House parties can be messy, bothersome and destructive. But they don’t have to be full-blown, wild and catastrophic affairs which bring much hassle and aggravation; you can still have a brilliant get-together without it becoming out of hand. Here are some tips to keep your party positively pumping, but not to the point where it spirals out of control…
First things first, your parents have let you invite people over (well, I am assuming that that’s the case) so don’t push your luck – compromise on what the limits are and stick to any rules they set, because if they know they can trust you then chances are they will let you have more parties in the future. If they tell you that ten is the maximum amount of friends you can invite over then you should respect their decision, because after all, they are willing to let you have the house to yourself which on its own is quite the prospect.
When my parents told me I was allowed to have some mates over but they had to be out by 1am, I was completely respecting of that choice and promised to abide by their rules. This was rather difficult, however, as my one friend decided to get absolutely hammered, and couldn’t even move as he was in such a bad state. In a desperate bid to obey, I put my sympathies aside and at 12.50am my sister and I dragged the drunken fool along the hall and through the front door in a dramatic race-against-the-clock fashion, which wasn’t easy considering we were manoeuvring a 6ft muscular male. Finally, my other mate propped him upwards and staggered down the road with him into the darkness.
Ironically, the lads had to return the following morning to collect a mobile they had forgotten, so they may as well of stayed over as they were there the next day regardless! Saying that, our parents were glad we didn’t have an all-nighter and promised to let us have another party…every cloud has a silver lining, eh?
Safe proof your house beforehand
Make sure any valuables are hidden. Even if you trust your mates not to steal anything, there’s always the chance that they may accidently break something! Luckily I haven’t had to deal with any major ruptures – mostly just smashed glasses and spilt drinks from the clumsy handling of tipsy teens – but it’s not just the breakages, stains or stolen items that prove an offending factor during house gatherings. Owning up to damages and facing the consequences is the hardest part and whether you were at fault or not, as host it is likely to be down to you to hold responsibility.
One time I had a house party, my friends decided that in the dead of night it would be a good idea to play football with my younger brother’s big orange bouncy hopper, and within minutes I discovered how damaging an oversized ball can actually be. The large, luminous item swerved into a row of my mother’s garden ornaments; in the process breaking the ears off the innocent stone rabbit so that it ended up resembling a kangaroo, and another powerful kick caused part of the bird table to snap off and land onto the grass.
The lads finally managed to kick the ball over the fence into my next door neighbours property – which although thankfully deterred them from further destroying my garden – resulted in me having to go next door the following morning to ask for my bouncy hopper back – quite degrading. This was made worse as the little boy next door had in fact grown attached to the hopper which had mysteriously landed on his lawn, and prizing it back off him wasn’t an easy feat. Feeling guilty for reclaiming a possession which isn’t even mine and was only there in the first place because of my boisterous and childish friends wasn’t my finest moment. Moral of the story? Expect embarrassment as you deal with the awkward aftermath of drunken antics. And hide your garden ornaments.
Okay, you know people are coming over – whether it’s a handful of close mates or a large crowd – the least you could do is tidy up a bit! Even if the place will be littered with beer cans and crisp packets the following day, walking into a cluttered house isn’t exactly welcoming. A quick vacuum perhaps and a hasty shuffle of newspapers into a neat pile would do the trick, but if you’re feeling domestic then a polish wouldn’t go amiss either.
To be truly prepared you should consider what measures need to be taken to ensure everything runs smoothly. For instance, if anyone is going to be sick, make sure there is something nearby that they can use if they don’t reach the toilet in time, so your carpet isn’t ruined! A bucket, bag or even the washing up bowl all prove useful tools if the situation arises.
Entertain your guests
It probably seems like the most obvious thing ever, but if you are hosting a party then music should be playing in the background. It would be appropriate to create a party playlist – if you possess an iPod then compose a selection of suitable songs that you can put on shuffle when your guests arrive to get the event swinging from the get-go.
If the conversation is drying out or you want to get the party kick-started, then drinking games are more than likely to break the ice between strangers and allow everyone to loosen up a little, creating a friendlier ambience. A card game such as “Ring of Fire” will get everyone involved (it’s best to Google the rules because they can vary), but be aware that not all of your guests will want to participate, so if that is the case make sure they aren’t completely left out.
Be a good host
It is rather awkward when you start to feel peckish at a gathering, and as the hours linger on the hope of getting any food speedily diminishes whilst your hunger continually grows. Your stomach keeps making obvious rumbles, and although you are craving for even a mere biscuit, the host is too busy cracking jokes to notice, so it feels like sneakily raiding the cupboards has to be the only option. To avoid this, provide your guests with some sort of food. You don’t have to lay out a sumptuous buffet (although extra brownie points if you do!); just a bowl of crisps and sweets would suffice.
Being a good host also means spending time with everyone you invited; even if it’s just for a five minute chat, it will make them feel welcome. You should also introduce your friends to anyone they may not know – this will avoid awkward moments and will encourage them to socialise and make new friends.
Remember that you are the host and so are responsible for how the party pans out, so just be friendly, bubbly and enjoy yourself!