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Freshers: a student's guide on throwing a house party

1st September 2015

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So you want to throw a house party, right? Okay, do you know what you’re doing? Seriously, do you even know what you’re getting yourself into here?

Let’s paint a picture: you’ve gone in without a plan and invited a couple of people over for a bit of a bash. They tell their friends, those friends tell their friends and suddenly you’ve got an open invitation to insanity.

What’s that over there? Oh just the local hobo urinating into your novelty mug. And in the corner? That's a group of scallies taking off with your TV. Your neighbour is banging on the front door asking why the hedge is on fire and your best mate and that strange guy from your Media Studies course are having a brawl.

You see what happens when you don’t have a plan? House parties need to be perfectly orchestrated in order to work. They’re stressful and time consuming but if you get it right, people are going to come back for more.

I know. I’ve thrown my fair share of both good and bad house parties and let me tell you, the last thing you want to be doing is fishing a turd out of your kettle at four in the morning. I had to use a tea strainer.

Fear not though, follow these simple guidelines and you should be fine.

The Ratio

Getting the male to female ratio right is the first step to any good house party. A party that resembles a stag-do in Tallin is never going to work. The first thing any girl will say to her friends when she steps over the threshold and realise she’s walked into an army barracks is “let’s get the hell out of here.”

Now, if you’re a female you should have no problem getting girls to turn up, and because of that you wont have any issues getting a load of guys to turn up either. If you’re a guy, though, this can be a little tricky.

The key is to create a welcoming and open environment for any member of the female sex to feel comfortable and relaxed in.


Any house party worth its salt will have a good playlist ready to go. Do not leave this to chance. The last thing you want to be doing is fiddling around with your Spotify account as people start to arrive – this is the quickest way to ensure your house party sucks.

You’re going to have all sorts of people there so try and cater to everyone’s tastes. Keep it nice and chilled for the first couple of hours, and then after a couple of drinks, turn the tempo up.

Play your music on something with a bit of clarity, and ensure you’ve got a reasonable amount of volume. Getting a noise complaint is the quickest way to ensure your landlord starts to hate you and your deposit isn’t going to come back.

Bear in mind, there will be a point in the night where someone wants to take over. More likely than not it’ll be someone who’s into house music. This is fine, let them spin a tune or two, three max. You’ll then be able to tell whether or not they’re doing a decent job or not from the looks on peoples faces.

House parties are the purest form of democracy known to man – majority really does rule here. The main thing is to keep the ladies happy, if they’re dancing you know it’s all good. If it’s not working out for this faux DJ, grab them a beer or offer them a shot to tear them away from the turntables and stick Uptown Funk on.


Not everyone will bring their own booze and most people won’t bring enough booze to see them through to the end of the night. If your house runs dry by midnight, you’re in deep trouble. Get a few cases of beer, at least three cheap bottles of vodka and plenty of mixers and stagger their release throughout the night. You’re going to want to keep your own secret stash as well, somewhere really well hidden.


You’re not a kid anymore, no one is going to be expecting cake and a full spread of egg sandwiches. So just get a few cheap snacks from Lidl and save your money on food for something more useful. Also make sure you have a loaf of bread in the house to help sober up those who peak too early.


If your house party is any good (which, if you thoroughly digest this article, it will be) your neighbours are going to know about it, so it’s always good to give them a fair warning.

Introduce yourself and let them know that you’re going to be having a few friends over the night before. Safest option is to invite them over. They can’t be that angry at you if they’re dancing to Britney Spears and still sampling your punch at 4am.

The End Of The Night

You’ll know when it’s time to call it a day when the sun is coming up or everyone has passed out. Kick out the stragglers who are still standing and ensure that anyone sleeping in various places in the house is woken up, sobered up and out of the house too... call a cab for them if you want to ‘shove them out’ politely but firmly.

The Hellish Morning Clear-Up

In the spirit of good house sharing, everyone needs to take a bin bag and clear up any bottles, fag butts and congealed foods. Then it’s probably best to think about calling in some cleaning services - an on-demand cleaning app like Bizzby is going to be your best friend the next day. Then you can all go to the pub for a roast.

By Nick Katz, ‘Chief Housemate’ at household management app, Splittable, house party DJ, and serial flat-mate.

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