Collected tips for organizing parties

It is a part of Finnish mentality, that any occasions with alcohol drinks are called parties. This is why most of the time parties end up with group of people sitting on the living room floor drinking beer and staring at one's phone. But the reality is, that succesful parties need more than a full closet of booze and a couple attendees. Because there is suprisingly little instructions for how to organize a house party, we decided to put all our tips together to create a convenient package. With these instructions you will always succeed with organizing your parties!

Reminder Our instructions are not restricted to be used for house parties only, but they can be used for any other parties too. Be aware, that these instructions are planned for people over 18 years old.

1. HOW MANY PEOPLE SHOULD I INVITE TO MY PARTY?

If the plan is not to have the ultimate "kalsarikännit" - a Finnish word for sitting alone in your apartment and getting wasted wearing nothing but undewear - first you should decide who you want to invite to party with you. To begin with, set a limit for guests and hold on to it. Decide, for example, not to take more than 20 or 30 people. This is how you ensure, that your parties won't get out of control and you won't find yourself in the cover of the next day's tabloids. 

Next challenge is to invite all the guests. Nowadays the easiest way to invite people is to create a Facebook event for the house party. If you invite only a handful of people, you can add all the people by yourself, but if you are planning to have the greatest party of the century for a big group of people, you can allow couple of your good friends to add more people in the event group. Grapevine can also be a quick way to put things rolling, but you can speed up the process by telling your friends to invite some of their own friends to the party. Just make sure, that your house will not end up filling with completely unknown friends of your friends.

The timing and the address of the party and your personal contact information should be stated very clearly in the invitation. One should also invest on very detailed driving instructions, so that the friends who had too much fun at the preparty can also find there. Share the location of the party on Google Maps and let people know which public transportation can be used to get there.

Reminder Remember also, that some of the invited people will appear to the party without confirmation but at the same time, some of the confirmated guests will not appear to the party. So the guestlist will never be exact, but it will give some guide to plan the rest of the party.

2. WHERE TO PARTY?

When you know the amount of guests, you will begin to understand how much room you will need. House parties will not have any special room requirements - guests will just need a fridge, place to sit and a restroom. But the point of house parties is that parties are organized in a place that is free of charge and no outsiders are allowed. Usually this is home. Luckily there is no law that says that it must be your home, so if someone else has a better place to offer then go for it!

Protip 1 Try to keep the party in one or two rooms. This is how you will avoid bigger catastrophies, and the guests won't spread all over the house. If the weather allows, there is no reason why you couldn't have the party at your backyard.

Protip 2 Make sure if someone needs to stay over the night. If you don't get any enrolls, you should still have some extra bed clothes in hand and if needed, you can put the male latecomer sleep on a sofa.

3. WHEN TO PARTY?

Decide the date and time. Usually you should have house parties on weekends just for the neighbours. If you want to make sure that the date is good for all guests, take Doodle in use, for example. Besides having a starting time for the party, you should also decide the ending time. Although this time is not written on stone when to stop having fun, but it is a good guidetime when to move on to a bar.

Protip 3 Give a different starting time for different guests, so people will flow in evenly. This tactic should be used at least for the people who are always too early or the ones that arrive way too late. 

4. WHAT TO DO WITH THE PARTY PLACE?

I am sure that you home is beautiful and cosy, but does it look like a party place? It is easier to get into a party feeling when you don't feel like sitting in your neigbour's living room in a bright daylight.

Here are our tips for affordable decoration:

1. Big pile of super cheap glowsticks
Different size glowsticks are the basis of party decoration. These can be turned into flowers or letters or even best, they also work outside. So turn off your lights and give your guests some glowing sunglasses or glowing Mickey Mouse ears to put on their head - imagination is the limit!

2. Glow in dark balloons
Decorating couldn't be any easier. LED-balls can glow up to 15 hours, so they will last for the whole party. LED-balloons can also be used outside!

3. UV-products
Equip your room with UV-lights and give UV-pens and other UV-active products to your guests. UV-products are a certain success, and they will mesmerize even at afterparties!

4. Disco ball 
Disco ball is probably the biggest clische, but it works in places other than elementary school's disco.

5. Smoke machine
Smoke machine is perfect for creating some atmosphere and when you want to organize the best parties of the century without getting bankrupt!

The most important thing about party decorating and creating the right atmosphere is to darken or even dimming out the place. Same method is used in bars and for a good reason. Dimmed room feels more intimite and it makes people relax. Besides traditional blinds and curtains you can also use black garbage bags or black cardboard to block off the light. If you have UV-lights attached to your lamps with normal bulb bases (E14 and E27) you can create some art on the black cardboard using some UV-paint or UV-pens. Just remember to leave some space for the guests' drawings!

To make sure you will have a smooth party and for your own peace of mind, make sure you hide all easily to break and expensive items in advance. Mark the restrooms and places to smoke cigarettes very clearly too.

Protip 4 If parties continue in a bar, give some glowsticks to your friends to take with them. This is how you can easily keep the group together and no one can get lost. If you have enough glowsticks to share, you will definitely make some new friends at a bar. 

Protip 5 Tune your house parties into glow parties. Here you can find comprehensive instructions for how to arrange glow parties.

5. WHAT TO SERVE AT HOUSE PARTIES? AND WHERE TO FIND A GOOD PUNCH RECIPE?

At a good party you don't have to starve, but the organizer is also not responsible for ordering a pizza for each guest, or to spend their whole night in the kitchen. But when served alcohol drinks it is good to have some salty snacks on hand so nausea (and cleaning) can be avoided.

Potlucks are the cheapest and easiest way to get the table full of treats. Although you should coordinate what everyone brings on your Facebook event page, so every guest will not bring the same bag of potatoe chips. You can use the same potluck method for drinks too. Ask all guests to bring a good amount of alcohol and blends (which can also be enjoyed as non-alcohol drinks) and you will easily get several bowls of punch to be served. This is how that one guy, who always comes without drinks, will also get something to drink. Otherwise it is good to follow the principle where everyone brings their own drinks, so everyone will get enough beverages.

Traditional home punch is created by mixing soda, wine and vodka. You can also throw in a can of fruit or a splash of liqueur according to your taste. Sprite and mineral water are always good blends, which are easy to outsource. You can find more punch instructions from out previous article.

Protip 6 Buy disposable dishes and get at least two cups for each guest. Big, solo cups, known from American movies, also known as red cups, are always a good option and they can be used for several games (see the next part). You can also take a look on our other drink products.

Protip 7 Make sure that there is always some garbage bags and paper towels on hand. They should be located in all over the house, so that every room should have at least two garbage bags and two rolls of paper towels. One of the garbage bags is for empty cans. Can refunds are usually enough to pay the next day's brunch, even for several people. 

6. HOW TO AVOID AKWARD SITUATIONS LIKE STANDING AROUND AND ROLLING YOUR THUMBS? WHAT KIND OF GAMES AND ACTION SHOULD I HAVE IN MY PARTY?

Decorations give a nice start for the party, but a good music will keep the athmosphere up all night. Easy way to make sure, that not only one person's favorite music is being played, is to create a party list on Spotify. Anyone can go and add their favorites on this list. It is good to have some guidelines though:

No long songs on the list! The optimal length of a song is 3-5 minutes.

Not just indie-songs on the list, even though you might be a fan of a certain underground band.

Put the Spotify list link on the invitatioin, so everyone can add their favorites on the list in advance.

Protip 8 If a song is lost, you can also use Spotify's search:
  • Look for an artist: artist
  • Look for a track: track
  • Look for an album: album
  • Look tracks by the release year – year:XXXX-YYYY for example year:1969-1987
  • Use AND, OR, NOT operators – for example “What's that Backstreet Boys' song, not that As Long As You Love Me” would be searched as: Backstreet Boys NOT “As Long As You Love Me"

Drink games have been shown to be a great ice breaker when there is lots of people who don't know each other. For example beer pong is a sure hit, as long as you have red disposable cups and an empty table. Before starting the game you can go through the rules of beer pong if someone is not aware of them. Other games familiar to Finnish people are  buss driver and waterfall. Just try to keep all drinking games simple - a constant checking of the rules can kill the atmosphere!

Don't be afraid of other interactive party games. At their best, they can be very funny and they can get even the quietest players to open up. Board games can also be a lot of fun for a long time. Avoid watching movies, playing video games or something were two people are on focus point when other people just stand at the background.

Protip 9 Give the WiFi password to all of your guests. You can even paint it somewhere where it's easy to see using some UV-paint.

7. HOW TO CLEAN UP AFTER THE PARTY?

The party was a success, everyone had fun and everyone liked beer pong. Next day, dispite of feeling tired, you should get the house back to its normal condition. No worries! With these tips you can easily clean all the mess that was caused by the party.

1. Start by emptying all the surfaces.
First, take a carbage bag and walk around the house and pick all empty bottles and cans. Be careful and look all unusual places too, like under the bed and sofa, bathrooms and sauna. You might also want to take a look outside the house, if the party was on a first floor. Party elves hide cans here and there. In the other bag you will put all garbage. After you finished your bottle and can round, it is time to pick all the dishes laying around. Do not fill the sink though, leave the dishes next to the sink. Doing dishes is a lot easier if the sink isn't fully cramped right in the beginning.

2. Remove decoration.
Next it is time to clean away all disposable decorations and to put other items in to the closet to wait for the next party.

3. Pick all the clothes and put them in the laundry machine.
Pick all the clothes you find on the floor and put them in a laundry machine. Check which ones are yours and which ones are guests'. If someone lost something they will contact you later.

4. Do the dishes.
Next it is time to do the dishes. The pile of dishes is hopefully minimalized by using disposal dishes. While you are in the kitchen you might as well make some energizing coffee.

5. Wipe the surfaces.
When you can finally see some surfaces, it is time to pick the rag and start wiping off tables and counters. This is good to be done before vacuuming, so all the crumbs that drop on the ground can be cleaned on the next stage.

6. Vacuum.
Grab the vacuum in your pretty hands and start vacuuming.

7. Mop the floors
When you've vacuumed all the trash, it is time to remove sticky stains and other junk and mop the floors to get them shine.

8. Take empty bottles back to the store and grab a pizza.
Finally it is time to get the bottles to the store and spend all the bottle refunds on a day-after brunch. For the rest of the day it is recommended to have some juice and to watch nature documentaries.

Protip 10 You can place in the pizza order before you start cleaning, so when you are done the pizza is ready to reward you from all the hard work you've done.

Protip 11 Usually you feel more energetic the first thing in the morning rather than couple hours later, so cleaning should be started immediately after waking up. Put some happy music playing, so the work doesn't feel as bad. De La Soul works always.

These were our tips for how to organize a house party! What kind of tips would you have? Share your experiences on our Facebook page!

Looking for new ideas for a summer party? Click here and read our tips on how to organize a Venetian fete of the century!