Housewarming Party

Housewarming parties are fun, informal affairs that celebrate a persons move into a new home. As such, these parties are always located in the new residence so that a person can either show off his new home, meet his new neighbors or have his friends help him settle in with some small gifts.

While housewarming parties are traditionally associated with a move into a completely new residence, they can also be thrown after a major remodel job is completed. Keep reading for more tips on throwing a housewarming party.

Planning Housewarming Parties

Although housewarming parties are relaxed events, they do require a bit of planning and preparation. The first aspects you will need to plan are the date of the party and the guest list. Plan to have the party about two weeks to a month after you move in. That way, your home still has a “new” quality to you, you are settled in enough to welcome others into your home and you give your guests enough time to plan to attend the party.

Next, compile the guest list. In addition to inviting family, friends and maybe co-workers, consider inviting your new neighbors so that you get a chance to know them on a more personal level. As you are putting together the guest list, keep in mind the space you have available. Avoid making a massive list of guests that wont be able to fit in your home.

Think about how many people can comfortably fit in your living space, meaning that everyone can sit and have room to breathe at any given time. If this means that you have to cut out people that you still want to invite, consider throwing a few different housewarming parties (i.e. one for just family, one for just close friends and neighbors, etc).

Once you have set the date and the guest list, send out invitations. If you are planning to host a potluck housewarming party (a good idea to relieve stress and delegate the work) or you dont want your guests to bring gifts, be sure to note this on the invites.

A Housewarming Party Check List

Here is a checklist of what to do before your guests arrive:

  • Clean your place the day before. Remember, your guests are likely going to want a tour of the ENTIRE home. So, make sure that all areas are fit for company.
  • Prepare some snacks and appetizers. Depending on how elaborate your menu is and whether or not you have others bringing refreshments, you may want to start preparing these the day before, as well.
  • Set out a table (or clear one) for the refreshments.
  • Create an area, preferably by the front door, where guests can make nametags. Although this is unnecessary for smaller, more intimate housewarming parties, its a good idea if you are planning a larger party.
  • If you are planning on receiving gifts, create an area where guests can set them as they enter your home.
  • Right before you expect guests to arrive, start any music, light candles or create the mood anyway you see fit.

Once guests arrive, all you have to do is introduce people, replenish refreshments and give tours of your home. Keep in mind that, although housewarming parties typically dont features games or other coordinated activities, you can choose to play some if you like. A mini scavenger hunt around your new home may be a fun idea, depending on the size of your place and your guests.

However, whether or not you decide to play games, remember that it is impolite to open your gifts during the party. Instead, wait until everyone has left so as not to embarrass anyone. Then, send thank you notes to those in attendance.

Housewarming Gift Ideas

For those attending a housewarming party, bringing a small gift to the host is expected, unless otherwise specified on the invitation. Your gift can be as nonchalant or elaborate as you like, depending on your budget and relationship to the host. Before getting a gift, however, check with the host to see if he needs anything specifically. Here is a range of housewarming gift ideas:

  • coasters, cocktail glasses, bar gear, etc.
  • gift baskets with wine, chocolates, cheeses etc.
  • flowers, plants, gardening tools, etc.
  • monogrammed towels, soaps, candles, etc.
  • personalized door mats
  • silver picture frames, crystal vases, nice clock, etc.
  • soaps or candles.

Housewarming vs. Open House

A housewarming and an open house are two very similar but different events. While a housewarming party is literally a warming up of a new home with gifts, an open house is an occasion on which you open up the house for friends and family to see. This means that, in general, housewarming parties usually have fixed starting and ending times. Alternately, open houses have more flexible hours.

Another difference between housewarming parties and open houses is whether or not guests bring gifts. While guests are expected to bring gifts to housewarming parties, open houses are gift-free events.