Parties are the best… unless they’re stressful, expensive and leave your apartment looking like a crime scene. Having had our fair share of fun parties with too much baggage, and amazing parties that were drama-free and easy to throw, we’ve got some important things for you to keep in mind.

DO make a trip to Costco or another discount store that sells snacks in bulk. You’ll be sure to have enough treats on hand in this case, and won’t have to spend a fortune buying a million tiny bags of crisps from the shop around the corner.

DON’T assume people will magically bring drinks or contribute food. Instead, specifically ask a few reliable friends to make something yummy or bring a load of beer. We’re guessing they’ll be happy to help — since everyone loves a party.

DO make a huge batch of sangria or spiked punch. The ingredients are cheap, and having a whole bunch of one delicious beverage mixed up and ready to go means you won’t have to play bartender all night. Ask your guests to contribute extra libation options like wine and beer.

DON’T buy helium filled balloons that cost a fortune. Instead, blow up a bunch of balloons yourself, and hang them from the ceiling (or high up on the walls). Be sure to leave a few kicking around on the ground too, for guests to enjoy.

DO party-proof your place. That means storing breakables in safe places, removing electronics from anywhere they could have a drink spilled on them and hiding items of value (better safe than sorry). A party after which you have to replace a wine-soaked laptop is not a night to remember.

DON’T forget the garnishes (for drinks and otherwise). A pretty slice of lemon or a fun straw to sip through helps fancy-up even the most basic of gin and tonics. These little touches don’t cost much, but go a long way toward making the whole evening feel more festive. And in that vein, don’t forget hats.

DO take pictures! Maybe set up a makeshift photo booth with silly little costume bits or a big old car boot sale frame to encourage people to get creative. Create a party hashtag and make sure everyone knows it, so you can see all the images in one place the next day. #cantstopwontstop #sozzlewerenotsozzle #shakeitlikeapolaroid

DON’T underestimate the power of asking for a musical favour – The mate who has the Psychedelic Soul 3 piece band or the amateur DJ pal who could inject some good beats for your guests are sure to spread some good vibes at no extra cost.