top ten quick tips...

1. Stay away from board games with a lot of complicated rules and explanations. Stick to word association games that move fast.

2. Relying on iPod shuffle is playing musical Russian roulette. Always make a playlist.

3. Themes can be fun, but don't overdo it.

4. Find out if your guests have vegetarian preferences or food allergies.

5. Prepare as much food as you can in advance, so when the time comes you only have to assemble ingredients.

6. Make one or two extra servings in case someone brings an unannounced +1.

7. Buy disposable Tupperware to send home leftovers with guests.

8. Put the garbage can out in plain sight, and make sure the dishwasher is empty to make cleanup easier.

9. Divide and conquer. Make sure your roommate or significant other pitches in. Use the golden rule: He or she who did not cook does dishes.

10. Get together with your friends and make it a weekly or monthly ritual.