Use these time- and space-saving tips for holiday entertaining in a small apartment, condo, or cottage.
Washer and Dryer Bar
Washer and Dryer Bar
| Credit: Lee Harrelson

There are plenty of serving options when the crowd is large and the place is small. Follow our suggestions for easy entertaining.

Use lap trays and let your guests sit on the sofa and chairs in the living area. Don't worry about seating everyone around a table.

Serve restaurant-style, that is, serve each individual plate from the kitchen. This is perfectly acceptable when you don't have room to set up a buffet or to set all of the serving dishes on a dining room table for family-style serving.

Tidy up the laundry room and set the bar up on the washer and dryer. Cover the appliances with a festive tablecloth or sheet, then set up the ice bucket, glasses, and drinks.

Set up a couple of chairs on the porch or balcony, weather permitting.

Use a tub of ice for soft drinks, beer, and wine instead of taking up space in the refrigerator.

Don't take up valuable table space with a large centerpiece. Place a small flower arrangement or bowl of fruit or harvest vegetables on a side table in the living room.

Choosing Recipes

  • Select recipes that have a small number of ingredients since pantry space is limited.
  • Choose recipes with simple preparation steps since there's not much countertop space.
  • Use a slow-cooker to cook sides dishes if you have one oven, and the oven is small. You can plug the slow cooker or cookers in somewhere else in the apartment to save counter space.
  • Select dishes that can be cooked on the stovetop since there is one small oven.
  • Prepare a make-ahead salad that you can store in the refrigerator.
  • Go for a make-ahead dessert that you can store in the freezer for a week or two.
  • Choose recipes that serve close to the number of guests you're having so you won't have a bunch of leftovers with nowhere to store them.

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