When I was just starting my career, I lived in a three-bedroom apartment with two other girls. It was one of my favorite seasons of life, and I’m still close with my roommates today! Back then, we wanted to spend time with our friends and be hospitable, but with three girls and three friend groups it could get difficult at times. There was scheduling the use of the living room, getting parties approved by all of us and doing the ever-present clean-up duty afterward.
Fortunately, I had awesome roommates who made this easy! We agreed on who cleaned what and generally got along when it came to the apartment. This enabled us to host as often as we liked, and we communicated about parties as needed.
You might not have as ideal a situation, but it’s still possible to open your door even without a big living room or super welcoming roommates. It takes communication and creativity, but it’s possible. Here are a few things that might make it easier!
Involve Your Roommates in the Planning
If your friend group is dominating the space (and you don’t share friend groups), your roomie might start to feel like it’s not her space, too. So invite her into your planning! Ask her who she’d like to have over, what she’d like to do or if she’d like to be part of it. Maybe she won’t want any part of it, but at least you asked. Communicating and asking permission (not just doing it and telling her later) will go a long way in keeping the peace and making hospitality enjoyable for everyone.
Keep Things Simple
You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to be a great hostess. We are called to be in community, and part of cultivating community is opening our doors! So even if your house is messy or small, what matters is that you’re opening yourself up to the people around you. Use paper plates. Order pizza. Have everyone bring a snack. Do something simple like a crafting party or watch a movie. It doesn’t have to be elaborate!
Make Life the Occasion
We tend to think we need an occasion to get together, but that isn’t true. I remember grocery shopping with friends and thinking, This is so much fun! We did life together, and we didn’t need to have a special reason to hang out. Hospitality is about doing life with other people, not just inviting them over to be entertained. This takes pressure off you to perform, and it deepens your friendships!
So make life the “occasion.” Invite friends over to fold laundry together or to prepare meals for the week (and split grocery costs). Have a low-key party and all do the dishes and clean up together. Once again, it doesn’t have to be complicated!
While there can be downsides to apartment life, I can tell you (as a now-homeowner) that those days are some of my best memories. Don’t wait for the perfect house to open your door. You already have one. Invite people in!