The big game is right around the corner! And no matter who you’re rooting for, what better way to do it than in the comfort of your own home? With a dash of prep and ingenuity, you can make your shindig a stress-free hit. Here’s how.

Get a head start

Nothing says pain-free like a head start. So gauge the size of your home and the number of guests you’ll have over. This’ll help you determine whether to rock out the buffet table or — hey, why not? — just order pizzas. Whatever direction you go with, pick foods and drinks that can be made or prepped ahead of time or served at room temperature. The more you do before the party begins, the more time you have to relax, focus on your guests, and enjoy the game.

Beat the long lines and added stress by shopping in advance. Think you’ll only need one case of beverages? Throw in a couple extra bottles. Same goes for ingredients — you don’t want to have to pop out for extra supplies at the last minute.

Design interactive food stations 

Give your guests something more to do than yell at the screen: offer interactive food stations. Set up a cheese dip table with chunks of meat, bread, and fruit. Or create a decorate-your-own cupcake dessert bar. All you need are some cupcakes plus various icing flavors and toppings —candy, nuts, sprinkles, and fresh fruit. Your guests will have a blast “making” their own dessert. And it’ll take some pressure off of hosting duties. 

Hashtag it

We’re living in the digital age. And what better way to share the success of your awesome party than on social media! Create a hashtag in advance and make sure all your guests know it. Then share your wifi so everyone can stay connected while watching the big game.

Make cleanup easy

Let’s face it — cleaning up after a party can be a huge pain. So be kind to yourself by placing well-labeled trash, recycling, and compost bins around the house so people know where to dispose trash. Make sure to provide plenty of napkins to avoid any messy spills. Even have an “emergency cleaning kit” on hand, just in case.

Stay safe

Some of your friends may up sleeping over so make up guest beds ahead of time. No one wants likes futzing around with fitted sheets at 1 o’clock in the morning! Have plenty of blankets and pillows available for those crashing on the couch. (To really wow your overnight guests, prep a breakfast casserole in advance so all you have to do is pop it in the oven the next morning!) For those who aren’t staying over, remember to rely on ride share services, public transportation, or (even hirable) designated drivers. It may go without saying but we’ll say it anyway: NEVER drink and drive. 

DIY hacks | Home and garden

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about Hannah

Hannah Fairbanks is a freelance writer living in San Francisco with her husband and 2 daughters. When she’s not writing, you might find her reading, packing bento box lunches for her kids, and making sure she gets in at least 10,000 Fitbit steps a day.