether you’re hosting the holidays for your extended family, in-laws, or friend group, you might find yourself looking around your apartment and wondering, “How am I going to fit fifteen people in here?”
You might be surprised.
We compiled a list of 11 things to keep in mind while entertaining this holiday season. After all, the whole point is to relax and have fun with the festivities arrive.
A Small Apartment, A Large Group of Loved Ones: 11 Ways to Make it Work
Clean as you go this season.
Forget spring cleaning, the best time to deep clean is before the holidays!
The pressure is real to have a perfectly clean apartment before everyone and their mom comes over, so don’t even try to get the entire apartment clean in one afternoon.
Weeks before your party, start cleaning as you go: wash the dishes after meals, wipe down counter tops after cooking, sweep and vacuum every couple of days, and get used to keeping your place extra clean. This way, you won’t be scrambling to get the place in order hours before someone knocks on the door.
Another perk of keeping things clean well in advance? You’ll have clarity of mind to tackle party planning instead of worrying about mopping the floors before your neat-nick Mother-in-Law comes over.
Have everyone bring potluck.
Pro tip: don’t try to be the only one in the kitchen when there’s a main dish and about a dozen other things to prepare. It’s time to triage. Have Aunt Joan bring her famous vegetable medley, have cousin Cory bring the rolls, and get your brother to whip up some garlic mashed potatoes with gravy.
A potluck makes everything run smoother because you’re not a slave to the kitchen all day, you have time to relax with friends and family, and your guests can share their favorite recipes with the group. (Because let’s face it – your sweet potato pie wasn’t going to be as good as Grandma’s anyway.)
Remind everyone to pre-cook their food before bringing it over. Aunt Joan’s uncooked vegetable medley won’t do if it’s uncooked – you don’t want a situation where everyone is waiting to use the oven.
Designate a set time to sit down and feast!
When you’re pulling together a group of people, it helps to have goals. If you plan on feasting between 6 and 7, you’ll be sure to get that salad whipped up and the gravy heated up around 5:30.
When you have a drink in hand and about a million conversations going at once, you’ll be glad that you made a plan, told everyone about it, and stuck to it.
Have guests bring camp chairs.
The kitchen table in your apartment only has four chairs, and you’re expecting fifteen people coming through that door in a few hours. Other than investing in a folding table, you’re going to have to ask people to bring folding camp chairs.
Camp chairs are also comfortable for when everyone wants to gather in the living room or if you want to go outside to enjoy a nice evening campfire.
Don’t forget about the kids.
Whether you have one kid or five coming over, it helps to have a plan in place. Bored kids are unruly kids.
Puzzles, art supplies, Legos, and books are great when it comes to staving off boredom. Better yet, designate a kid’s table where kids can draw, create dinosaurs out of Play-do, play board games, and have good, old-fashioned fun. This way, the adults can relax and have fun without needing to babysit.
Rearrange the furniture.
Before you’re expecting people over, take an unbiased look around your apartment. Are there any areas that feel cramped or cluttered? Is there a way to rearrange your furniture so the space can accommodate more people?
You’ll be surprised how large a space becomes after you decide to rearrange some furniture.
Plan for the amount of people you invite.
Look, we know you have a lot of friends, but don’t invite 30 people if your apartment can only fit 10.
Take stock of your dishes and silverware. Do you have enough plates for the amount of people you’re expecting? Do you have enough beds and pillows for the amount of people who are planning on sleeping over? Just a little bit of planning and preparedness go a long way in ensuring a smooth holiday party.
Have a plan for coats and bags.
You don’t want people tripping over a pile of coats and bags in the hallway, so designate a spot where people can keep their stuff. Whether that’s a coat rack in the foyer or a pile of coats in the bedroom, make sure that people don’t end up cluttering your living space with their coats and bags.
Get your ambiance on point.
This is the most fun part of throwing a holiday party: decking the halls! Small details and decorative touches go a long way in making people feel welcome. A flower arrangement on the kitchen table, some scented candles in the bathroom, and holiday string lights will help put everyone in a festive mood.
The ambience also includes music. Make sure you create a playlist in advance so you’re not constantly fumbling with the music when you should be spending time with your guests. Keep the tunes upbeat and feel-good. You don’t want grandma wondering out loud why you’re playing doom metal at a holiday party. (Unless grandma is into that.)
Start a group chat with your guests days before the party.
Your guests will have questions you didn’t even think about. They’ll wonder if they should bring wine, if they should bring an air mattress, and if they should show up around breakfast or dinner.
Starting a group conversation – whether over Facebook, email, or text message – will ensure that all your guests know what to expect, that they know what to bring, and that everyone is on the same page.
Remember what it’s all about.
At the end of the day, it’s time to relax and celebrate the holiday season with the people you love. Don’t take things too seriously. Don’t let perfection get in the way of good. Gather everyone around the table, raise your glasses, and thank everyone for their presence in your home.
Sometimes there’s no better place to gather your family and friends than your apartment. Why? Because the smaller space will keep you closer together, rubbing elbows, cooking side by side, and being a family. Is there any cozier feeling in the world?
From all of us here at Lykens Companies, we hope you have a lovely holiday season, full of family, friends, and delicious treats. And remember: it’s not so much about where you gather, but how you gather.
Now, a bit about Lykens Companies…
With 20 years (and counting) of experience, we believe that Lykens Companies is just getting started on its mission to offer Columbus hundreds of premier apartments, rentals, and renovations. Each day, we are driving toward constantly expanding and improving our business and bettering Columbus, the city we love. For our renters, that means that they are connected to a proven business that is always striving to be the best. Our success isn’t an accident. We are constantly striving to improve our quality, both in the buildings that we renovate, reimagine, and rent out; moreover, we are striving to improve in the way that our business operates. For you, that means the best units and the best service in the best locations.
As we invest our time, money, and energy into the Short North, Victorian Village, Italian Village, and other parts of Columbus’s urban core, it’s nothing short of amazing to step back and see how much we’re able to impact our city, whether that looks like renovating apartments, houses, or even factories like the Wonder Bread Lofts and the forthcoming Budd Dairy project: a full scale reimagining of an old dairy factory into a Cameron Mitchell food hall and state-of-the-art coworking space.
If you’re looking to rent in Columbus, Ohio’s urban core, you’ve come to the right place. We’re confident that it doesn’t get better than us when it comes to finding the absolute best apartments and rentals in Columbus.
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