The Survival Guide to Last-Minute Entertaining

Sometimes, parties happen. One minute you’re bumping into friends at the UC Davis library, the next thing you know, 50 of your closest friends will be over in an hour for appetizers and swimming in your Tandem apartment pool. You haven’t vacuumed since you moved in, your roommate’s o-chem. notes are scattered all over the living room, and the last time you checked, the only thing in your pantry were three stale crackers and half a bottle of warm, flat Champagne. What’s a last-minute host(ess) to do?

Whip up delivery on speed dial. Store a list of your go-to numbers for food delivery service on your phone so you can make the call once you know you’ll be having visitors. If you’re not one who likes to order out, keep a stash your favorite snacks or appetizers in the freezer for quick reheating when guests arrive. Last-minute guests won’t be expecting a three-course meal, so convenience is more important than elaborately prepared meals.

Ditch the dishes. Make things easier for you and festive for your guests by keeping decorative paper plates and napkins on hand. Storing a stash of these in a kitchen drawer is ideal for last-minute hosting since it means you don’t have to worry about hurriedly washing the dishes or creating a mess that you’ll need to clean up later.

Embrace quick fixes. You wouldn’t normally throw everything that’s been left out in a storage room, but it won’t hurt if you’re just hosting company for a few hours – you can put everything in its proper space once they’re gone. Keep items like stain sticks on hand for quick coverage of stains and smudges you’ve been meaning to get to tackle. Start by clearing the entry way, move to the living room and forget about areas your guests probably won’t see.

For more great suggestions on last minute entertaining, please visit