How to Pull Off an Impromptu Dinner Party Like a Pro

There are occasions when you invite guests to have dinner in your apartment weeks in advance, giving you plenty of time to clean every cranny and plan an elaborate menu. And then, there are those last minute soirees that barely leave you enough time to change into your favorite LBD, let alone brine the main course for hours on end. Here’s how to throw an impressive, impromptu dinner party like a pro (we’re thinking of you, Martha!).

Do a Quick Clean

Even if your apartment is usually tidy, it’s never as clean as it is when you know guests are coming over. When you don’t have time for a thorough cleaning, focus your efforts on the areas where your guests will be. For a dinner party, it’s typically a good idea to:

  • Clean the sink, mirror and toilet in your bathroom
  • Clean kitchen surfaces
  • Sweep or vacuum the floors in your kitchen, dining room and living room
  • Tidy up your great room/living room
  • Take out the kitchen and bathroom garbage

You can coral clutter from various rooms by tossing everything in a basket and placing it in your bedroom with the door shut. If the weather is cold or stormy, place a portable garment rack near front door so that guests have a place to hang their coats without cluttering up your freshly cleaned space.

Keep the Menu Simple

Now is not the time to try that elaborate new recipe you found. Instead, cook something simple and seasonal that you have made countless times before. When you are comfortable with a dish, you prepare it much quicker and aren’t as stressed.

It’s also a good idea to keep your pantry stocked with non-perishable items for apartment entertaining such as:

  • Crackers
  • Dips mixes
  • Olives
  • Capers
  • Tortilla chips
  • Salsa
  • Nuts

Don’t forget the drinks! Always keep a few bottles of nice wine or craft beef in your fridge as well.

The more food and beverages you already have in your apartment, the less time you have to spend shopping for ingredients. You can also save time by purchasing pre-cut fruit and veggies.

Serve With Style

It doesn’t matter how basic your menu is as long as the presentation is fancy. Even take-out Chinese food becomes Instagram-worthy when served on pretty platters instead of in cardboard containers, and eaten off of stylish dinnerware.

Do you have any other go-to tips for hosting an impromptu dinner party? Share them in the comments below.

Amy Johnson

is UDR’s budding social media guru, and has been instrumental in constructing the brand’s content strategy. After graduating from University of Colorado- Boulder, she started working for UDR as a marketing intern. When she isn’t perusing the web for the perfect pins and Facebook posts, she can be found hiking somewhere with her dog Rory.

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