Throwing the perfect home party can be a little overwhelming. Learn how to do it with these 8 hacks.

Congratulations! You’re boldly going where few dare to go—your own home! Hosting any home party can be overwhelming and stressful. It’s easy to get lost in the Is my house clean enough? worry or Will there be enough food? fear. But it’s important to remember that your primary concern should be Are my guests comfortable?

No one will notice if you forgot to dust the top of the bookshelves, but they will remember that your home felt warm and welcoming. Keep these eight party hacks in mind as you’re planning out your home party adventure. They’ll help your guests feel comfortable, and keep you at ease.

8 Hacks for Planning a Home Party

1) LOCK ANY DOORS to rooms you don’t want guests in. Chances are no one will go snooping, but it’s always awkward to open the door to a bedroom instead of the bathroom. Help avoid that confusion by locking any doors you can.

Bonus Tip: If there are young kids, put furniture in front of any stairs.

2) PUT OUT EXTRA TOILET PAPER and other bathroom necessities. Bottom line—we all use it, but no one wants to ask for it. Leave a few extra rolls out, and check periodically to make sure there’s always plenty, along with soap and hand towels.

3) LEAVE THE FRONT DOOR OPEN so you don’t have to keep answering door bells—or accidentally ignore the knocks you can’t hear from the kitchen. An open door (with closed screen or storm door, of course) shows your guests where to enter, and tells them, “Come right in!”

4) GO WITH PLASTIC everything. Plates, utensils, cups, bowls, smaller plates—all of it. This reduces your clean-up time, and prevents your personal dishes from breaking. Our favorite brand is Occasions, who sells formal plasticware that looks nice, while being strong enough to hold all that yummy food.

5) PLAY MUSIC QUIETLY in the background. Let’s face it—silence can be awkward. Providing a little ambiance puts guests at ease, and can even provide talking points for guests who are both enjoying the melody.

6) OFFER FOOD INSIDE, even during outside parties. You want your guests to feel comfortable everywhere, and that includes inside. By providing just a little food, you’re extending the festivities indoors so no one feels out of place when they need a quick social break. Guests arriving for the first time also won’t feel out of place if they’re walking into a quiet house, with no signs of a party.

7) KEEP BATHROOM DOORS OPEN. They don’t have to be wide open, but if guests can see inside, they can easily locate the restroom. No one really wants to ask where the restrooms are—and they definitely don’t want to go opening random doors (which they wouldn’t, because you locked them all…right?).

8) PROVIDE MULTIPLE TRASH CANS, ideally one inside and one outside, so guests know where to put their trash. If you’re using plastic dishes that are recyclable, offer two recycling bins, too. But don’t forget to clearly label them, and list out what items go in each bucket. You should be picking up on the common theme by now—guests don’t want to guess or ask.

8 Hacks for your home party

Planning a party at your house is a lot of work, that’s for sure. But as you’re getting ready to have friends and family over to your home, remember what’s really going to make the difference—ensuring that they have a good time. This means making things clear for them, so they don’t have to ask you ten different questions. Plus, it helps so you don’t have to answer ten different questions from forty people!

And if you’re planning an outdoor barbecue, take a look at the best backyard games you can play—whether you have a big or a small yard!