House party checklist

Throwing a party? Here's how to make sure people talk about it for years to come - but for the right reasons.

old man dj

Don't invite this guy

Two weeks before

  • Is your place suitable? Whatever the size, consider the fixtures and fittings. Can you afford to let the carpets get mashed up, and how is your landlord going to react if someone puts the fridge through the window?
  • Who you gonna call? Controlling numbers is no easy task. Invitation only is good, although most party people packed that in when they were ten. Otherwise, go for word of mouth, but keep it to a trusted circle of friends and ask them to consult you before inviting anyone else.

One week before

  • Sort the sounds: You’re not going to raise the roof with the music blasting out of your phone, so if your own sound system sucks then beg or borrow stuff from friends. If you know a DJ, beg or borrow them too. Either way, have someone in charge of the music all night, otherwise you run the risk of people rifling through your collection and laughing heartily at your High School Musical deluxe album.
  • Protect your party: Consider hiring some muscle for the night. We’re not talking about a professional bouncer, but free beer for the beefiest guy you know should secure a sufficiently intimidating party presence.
  • Suck up to the neighbours: Disarm potential grief by popping round in advance with a bottle of wine or a box of chocs. Even if they do wind up bashing on your door in their dressing gowns, you can be sure they’ll have thought twice about it, which is a moral victory at least.

On the day

  • Prepare the house: Remove all valuables, breakables and eatables, and store them in a safe place. Establish whether this party is going to take over the whole house, or just a section, and cordon off accordingly. Safe-proof as well.
  • If it’s a biggie: Strip the place down, especially the kitchen, and even consider putting the corkscrew on a leash. If it moves, assume it’ll be nicked.
  • Sort the drinks: But don’t go mad, as people will bring their own. Getting in the soft drinks is always a good call, however, especially if the bingers work up a thirst.

On the night

  • Start the party half an hour early: Don’t wait for the first person to arrive. They’ll arrive late anyway, and if the party’s not already thumping, they’ll leave as soon as you turn your back to plug in the stereo.
  • Do a sweep for litter: Every hour or so, just enough to stop the party turning into a pig sty.
  • Enjoy yourself: And if it does go a little pear-shaped, and overrun by uninviteds, just pick up the phone and call the police. Why not? It’s your house, after all.

The morning after

  • Assess the damage without opening your eyes: Check your head before your surroundings, because if you feel badly trashed then chances are the house is too. At some point you’re going to have to clean the place up, but you might as well do it with decent kip behind you.
  • Recruit a task force: Check the place for revellers who slept where they fell, revive them with coffee and then hand them the mop. Alternatively, rope in a couple of mates to help you clean the place up and return it to its former glory. For the price of a hair-of-the-dog at lunchtime, you should get a few volunteers.
  • Throw a post-party party: The perfect way to bring order to the chaos – just you and a select few the next evening. Chew the cud, chill out and work out when to throw the next party to topple this one.

Photo of old man by Shutterstock

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Updated on 29-Sep-2015

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