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Last-Minute New Year’s Eve Party Hacks: Pull It Together in Under 10 Minutes

Throwing a memorable party is easier than you might expect.

If you’re planning on having a New Year’s Eve party, you might be feeling pressure to make it perfect. Fortunately, there are some clever tips that will help keep stress to a minimum and make your party one to remember. Read on to learn about five hacks that will let you breeze through your party to-do list and start the year with a bang.

To Nix Post-Party Mess: Use Water Candles

Candles add ambience to any gathering, but wax stuck to the bottom of a votive or hurricane holder makes for cumbersome cleanup. To avoid it, “Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the holder,” says party planner Sally Gibson ( “The drippings will float without making a mess.” Or just place floating candles in a water-filled dish for a wax-free cleanup.

To Boost Festive Tunes: Use a Bowl ‘Speaker’

It’s not a New Year’s party without a rousing rendition of “Auld Lang Syne.” To get the music flowing without a Bluetooth speaker, pop your phone into a bowl or mug, suggests party expert Marley Majcher ( “The bowl will amplify your phone’s speaker, ensuring your favorite tunes easily fill the entire room.”

To Make Drinks Easy to Find: Use These IDs

No need to buy drink charms to help guests keep track of their beverages. Just grab balloons and make your own. To do: Cut the stem off each balloon (using different colors), then slide the remaining piece over the bottom of a wine glass. Bonus: The balloons double as coasters!

To Keep Trash Tidy: Use a Laundry Basket

Not only are empty soda cans or crumb-filled plates an eyesore, they can lead to spills and stains, says Majcher. “I line a few laundry baskets with two to three garbage bags each — so I have a new bag at-the-ready once I pull one out — and put them out near high-traffic spots, such as the bar or seating areas.” This way, there’s an easy place for guests to toss trash that won’t ruin the decor.

To Chill Bubbly Fast: Use an Upcycled Planter

To keep the all-important champagne cool, simply add ice to an empty plant container, says Ashley Schuering ( If it has a drainage hole, line it with a plastic bag before adding ice. Also smart? If you have a two-sided sink, fill one side with ice or turn your bathtub into an ice-filled cooler.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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