Zero-Prep Party Guide

It happens to the best of us: Someone floats the idea of a party, either in the group text thread or after you run into some friends on your way home from the office. Now, generous and over-ambitious host that you are, you’ve suddenly volunteered your home.

And — surprise! — everyone will be arriving in a matter of hours. Oh, and you’re also burnt out from the workweek, your fridge is empty, your house is a mess and you have absolutely no idea how you’re going to pull this all together and manage to make yourself presentable before your guests start knocking on the door. But stay calm! Thankfully, there’s DoorDash.

With a huge variety of stores to choose from, DoorDash makes it easy to get everything you need for an á la minute bash in just a few clicks, so you can focus on the more important things — you know, like showering and stuffing all your dirty clothes into the closet. And with DashPass by DoorDash, you’ll pay $0 in delivery fees on eligible orders, so you won’t feel guilty for ordering in.

Read on for our zero-prep party checklist, and rest easy knowing that everything you need will arrive before your guests do — with time to spare.

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Celebration Supplies

Let’s get the necessities out of the way first. If you’re serving snacks and drinks (which, of course, you should), you’ll need plates, cups, napkins and cutlery, at the very least. Balloons and streamers are optional and time-dependent, but everyone will be impressed with you if you can pull them off. With your local Party City, you can choose a color theme or opt for occasion-specific supplies for birthdays, baby showers or engagement parties. (You can even get a glittery “bride-to-be” sash and tiara, so your newly engaged coworker will think you’ve had this planned for weeks.) Tiny cowboy hats, or hats shaped like tacos, are also available. You know, just in case.

overhead view of group of friends enjoying buffet of food during party

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Snacks & Drinks

Arguably the most important part of the party is the part that’s going to keep it fueled all night long: namely, the food. Consider ordering an assortment of dumplings from your go-to Chinese spot, or a tray of mini tacos with chips and guac on the side from a local restaurant. (Remember those taco-shaped hats?) For drinks, look for pre-batched canned cocktails — which can be as highbrow or lowbrow as you like — from a nearby liquor store. Simply have guests pour them into festive cups and call it a day. Cocktail umbrellas are optional but encouraged. A case of flavored seltzers from DashMart will show your non-drinking friends that you’re thinking of them too. And don’t forget a few bags of ice!

friends having fun while playing board at the backyard

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Activities & Ambience

A party hosted at home needs some kind of entertainment, even if it’s just a high-quality portable speaker blasting the ’90s-hits playlist you usually reserve for your treadmill runs at the gym. With the music mood set, group party games can help give guests something fun to focus on when they’re tired of talking about their day jobs. Pro tip: Order a fine-tip permanent marker, and have guests write silly truth-or-dare ideas on tumbling tower blocks as they play. You’ll end up with a custom set you can whip out at parties over and over again.

fruit bouquet

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A Sweet Centerpiece

No party is complete without a showstopping dessert, so hit up your nearest Edible, which these days has a lot more to offer than just bouquets of flower-shaped pineapple slices. (Though they have those too, if that’s your vibe.) A platter of their chocolate-covered strawberries and apple slices and a festive, confetti-filled vanilla birthday cake will hit the spot.

top view collection of cleaning supplies

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The final piece is admittedly not the most fun, but you’ll be glad DashMart has trash bags, paper towels and all-purpose cleaner so you can be ready when the party’s over and all that’s left is a mess with your name on it. Maybe opt for a scented cleaning spray, to give yourself the gift of aromatherapy while you put your home back in order.

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