Parties should be fun; you shouldn’t be running around like a maniac attempting to get every detail “just right.” This 5-step guide to easy entertaining will help you actually enjoy the party and offers a great way to pull off just about any get together.

Entertainingin 5 Steps

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1. Hide ‘N (Not) Seek

Pressed for time? Don’t feel like cleaning the entire house? Don’t! Instead, concentrate on tidying up the rooms you want guests to have access too. Toss everything that doesn’t belong in the room your guests will be in into another room they won’t be able to get to.

While not recommended as a solution for every day cleaning, it’s a quick and easy solution for party hosts who are pressed for time. Close and/or lock the doors of any rooms you don’t want guests trickling into, and provide clean towels and new soap for the bathroom your party-goers will use.

2. Think Small for a Big Impact

Decorations are nice, but not if you’re stressing over everything from the centerpieces to table arrangements. Rather than going overboard, focus on a few key elements when decorating for the party.

Flowers are great, but you can also place decorative votive holders strategically around the room or use items that fit with the season. Use your imagination, but keep decorations focused and non-intrusive. You’ll make a much bigger impression this way.

3. Party Food at your Fingers

Cooking everything you plan to serve at your party can be a great way to add a homemade touch to the festivities, but it’s not always practical. Consider having the party catered if your budget allows, or simply order takeout and serve in pretty dishes and on serving platters.

If you must be hands-on with the food, create light and simple dishes and appetizers. Finger foods are great, and significantly reduce the amount of cleanup. Food Network offers a list of more than 50 no-cook recipes that you can create for your next get-together without slaving over a stove all day.

You can also try Casual Cooks, a forum where you can share recipes and food ideas with others. You just might find a recipe to try!

4. Mix and Mingle

No one likes an invisible host; if you’re too worried about every last detail, you’ll be too consumed to mingle with your guests. Try enlisting the help of friends and relatives who will be at the party to help with simple tasks such as setting the table or serving food, and use that time to chat with party guests.

5. Allow Guests to Serve Themselves

Rather than setting up a full bar where you’ll have to pour drinks all night, set up a small table for easy access so guests can mix their own beverages. Better yet, ask everyone to bring a bottle of their favorite drink to add to the festivities.

This way, you won’t foot the entire alcohol bill yourself; what’s more, allowing guests to serve their own drinks will free up more time for you to enjoy yourself.

These 5 steps to easy entertaining should guarantee an enjoyable event for both you and your guests. By incorporating these tips into your next get-together, you’ll be able to throw a great party with minimal hassle and lots of fun.

Pic of the Day: Look at that path and those sweet little flaily fins

Look at that path and those sweet little flaily fins