Parties are fun and can be easy to plan for when you know what you’re doing, but there’s one area that’s often overlooked when it comes to buying supplies. And it’s the one room that could ruin the whole soiree if not appropriately prepped. (Insert cringe-worthy party-pooper pun here.)

That’s right, the bathroom.

This oft-used, yet often-forgotten room holds the fate of your party within its walls. So, in lieu of letting your loo ruin a good time, you should secure these seven bathroom supplies and prep your potty-room doomsday style so that your party doesn’t go down the…well, you know.

Bathroom Essential #1: Toilet Paper

Just as a party would run afoul if someone brought chips without dip, your party will literally run afoul if the bathroom isn’t packed with toilet paper. So, before the party starts, stick a brand-new roll on the vine, and make sure there’s enough to go around.

And, so that your guests don’t cry at the sight of cardboard, extra “party supplies” should be placed in an obvious area, like on the back of the toilet or on a visible supply stand. And don’t forget to hide emergency rations somewhere nearby so that you can resupply with ease.

Additional Tip: Toilet paper comes in all sizes, styles, and plies, which means there’s a kind for every occasion. If you’re throwing an “I’m moving out and I don’t care about my security deposit” kind of party, the cheap, single-ply stuff will do just fine. If you’re throwing anything fancier, however, you might want to think about another brand.

Bathroom Essential #2: Air Fresheners

The first line of defense against a dirty bathroom is improving the smell. It doesn’t matter how clean things are, if it smells like you-know-what, the look of it won’t matter in the least. (And the rest of the night will be spent in whispers as your guests attempt to solve the sudden whodunit.)

Luckily, there are plenty of choices to help fight the foul air. I suggest securing two types: a spray that your guests can use themselves and another, decorative item that will make up for your friends’ lack of class.

Decorative items include:

  • Potpourri
  • Fragrance sticks
  • Air-purifying plug-ins

Additional Tip: While candles and incense often work better than other options, they tend to run out faster and can be difficult to replace in a pinch. (Also, fire.)

Bathroom Essential #3: Soaps and Sanitizers

hands washing with soapTake a walk down an aisle of bathroom supplies and you’ll find every handwashing scent under the sun including, in some cases, the scent of the sun itself along with an assortment of alien ingredients that all claim to combat germs better than “the leading brand.”

The good news is, according to the FDA, all you need is good, old-fashioned soap and water to keep things clean.

Spice it up with a sleek dispenser cover or a stylish soap dish, and suddenly you’re not just battling unwanted bacteria, you’re also hiding the fact that you bought the cheap stuff.

Additional Tip: While it’s true that soaps are better than sanitizers, there’s no reason why you can’t use both. In fact, it’s a good idea to put out bar soap, liquid soap, and hand sanitizer so that your guests have the option. (It’s also nice to have an immediate backup when one of the items runs out.)

Bathroom Essential #4: Towels

Have you ever been the sixteenth person to dry your hands on a towel that’s been sitting on a rack for who knows how long? Let me tell you, it’s gross. Like, drying-your-hands-on-a-crusty-sponge gross.

Cloth towels get damp and dingy as the night wears on, so unless you’re planning on replacing them every couple of hours, I’d suggest stocking up on some disposable paper towels. They’ll cut down on the spread of germs, and, depending on the kind you get, they can add some much-needed style to an otherwise empty room.

Additional Tip: Cloth towels shouldn’t be ignored completely. While they may not be the best for drying a hundred hands, they’re great for mopping up messes. Keep a few hidden nearby in case there are any (literal) party fouls that need to be cleaned up along the way.

Bathroom Essential #5: A (Visible) Trash Can

trash can with orange linerAnd now a public service announcement from someone who’s been to too many parties thrown by friends with too much grace and dignity to know what’s good for them…

Do not hide the trash can!

It’s obvious to put a trash can in a bathroom. What’s not obvious, though, is putting one in plain sight.

Don’t get cute and camouflage the can. It’s best to put that thing right where everyone can see it so you don’t find yourself with even more of a mess to tackle at the end of the night.

Additional Tip: If you’re planning for a larger party, you might want to swap out your usual trash can for something bigger. Also, if your friends are gross, or if they drink too much—or both—scented can liners will do wonders for the smell.

Bathroom Essential #6: They That Must Not Be Named (Or Seen)

There are two essential bathroom supplies that no one wants to talk about or even look at because they have to do with dirty duties. Here’s a hint: one helps clean the toilet, and the other one helps unclog it.

There are plenty of items that you can buy to help hide or conceal these unnamed necessities. So, for the sake of your sick friend’s dignity, and to prevent a disastrously dirty bathroom, supply these essentials.

Additional Tip: It doesn’t matter how well you hide these items. They’re not like the trash can. If someone needs them, they will find them.

Bathroom Essential #7: Mints and Gum

bowl of plastic-wrapped white mintsA bathroom is only as clean as its occupants, and giving your guests the gift of mints and gum will make them think twice about leaving toilet paper on the ground or not notifying you when the soap runs out.

And your guests will thank you when they find themselves mouth to nose with a certain someone after gorging on the gorgonzola or going all in on the onion dip.

Additional Tip: Do not put unwrapped mints or gum out in your dirty bathroom. That would be more unsanitary than not having a bathroom at all. (Not really, but you get the point.) Make sure they’re individually wrapped in plastic, or put them in a covered dish. Otherwise, gross.

Pristine Potty-room Party Planning

Whether it’s a raging kegger or a pomp- and frill-filled tea party, attention should be paid to the one room in your home that can literally stink up the place if not properly prepped.

The items required might seem obvious, but you and your friends will regret the night if any of them are forgotten.