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Back when I just moved into my current apartment, I was in a strange place in my life. I had this bizarre idea in my mind that I should walk away from the majority of my friends and just focus on trying to hang with a more mellow crowd.
Truth be told, a lot of my friends are drama magnets. They get into arguments, they often lack good judgement, and if I was honest, they aren't always the best influence on me. I somehow thought it'd be best if I just slowly faded out of their lives to try to find tamer people.
I decided to try to make friends with my coworkers, but I soon found myself on the outside. The fact that I was always left out of the loop made me feel increasingly insecure—and it started to affect me.
Even so, I believed they really did want to be my friends. They even said they were down to hang out. When I finally moved into my place, I invited them all for a moving-in bash and expected to have them all show up.
Not one came. Of the people who left the company shortly after I moved in, I never heard from them again. I was beyond heartbroken. I felt betrayed, and even asked myself why I didn't deserve honesty or at least a talk from them. I felt disrespected, and at the same time, utterly distraught at how my friendship was thrown back in my face.
I then looked at the people I walked away from and realized that I was doing the same to them. Was I really going to be that way with people who needed me? I realized that I was just as much in the wrong as I could be—and that I was a fool to think I could get better, kinder, more loyal friends elsewhere. I was a jackass to my friends.
My friends aren't perfect, but they're perfect for me. Some of them struggle to keep a roof over their head, many have long arrest records, and some have serious drug issues, but, they are wonderful people in their own way. They are the most beautifully broken people I've ever met, and their characters shine through even in the worst of times.
And, they throw some pretty kickass parties.
As I went back to them, we started to host get-togethers at my new place, and we turned my apartment into a home. Thanks to them, I've learned some pretty awesome entertaining lifehacks. As a way of showing my love to my pals, I'll be happy to share their entertaining hacks with you.
Ask friends for help setting up.
Do you want to know the easiest way to make sure that you have a party with attendees? This is one of the best entertaining lifehacks if you're moving to a new place and still getting a feel when it comes to party attendance.
Ask a couple of close friends to help you set up beforehand. This way, if no one else comes by, you will have at least a couple of people who will hang out with you. If people do come by, you'll have friends to help you put up decorations.
Master the art of dirt cheap entertainment using tech.
Do you want to have a simple house party that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? It's actually really easy to put together a get-together if you enlist the help of tech. Seriously, get creative with your smart home devices and your home will turn into a party pit pretty quickly.
Setting up music and lighting is really easy if you have the right gear. For example, a couple of smart bulbs can allow you to program your own lighting effects in your apartment while your friends spin their records.
Or, if you don't have DJ friends, you can create an Amazon playlist and use Alexa to DJ for you. If you have a Google Chromecast device, then you can use YouTube to VJ and DJ for you.
Have a party blacklist and enforce it.
Maybe it's because my friends work in the entertainment industry, or because we've seen our fair amount of drama, but they can tell you that one of the best entertaining lifehacks you can have is to have a blacklist that you actively enforce.
To fully understand the power of a blacklist, you have to understand what doing this will accomplish for you, your organizers, and your guests. Party blacklists do two important things that you need to be aware of as a host.
Parties thrive on exclusivity, especially when it comes to getting people to take notice. If everyone is invited and everyone comes in, your parties won't be anything special. This leads to decreased interest in attendance.
Moreover, people won't respect your house rules because there won't be any repercussions. If you have a blacklist that you enforce, people will be more respectful of your home and will also take the invite more seriously.
Additionally, having a blacklist means that you will also prevent people who could make the party go bad from entering. This, in turn, means that you will have more good vibes and less bad people.
Use frozen grapes and berries to chill drinks.
No one likes watered-down drinks, and that means that ice is out of style. Rather than get ice in your drinks, freeze a bag of grapes or other berries. Then, use the berries to chill your friends' drinks.
This has become one of the more popular wine hacks on the net, but really, you can use this trick for just about any kind of beverage. So, we're adding it as an all-around entertainment trick too.
Make it easy for your guests to serve themselves drinks and food.
If you are going to have food and drinks at your party, you need to ensure that your guests won't have a hard time getting fed. There are several pretty slick entertaining hacks you can use to make this happen:
- Use fondue, s'mores bars, and finger foods to let your guests feed themselves. If you want to actually enjoy your guests' company, you will need to let them serve themselves food at their own pace. So, try to get a recipe that works with that goal while still matching the type of party. Fondue is great for dinner parties, s'mores bars are good for barbecues, and chips are great for any other type of party out there.
- Have a bar area ready before guests arrive. Have cups, liquor, beer, wine and mixers ready. If you bring it, they will come—and drink.
- Keep a bottle opener tied to your bar area or near your ice bucket. A bottle opener is a great way to add a touch of "serve yourself" to your party.
Match your playlist to the time and the occasion.
Music often makes the party, and the kind of music you play will determine how your guests feel. There's plenty of good ways to figure out how to get your party playlist on the right track.
- Time it. If you're throwing a dance party or a wild banger, you want the music to get increasingly uptempo as the night progresses. For example, you might want to start out with psytrance or goa, then progress to hardstyle around midnight.
- Remember your demographic. Entertaining a large group of family and friends means that you will have deeply varied tastes in music—and should therefore choose mainstream hits with some classics tossed in. On the other hand, if you're entertaining a bunch of goths, popping Siouxsie and the Banshees will be a great choice.
- Enlist the help of DJ friends if you have them. We all have one person who insists on being the party's disc jockey. Assuming they have great taste, let them do it for you. This is one of the better entertaining hacks to use if you want to make sure that your friends have fun, simply because it helps them participate.
- Remember the type of party you're throwing. Dinner parties tend to work well with mellow music you'd hear at fine dining establishments. Swinger parties tend to work better with songs from the best trip hop bands out there. Dance parties work well with electronica.
Have designated locations for the Big Three.
If you're throwing a house party, then you have to take a lot of precautions to make sure that it goes according to plan. You see, people have a tendency to lose three things at a party: their belongings, their consciousness, and their lunches. I call these the Big Three.
A good way to prepare for a party is to section off parts of your house to handle each situation. Here's my typical protocol:
- Have a LOCKABLE closet that you use for storing guest's goods, like their coats and backpacks.
- Make sure the bathroom is always open for business and tell people that there are other facilities they can use when they want to get laid.
- If people need to smash or just pass out, have your bedroom prepared for it.
- Have tampons and condoms readily available in a bowl in your bathroom. Chances are that at least one or two guests will thank you for that.
Save money on food and booze by hosting a potluck.
Trying to throw a party on a budget is never easy, but it's absolutely doable. The easiest way to shave a huge amount of dollars off your party's price tag is to throw a potluck.
A potluck encourages everyone to bring a favorite dish, compare recipes, and also bring booze. Better still, potlucks also tend to encourage people to clean up after themselves. It may be a bit lazy, but it definitely works well in terms of practicality.
Remember that lighting sets the mood.
If there's one thing my friends have taught me in terms of entertaining hacks, it's the importance of lighting. A party that has bad lighting is a party that will make people feel awkward, stuffy, and otherwise weird.
Think about it: Would you *really* feel comfortable dancing around and drinking if you were in a room that had office lighting? We're willing to bet that you wouldn't.
One of the best entertaining hacks you can learn is how to get creative with lighting. Smart bulbs aside, the easiest way to work magic with your home lighting is to get creative with string lights, glow sticks, and party bulbs.
You'll be surprised at how quickly your home will transform from a mundane place to a party pit!
Have a party budget and stick to it.
One of the best entertaining lifehacks I learned was the art of budgeting. Professional party planners, DJs, and promoters all have their own party budgets because of how pricey it can be to throw a party the right way.
If you want to ensure that you don't go broke, keep a party budget on hand. By having a separate fund for entertaining, you're making sure that your wallet won't hurt if you decide to put forth a big bash.
After all, making $40 Jungle Juice might help avoid some financial issues, but it won't save enough cash to cover your food, drink, and cleaning bills.