Space Relations: How to Throw a Party While Living with Roommates

For us, this method worked well. I would stay at the party for a beer or two, but around midnight I’d start getting paranoid about people going into my bedroom or dropping shit all over the floor or barfing in the shower, and I would leave. It was a good solution considering that kicking people out so I could put on pajamas and watch America’s Next Top Model reruns wasn’t a realistic option. That said, there were a few things that I did before each party to try and prevent potential disasters, and I think it was doing those things that really assuaged my fears.

First off, stock up on toilet paper. You can never foresee just how much TP is going to be required for all manner of uses when you throw a party, so having an abundance is essential. Then you can pretend that if someone does something really disgusting, they’ll have the means to clean it up. Second, prep the fridge for total destruction. Do you have anything in there that you don’t want other people to eat or drink when your roommates throw a seven-hour party? Say goodbye to those things. Eat them, drink them, stash them elsewhere, or say bye-bye.

If you have a bunch of liquor that you don’t want to contribute to the party, hide it in your room. In fact, hide everything that you don’t want getting messed up. Did your mom buy you some fancy candleholders on a trip to Italy? Don’t leave those bad boys out on the coffee table, because someone will find a way to break them. Unfortunately, it’s not likely that you’ll be able to avoid major spills on the furniture, so just be glad that you didn’t pay a lot for it.

Beyond that, don’t expect your roommates to protect your stuff should partygoers get their grubby little hands on it. If one of your DVDs goes missing, or a glass gets broken or a lamp gets knocked over, it’s not your roommate’s fault. It’s just that some people do stupid things at parties, and that can’t be helped. Sad, but true.

Not worrying about all of these things will allow your roommate’s parties to have less of an impact on your life. These tips have worked in every apartment I’ve ever shared, from college through my twenties, and I firmly believe they’ve helped me stay sane. Over the years, my roommates and I haven’t always had the same taste in friends and music and how to have fun, so the definition of “a good time” has varied. One roommate’s friends might be into themed costume parties, while another’s might be into chugging Wild Turkey straight from the bottle and high-fiving a lot.

But just because I didn’t always want to be at those parties didn’t mean that I had to get annoyed by them. As much as it pained me to watch a pile of strangers get shitfaced and lounge around on my furniture, it was only for one night at a time. And I’ve come to learn that sometimes, you’ve just gotta lighten up. After all, your roommates will owe you one.

Email me at roommates AT crushable DOT com to suggest column topics, ask personal advice, or share whatever is on your mind. But don’t be shy in the comments below. Nothing is more entertaining than reading and sharing your own roommate experiences, and we’ve all got a few. Or a thousand.

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