Tips for entertaining within small spaces

Just because you do not have the square footage to entertain all your college buddies in your apartment, don't let this deter you from hosting football parties or dinners. With a little bit of preparation, your apartment can be the go-to hang-out spot for your friends.

Rearrange or buy: As you prepare for your guests, take a look at your current setup. Don't be afraid to move couches and center tables around to make room for additional seating. If you are hosting a dinner party, purchase a foldable picnic table or a dinette table for the living room. Your friends will have a comfortable place to sit as they dine, and the table will be easy to store after the night is over.

Take extra items, such as end tables, and temporarily place them in your bedroom so there is ample space to walk around or sit.

Also, as you rearrange your living room, set up various areas for a little privacy. For example, in one corner place a chair or bean bag for two or three guests to mingle. Then, set-up a different area with games like Jenga for friends who are looking for some competition. The ultimate goal is to provide several hang-out spots.

Lighting: In addition to regular lighting, use candles or string lights for a festive and comfortable ambience. Regardless of the size of your apartment, a few candles and fun lights will set a relaxing tone for the night.

Buffet: Instead of using the foldable picnic table to host the food spread for the evening, place all the food on an island or kitchen countertop.This way guests will have one area to sit down and a separate place for the food. Although guests will have to walk to get the food, there will be a comfortable space on the dining table for everyone to enjoy his or her meal.

Build up: Use cake stands and tiered baskets as much as possible in your spread. Tiered mini-desserts, fruits and cheese spreads can make the most out of the space. This will create more room for additional food items.

Coat closet: Don't let coats or large purses clutter up valuable space in the living room. Offer to hang your friends' jackets in the coat closet. If the coat closet is full, use your bedroom for additional storage.