How to Entertain Company in a Small Mobile Home

Do you feel like you can’t invite company over to your small house or host Christmas dinner because of the small space? Read these ideas from my personal experience of how to entertain company in a small mobile home. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, a picnic or just one family you want to host, fear no more. You can plan a dinner party or birthday party in your apartment, single wide mobile home or small house without stress of where to put everyone.

When we purchased our homestead in the country, there was a 1979 single wide mobile home in the back. While we worked (are working) on the massive DIY farmhouse renovation, we moved into the mobile home, which we lovingly named Bertha. Once Bertha underwent her own makeover, she didn’t look half bad!

Caleb and I both grew up in the area, so we have lots of family and friends nearby. And since this renovation is a long term play, we didn’t want to put off living our life until _____. So we have regularly invited company over to our small home. Sometimes it’s one couple at a time, other times it’s a guest list of 20+ people crowded inside during the winter and still other times it’s a large group of 60 people having a cookout. 

We have set up our home and outside area so that it doesn’t feel crowded or overwhelming. And while I understand that not everyone has a huge outdoor open space to host, I still believe you can entertain company inside no matter the square feet of your home. Here are my ideas from three years of experience as small-space dwellers for how to entertain company in a small mobile home (or any style of home with smaller spaces).

How to Entertain Company in a Small Mobile Home

Scheduling Guests

People are busy, so actually scheduling guests and dinner parties can be one of the most difficult things to accomplish. In general, I schedule at least two families at the same time. This is a great way for us to enjoy and get to know more people in our home during the year. Also, when I’m busy cooking or with the kids, it creates a buffer for me entertaining…the other guests can chat and have a good time without me stressing about being two places at one time. 

Set 2 – 3 possible dates in your month

Pick 1 – 2 families 

They don’t always have to be friends or in the same life situation. I love inviting an older couple and a younger family at the same time to mix it up and help us connect!

Contact your primary family and schedule

Contact the secondary family. If the date doesn’t work for them, then move to another family.

Be creative on times

You don’t have to be stuck on weekend supper times as the event planner. Saturday morning brunch, Tuesday afternoon play dates and Sunday afternoon picnics are all fun ways to mix it up.


Owning and decorating with the right kind of furniture is a big part of being able to host company in your tiny house with limited space. Since you can’t have extra accent chairs stored in your living area, furniture you use must serve multiple purposes. Storage ottomans in the bedroom become stools for company to sit on. The coffee table becomes a bench at the kitchen table for extra people. Any large piece you have, whether it’s a plant stand or a storage ottoman, try to think of an item that can be repurposed as seating when your house is full with a small group or large party.

The coffee table doubles as a bench

The kitchen table extends to larger size

Ottomans are bedroom storage that can be pulled out for stools

Pretty folding chair used as an office chair can be pulled out for company

Bar stools can tuck under the peninsula kitchen counter or large kitchen island

Kids can eat on a blanket on the living room floor picnic style


The time for experimenting with impressive and fancy food is NOT when company is coming over even if you’re a very skilled cook. I choose about three meals that we can use over and over again that are inexpensive (feeding extra people is costly!), quick to prepare and can be almost completed before people arrive. Since you only have three options to choose from, preparing a menu won’t be stressful. **Note: if you’re on a tight budget, pick a main course that includes beans (such as tacos), pasta (such as spaghetti) or rice (such as chicken stir fry). These are great, inexpensive fillers making them some of the best food options to prepare on a regular basis!

Let the guests bring a side dish if they offer 

Ask guests about any allergies when you invite them

Prepare all food as much as possible ahead of time

Set up food buffet style

Pick a repeating “company” gluten free meal (or other common allergies) for when you have guests with special diets

  • Build your own tacos
  • Fajitas
  • BBQ pulled pork (pork is inexpensive, easy to do in the crockpot and guests can choose to have it on a bun or go gluten free)

Pick a repeating “company”  family friendly meal (or tailored to your type of company)

  • Homemade pizza, fruit and tossed salad
  • Hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill, chips and potato salad
  • Spaghetti, tossed salad and breadsticks

Pick a repeating “company” dessert

  • Brownies
  • Cookies
  • Apple crisp

Cleaning House

Don’t wait until the day company arrives to do a massive deep clean of your house, especially the kitchen & bathroom. This is a recipe for stress and yelling at your kids. I do like things to be clean and tidy but I don’t expect things to be perfect. Since it’s a small home with less space, we don’t have to spend tons of time cleaning, but things do get messy real fast since you can see everything that is out in plain sight. I do a big clean the week before company comes if I can and then schedule throughout the week special cleaning tasks. The day of company, I just tidy up my home.

Don’t apologize for the “mess,” size or anything about your home

I have been in homes where the hostess kept apologizing for the mess. I looked around and thought that if she thought THIS was a mess then I certainly wasn’t going to invite her to my house (which was truly a mess!). When you apologize for things that you would like to change, it ends up making the guests feel awkward. (I’ve done it too!) I know, it’s easy to do because we are uncomfortable or ashamed of certain things. But trust me, most people won’t notice or care about your scuffed up baseboards or too small bathroom. They WILL notice how they feel in your home.

Do a regular big (but not massive) house clean the week before

Schedule small extra cleaning jobs throughout the week

  • Wipe down walls
  • Clean the refrigerator
  • Sweep the porch and clean up outside
  • Do a 15 minute blast clean every morning, afternoon and evening to keep things manageable
  • Do a final surface clean, tidying and arranging the day of company

Setting Up an Outdoor Space

You may have ten acres or you may have a small mobile home lot or you may have an apartment balcony. Most homes have some space outside they can enjoy with company. You could even go to the park for a picnic or use your apartment complex’s shared space. Whatever your situation, size of your home, or type of party, set up an outdoor entertaining space that can be enjoyed in nice weather, if possible. This will extend your entertaining area and make it not feel so crowded.

Get appropriate outdoor dining furniture for your space or ask guests to bring a lawn chair

Set up a food and drink serving table

Hide an ugly or weird dining table situation with tablecloths

Buy a pretty plant, pick some wildflowers or get some pumpkins (in the fall) for simple decoration

If it’s chilly, you can be a thoughtful host by providing a basket of throw blankets

If a family has a baby or very young child, have a blanket to throw on the ground and a few baby toys

Planning Entertainment

You can either sit around and talk, have a bonfire (firepit), watch an outdoor movie or have games ready. It’s really up to your personality and what type of guests are coming. This is the area where I stress the most. I can invite people, I can serve food, but oooh the entertaining! Don’t let this stop you though. You may have to go through some trial and error, but try to relax. Have a game or two ready next time, but don’t stress if it doesn’t happen.

Easy card or table game ready for slow time (inside or outside)

I love the Questions for Humans pack of card conversation starters HERE. They have a deck for various relationships (older people, friends, married couples, etc).

Outdoor activities for all ages

Instead of bemoaning the fact that you have a small apartment or home, go ahead and invite people over! Start with a couple close friends you’re comfortable with, set a date on your calendar and do it. I know it’s hard at first, but once you do it a few times, it gets easier. Use the tips here of how to entertain company in a small mobile home (or whatever style of tiny home you have) to help you feel more prepared for a fun time.

Read more about living in a small home below

How to Fit Two Kids in a Small Mobile Home Bedroom

64 Storage Ideas for a Small Home

How to Decorate a Mobile Home Living Room

DIY Mobile Home Remodeling Ideas

25 Ways to Make Your Older Mobile Home More Energy Efficient

Pin for Later How to Entertain Company in a Small Mobile Home


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