If you haven’t already been able to tell by the aisles packed with variety packs of candy and Instagram posts of freshly carved pumpkins–Halloween season is upon us. It’s time for tricks, treats, and best of all, frightfully festive Halloween parties, but it can be hard to get excited about (and a bit overwhelming to think about) entertaining in an apartment. We’ve come up with some of our favorite entertaining tips for small spaces that will help you turn your home into the perfect place for a party, as well as some of our favorite decor bits and bobs.
Try To Utilize As Much Space As Possible
You may be perfectly comfortable with the size of your living space, but once it starts to be filled with more than just your immediate family, the apartment can start to feel crowded–fast. That’s why it’s important to use as much of your living space as possible; the living room, the bedrooms, any dining or tv rooms if you have them. Essentially any room that is safe for children to be in unsupervised (meaning the kitchen and the bathrooms are a no-go) can be utilized as an entertaining space. If you still don’t have that much room, consider using a local park for part, if not all, of your party. You can fit as many people as you want, children have the freedom to run around, and clean up is a lot simpler, meaning you can walk back into your apartment post-party and not be greeted with a giant mess.
Keep Your Guest List Respectfully Short
Since you’re not working with a lot of space, it’s wise to keep the guest list short. Not every kid in the class and their parents needs to be invited, nor does every neighbor, family friend, and extended family member. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, of course, but if just inviting you child’s closest school friends, instead of all of their parents as well, will keep you and your household from getting stressed out, it may be worth considering. The same goes for separating family and friend functions if your Halloween party is doubling as a child’s birthday party. To keep from stepping on too many toes, consider having a bigger bash for the school kids and a separate, low-key, dessert-only function for family.
There’s No Shame In Asking For Help
Between party favors and snacks to entrees and house cleaning, there are a lot of components to pulling off a party, which can get overwhelming very quickly. Enlist friends, family, guests, and even local businesses in helping you make your party a success. When your friends offer to bring dessert, let them. When your mother-in-law offers to do the dishes, let her. When your thinking about feeding everyone and your mind wanders to a cute Italian deli down the street that happens to also cater, go with your gut! Some hosts and hostesses can feel like since they are the party planners, they need to be responsible for everything, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Your friends and family want to help you, so it isn’t bad manners to let them bring a dessert or clean up after themselves before leaving. As far as catering, it obviously depends on your party size and what is in your budget, but in some cases, shelling out a little extra cash to have someone else do the food shopping, prepping, and cooking will save you time and stress, making it well worth the investment.
Don’t Go Overboard On The Decor
One party planning instinct may be to overcompensate for a smaller space by filling it with lots of spooky or festive decor–ignore this instinct. Filling a small space with pumpkins, hanging ghosts, and cotton spider webs will just make the place look smaller. The key to make your apartment feel large and inviting is to have lots of natural light and space, so keep your decor to a minimum (think quality over quantity), and strategically place it so that it feels more natural wherever it’s placed, instead of just throwing things wherever you have spare counter space. Here are some quick and easy tips that will spice up your space without making it feel too filled:
- Swap out your candles with these fun Pumpkin Statement Glass Candles from Target.
- Serve some spooky punch out of this festive Halloween Skull Punch Bowl from William Sonoma.
- Upgrade your front door with this autumnal Harvest Pumpkin Wreath and Garland set from Pottery Barn.
- Creep out the kiddos by serving some candy or snacks in these Skeleton Hand Serving Bowls from Pier 1.
- Replace the covers of your living room throw pillows with this Scattered Pumpkin Pillow Cover from Pottery Barn.
Not Everything Will Be Perfect, So Embrace It
This is the easiest advice to give, but the hardest to take–embrace imperfection. No matter how hard you work on a party, things will happen, big or small, that you won’t be expecting. Anything from kids spilling punch on an expensive rug in a room they shouldn’t have been in to begin with to the caterer forgetting to bring the food can bring added stress. They best thing to do is to take a deep breath, grab some stain remover, call your favorite pizza shop, and know that you’ve thrown a great party that people are having a great time at, imperfections and all.