architectural-224242_640As a host or hostess, at some point in your life you’ll probably be faced with the dilemma of too many guests, and too little space. This issue can be especially problematic during the holidays, when you’re more likely to have out of town guests in addition to your usual circle of friends. But you can prevent an overcrowding dilemma from spoiling your guest’s good time (and yours!) with a little thoughtful advance planning. Take a look at these space maximizing tips; they may come in handy when you’re planning your next party.

Declutter Your House

It just makes sense: if you’re expecting a lot of guests, empty the tables and counters of photos, figurines and other bric a brac that might be accidentally knocked off onto the floor. This will protect your valuables, add more space for plates and wine glasses, and prevent what could be a safety hazard, if these small objects roll under a guest’s foot. Be sure to include larger (but still space-hogging and potentially hazardous) objects like magazine or umbrella holders, small tables, and freestanding art objects.

Open Your Patio or Balcony

It may seem counterintuitive, but unless there’s a gale blowing outdoors, you can often utilize your lawn or patio space, even in the winter. You can make a simple fire pit or buy an outdoor brazier at a home improvement store to provide warmth. Surround this source of heat with some outdoor chairs, warm blankets, and hot cocoa for a festive alternative to the living room.

Move Large Pieces of Furniture

You might be surprised how much space you can free up when you move a piano, sofa or pool table out of the way. If you’re seriously pressed for space, you can remove large, cumbersome pieces without having to hire furniture movers. You can call a furniture pro and arrange for a pool table disassembly before the party, and a quick reassembly afterwards.

Leave the Doors Open

If your living room is small, or if it will likely feel small because of the number of guests, be sure to open the doors to other parts of your home, so your guests will feel free to circulate into the kitchen, dining room and den as well. While you’ll probably want to shut off access to the more private areas of your home, such as the bedrooms, be sure to let your guests know that they can move from room to room.

Rearrange Your Furniture

Sometimes you can create more space by rearranging your furniture. For example, you can free up space by pushing two large pieces back to back, rather than allowing them both to take up space in the center of the room. Small tables can sometimes be removed, nested, or pushed under larger ones. You can even remove the center piece of a dining room table to make it smaller.

We hope these tips are a help! Feel free to leave some of your own suggestions in the comments section below.