House Warming Party — October 8, 2013 at 12:48 am

Housewarming Party Tips and Ideas

HouseWarming

Few events are as exciting as moving into a new home. Whether it is your first home or you’re simply moving to a new neighborhood, a housewarming party is a great way to celebrate with old friends, meet new neighbors and begin creating lasting memories in your new home. Here are some helpful tips and fun ideas for throwing a successful housewarming party.

When to throw the party

The biggest mistake new home owners make when it comes to house warming parties is waiting until everything is perfect to throw it. The fact is, your home is an on-going project that never really seems to be done. Waiting until every last detail is complete pretty much means you’ll never get to have that fun party you envisioned on the day you received your new keys.

Your friends and family are coming to see your new home and neighborhood, not “the finished product.”  Our advice? Throw the party when you’ve recovered from moving but sooner than later.

Formal party or informal “open house”?

This answer lies in how much work you want to put into your party. While some people love throwing extravagant parties, most housewarming parties are pretty informal events. Those attending understand you just moved and are fine with simply getting together to celebrate your new dwelling while sharing some food, drinks and laughs. Besides, the simpler the party, the more time you’ll have for tours and sharing your future plans.

The other thing to consider is how many people will be attending and how far away you moved. If you have more people than available seating areas, an open house style might work better for you where friends and family are invited to stop by during a range of time. The open house style also makes it easier to not feel like you have to plan special entertainment as attendees can come and go without feeling like they have to spend hours at your new home. However, if you moved a long distance from those whom will be attending, it’s probably a good idea to make it more of a formal party with start and end times to make it worth their drive.

Invitations

If you’re throwing a more informal housewarming party, an email invite is completely acceptable. Email invitations have come a long way and the internet is full of fun evite themes which also offer easy links to driving directions and maps. Of course, if you’re the crafty type, this is a good opportunity to use your mad skills to hype your newest life event!  Whether you’re sending traditional invitations or a simple evite, remember it is still good form to send with ample time before the event.

Be sure your invitation has good directions. It’s not a bad idea to have a close friend do a test run prior to the event to make sure they are clear and easy to follow.

party-food

Thing to do before the party

  • Put away your valuables and breakables.  With lots of foot traffic, it’s best to error on the side of caution. Nothing is worse than a friend feeling bad for accidentally knocking over your china vase.
  • Plan your menu. Like most parties, food can make or break a good party. Housewarming party menus usually offer simple finger food / appetizer type options which can be placed around the house. Although simple doesn’t have to mean boring, keeping to simple menu offerings means you’ll have more time to tour and talk about your new home. Food options which can be prepared the night before are especially helpful.
  • Offer a variety of drink options for your guests knowing you may have some new neighbors attending for which you don’t know their drink preferences as well as you do your friends and family.
  • Clean. Clean. Clean. This is the one time people will be visiting every room in your home, many even looking in closets and cabinets. Although you may still have unpacked boxes (totally expected!), you can still nicely organize the boxes so they still allow for guests to tour the room.
  • Shoes off or on? Decide this before the party starts so you can give your guests some indication at the door.  Prefer guests remove their shoes? A simple way to communicate this is to reserve a simple shoe rack or space by the front door and place two pairs of your own shoes there as an example.
  • Stock up on toilet paper, paper towels and trash bags. Make sure your trash cans / waste baskets are easy to find.

Decorations & Activities

The focus of the party is your new home. Therefore, decorations can be pretty simple. Balloons on the front of the house can help guests find your new home. Adding some well-placed fresh flowers and scented candles can take care of your inside decor.

Paint swatch invitations by Chris Nease at Home made simple.

Paint swatch invitations by Chris Nease at Home made simple.

Let your ideas be your decor. Since most housewarming parties take place before all your projects and changes are complete, use your ideas as decor in each room. Not only will this add nice conversation topics, but it will also allow you to solicit ideas from your friends and family. “Idea decor” can include:

Use this opportunity to fish for freebies!  Many first-time home buyers find themselves with more space than their previous apartment or single room residence. Sharing ideas about how you want to fill your currently empty room can plant the seed with guests who may just happen to have a perfectly good piece of furniture they’ve been looking to get rid of.

Planned activities will depend on how formal your party is. Most guests are happy to tour your home and spend some time mingling with other guests over good food and drinks.

Photo booth style: Pick a spot inside or outside where you can place some fun costume pieces or funky accessories for your guests to use for fun photos. Place a digital camera on a small table near the accessories and you’ll end up with a fun collection of photo memories to share.

During the party

  • If you’ll be giving tours of your house, assign a close friend or relative to act as your greeter.
  • Set the mood with music. Today’s portable music players are the perfect way to provide some fun background music to your event. Don’t have one? A good radio station still does the trick!

flowers

Fun ideas

  • As part of your theme, ask each guest to bring a plant of one single color, say for example pink or purple. After the party, you have an instant garden with a little story of friendship behind each plant.
  •  Provide a simple yet genuine thank you gift. Be sure to include a card or note with your new address and contact information. For more modern friends and family, print a QR code on your thank you so your guests can simply scan to add your new info to their phones!