Some gatherings are so casual they hardly qualify as parties: the after-work get-together at a coworker’s apartment or the impromptu invitation for a few neighbors to “drop by this evening.” Many of these parties are potlucks, with each guest bringing a dish or dessert.
The invitation and dress may be casual, but it’s still important to perform the usual hosting duties. Make sure the party area, kitchen, and bathroom are tidy, and close off any messy rooms. Unless the party is both a potluck and BYOB, make sure you have enough food and beverages for your guests, even if it’s take-out pizza, salad, and wine and water. Paper napkins are the sensible choice for very casual parties, as are sturdy biodegradable plates, utensils, and disposable cups. They’re not only in keeping with the spirit of the affair but also make cleanup easier. Look for alternatives to paper and plastic, such as reusable melamine or bamboo. If you’re using your own dinnerware and utensils, there’s no need to match styles and patterns.