My husband turned thirty a few weeks ago, woohoo! To celebrate, we had some friends over for homemade sushi, drinks, and most importantly, chocolate cake. We all packed into our small apartment and it was a really sweet time!
Throwing parties as a minimalist can be challenging. We have a small, one bedroom apartment with no kitchen table, only a handful of chairs, and only two wine glasses. So how in the world does a minimalist throw a party?
Here are some ways that I’ve tackled this challenge.
Release myself from what I perceive others will think. I think most people would spend their time enjoying each other’s company rather than judging the choice of dishes or decor, so I’ve released myself from my own pressure of having dishes for very specific uses and occasions. This also prevents me from collecting too many items that aren’t used on a continual basis.
Getting creative with what I own. I gather all possible dishes including our fruit bowl and junk bowl and use them as serving dishes. Fun fact: a large wok works well as a serving dish. I also pull out a few dinner plates, mugs, and utensils from the closet. I try to not store things, but I find that we use our extra dishes enough to justify having them in short-term storage. Storing them also keeps them out of the way in our small kitchen.
Shop thrift stores for the extras. If I need a couple extra things, I like purchasing them from a thrift store and re-donating them after the party. This prevents us from creating waste from disposable items and, let’s face it, a $0.10 real wine glass from a thrift store looks way better than a plastic cup. It’s also a small but creative way to give back to the community.
Be comfortable with not having enough seats. One day I would like to have an enormous kitchen table, but sitting at our breakfast bar or couch to eat with guests hasn’t been terrible. Our lack of seating has been limiting at times, but I’m learning to work with what we have for now by bringing in our two patio chairs or simply sitting on the floor. Though, our lack of conventional seating hasn’t really hampered conversation with guests, win!
I love cloth napkins. I don’t like storing gobs of expensive disposable napkins so we use a handful of beautiful cloth napkins that my mom made me for Christmas last year. I’ve enjoyed reading about how Bea Johnson uses cloth napkins. Not every guest will use a napkin, so I’m comfortable not having enough for every person.
Get creative with simple decor. I really enjoy simple decor that somewhat blends in with the surroundings to lessen distractions. Colorful decorations look awesome, but I use subtle decor so I’m drawn to my guests rather than my decor. I created the paper mobiles in the picture above by attaching scraps of heavy white cardstock to thread. They only took ten minutes to make and were so festive in their own simple way! They were recycled after the event to prevent clutter.
When I was initially downsizing, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to throw a sufficient party with less stuff. On the other side of the picture now, I think with a little planning and creativity, it’s completely possible to enjoy time with people in a small, minimalist space. I’d love to know if anyone else has had that “what if I throw a party?” fear while downsizing and would love to hear how anyone’s made it work. Feel free to share thoughts in the comment section below!