For a military family that moves a lot, another new house might not be all that exciting.
But the first permanent home you purchase for yourself and your family is certainly cause for celebration. A housewarming party is a great way to welcome others into your new place and show off your accomplishment.
You don’t have to wait until everything’s perfect to have people over. Just make sure the place is clean and clutter-free enough to be comfortable for company. Here are some tips to make sure your party’s a great one.
The invitations A housewarming is a great time to celebrate with old friends and to mingle with new neighbors, so consider inviting a mix of people. An informal open house is a great, especially if you plan to have a large number of guests.
Send invitations several weeks in advance. If you don’t know all your new neighbors’ names, feel free to hand deliver (be sure to officially introduce yourself when you do so). Create a flier that includes all pertinent information about your event, or check party supply stores, printing shops or online retailers for deals on bulk orders of customized invitations.
Want to make something fancier? Try these easy (and inexpensive) to make invites printed on home improvement store paint swatches. Choose hues that represent your new home’s color scheme or, if you’re planning to repaint, colors that are under consideration.
Be sure to include detailed directions from all major roads near your home. Consider printing out a Google map to tuck into the envelope.
The space Elaborate preparations aren’t necessary; your new space is the main event. Make sure rooms are tidy and easy to navigate. Gentle lighting and a fresh scent will welcome guests instead of overwhelming them. Close doors to rooms and closets you don’t want seen (though any time you have a party, it’s safe to assume there will be a snoop or two!).
Treats A minimalist menu works best for housewarmings. Plan half a dozen or so hors d’oeuvres that can easily be prepared ahead of time, so you’re not tied up in the kitchen during the party. Finger foods are ideal. Make sure there are napkins and small wastebaskets in several obvious locations throughout the house so guests can enjoy their snacks as they mingle and meander.
Tour The highlight of any housewarming party is the tour. For larger or open house parties, it might be easiest to let guests guide themselves – just be sure to provide a map and suggested path. If you’ve made major renovations, consider putting out before pictures in each re-done room to let everyone see the hard work you’ve put in.
Toast After everyone’s explored your new space, it’s time for a toast. Instead of breaking the bank on bubbly, try a signature champagne punch – a great way to mask cheap champagne or stretch a pricier bottle.
Thanks Gifts aren’t typical at a housewarming, though guests will often bring a small token for your home or for the party – or perhaps one of these symbolic housewarming gifts. And while a small party favor is a great way to show your appreciation for those who helped celebrate, don’t feel any pressure to shell out tons of cash. A box of good chocolates by the door and a note of thanks sent within a week will suffice.
Alternative Party Ideas
If your new home is a real fixer-upper, consider inviting friends over to help with the renovations. Painting or gardening parties are great options. Keep guest lists short or stagger arrival times. It’s not always easy to convince people to willingly get their hands dirty, so make sure to offer some incentive. Treat guests to snacks and beverages throughout the day, a great meal once the project’s complete and a small token at the party’s end to show your appreciation.
Even if you choose not to throw a formal housewarming party, you’ll still want to notify people of your address change. Check out these chic cards you can use to announce your move.
Photo courtesy Dani P. L.