The move-in is a distant memory. All the aggravation, the unearthed smells, and the incessant screaming from that day have now been, thankfully, repressed. So, now, whether you’ve meticulously nested into your new room through neurotic organizing, multiple Home Depot trips, and a label-making binge or just dumped out your bindle of clothes-rags next to your Craigslist mattress, you’re completely settled in at this time.
No question, complete with your bed/air mattress/beanbag stuffed with newspaper and your laptop/Sega GameGear/shamelessly porn-riddled imagination, as-it-is your room satisfies your primal needs of sleeping and procrastinating any real work. Yet you know there could be more and your inner social butterfly continues to nag. There’s potential for greatness here. This space could be a party room, conducive to crowds and fun instead of just HBO GO marathons and Cool-Ranch-crumb-loving ants.
Fantasies of a chic, adult Hey Arnold-esque, panty-dropping suite race though your mind, but, for one second, forget about all the mood-lighting fanciness, coffee table books about famous sailboat knots, and monogrammed drug mirrors. Before anything else, you need to add seating (1). Guests don’t want to stand; it’s always “Come in and sit down” not “Come in and stand awkwardly with a drink by my shitty bed.”
Throw some stained plywood on a radiator and it’s a bench. Do your best to steal a foldable or two from your next catered affair. Poach a fresh garbage couch before the animals or homeless have their way with it. With some focus and a little luck, you can furnish a whole room for close to zero dollars in a weekend plus a Trash Night. Next, find a configuration that maximizes drinking and fraternizing while minimizing inhibitions (2). Eliminate divisions; seek to create the polar opposite of a working office, for a cubicle field is an arrangement that inspires only destitution and suicide notes.
Like moths to a light or Rascal-Scooter riders to Old Country Buffet, party guests flock to booze purveyors. If you have the means, consider building a bar (3); otherwise, be sure to always stock a beer cooler/liquors crate/wine vat (4). People sans fun juice tend to wander off, searching for their fix and leaving your room to hopelessly rely on the less aggressive drinkers and designated drivers for entertainment.
Now stay in the visitor’s mindset and realize that evidence of socially reprehensible lifestyle choices should be stowed (5). A decanter of whiskey on an end table says, “Let’s get into some silly shenanigans,” while the same end table with a switchblade and hypodermic needle says, “I need help.” Similarly with your posters, pictures, and decorations, strive for neutral or well-liked (6). Ads for alcohol, Calvin and Hobbes stills, and posters for Ghostbusters fall into this category. I mean, anyone can see how a potential party patron could be completely turned off and repulsed by a life-size mural of an engorged Mitt Romney centaur.
Now, whether you’ve spent a buttload of money or just pieced this together from interesting trades and non-sexual favors, your party room is almost set. You’ll definitely want to keep a stash of drinking game materials on hand (7), i.e. dice, cards, entire N64s, for when you might need a little help kick-starting a night of healthy binging. And, lastly, utilize a sound system that pumps music throughout (8), because awkward silences are called that for a reason.