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How to throw your first housewarming party

Whether you just moved into a new place or completed a major renovation, a housewarming party is a great way to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter for your household. It's a chance for friends and family to come over, see your new home, and fill it with good vibes, food and wine. You could also use it as an opportunity to get to know new neighbors and start things off on the right foot.

Housewarming party ideas

At its core, a housewarming party isn't all that different from any other gathering you might host. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that people will likely want to tour your home. Make sure all the rooms are as clean and tidy as you prefer — though your guests will likely understand a few unpacked moving boxes still lingering. Still, here are a few ways to get your planning started.

Invitations

The easiest way to make sure everyone is on the same page is by sending out invitations. You can do so the old-fashioned way by mailing them, or you can use a website or app to send virtual invites. Remember to specify who is invited on the invitation and if a plus one is included. The last thing you need is for a higher guest count or for someone to bring pets to a non-pet friendly home!

Housewarming parties are usually considered to be casual affairs, with people coming and going as they please. Saturday and Sunday are likely the best days to host your party, as people tend to have more flexibility on the weekends. Choose a few hours for your party, but keep in mind that if it's during mealtime your guests might expect you to offer something more substantial than chips and dip.

Because this is the first time many of your guests will be visiting your new home, make sure to add any pertinent information about how to find it. This might include instructions on where to park or advice for any tricky parts of navigation.

It's also common for guests to bring gifts to a housewarming party, such as a bottle of wine, a plant or a piece of décor. If you do not want your guests to bring gifts, make sure to state that explicitly on the invitation. Otherwise, it's implied you'll be happy to accept them.

Party planning

When it comes to housewarming party decorations, there isn't too much you need to worry about. Your home is the real guest of honor, so just make sure it's looking its best. Vacuum, dust, tidy up and maybe light a few candles. You may also want to tie balloons to your mailbox or front door to make it easy for guests to find you.

Alternatively, you can use your housewarming party to flex your creative muscle and go all out with a theme. Housewarming party ideas might play off the location of your new home. For instance, a beach-themed party may be appropriate if you just moved somewhere coastal, or a sports theme could help celebrate the hometown teams of your new city.

If you aren't sure which direction you want to go in, figuring out your budget is a good place to start. If you're willing to spend a little more, a themed party might be fun. If you'd rather stick with a tighter budget, you can save the theme for another time.

Food considerations

Food for a housewarming party can vary greatly. If you're expecting a lot of people to filter in and out throughout an afternoon, hors d'oeuvres or finger foods are a great option. You could also make a variety of snacks and put them in different rooms throughout the house to encourage people to wander around and enjoy each room. If you're inviting a small group of close friends or family, you might want to consider a simple sit-down meal. Be sure that there are food options for any guests with specific dietary needs.

Whatever you decide for food, make sure to offer drink options as well. You may want to consider both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options to suit a variety of preferences.

If you really want to kick it up a notch, see if you can find a cocktail and a mocktail option that fits in with your theme or the theme of your new home.

Housewarming party activities

There are no requirements for entertainment when you're throwing a housewarming party. The only expectation people may have is the opportunity to see your new home. However, even this is at your discretion. If there are rooms you'd rather not have your guests explore, just tape up a sign on the door asking people not to enter. You can either let guests give themselves a tour, or you can guide them in groups. If there are special features in your home, an interesting historical background, or things you particularly love, a guided tour can be a good way to show them off.

While people are visiting, you might want to play some background music for ambiance. Make sure to create a playlist ahead of time so that there are no surprises and you're setting the right vibe.

If you and your guests are the type that love games, there are ways to incorporate that into a housewarming party. For instance, you could create a new house scavenger hunt for your guests, having them find answers about your new home (such as how many windows there are, or what color your front door is). If you have a yard that you're showing off, set up some yard games and let your guests enjoy your new space as much as you do.

Logistics when planning a housewarming party

When planning a housewarming party, there are a few more things you might want to consider to make sure everyone has a good experience:

  • Use paper plates and disposable utensils for easy clean up.
  • Prepare small party favors for people to take when they leave.
  • Send a thank you note to any guest who brought a gift.
  • Put fresh flowers out around the house for a special pop.
  • Have a plan for your pets, if applicable. Will they be crated? Outside? Roaming free?
  • Make sure there's enough seating.
  • Put out a guest book for people to sign.

What's more

Throwing a housewarming party shouldn't be stressful. It should be an opportunity to share your new home with the people most important to you and, of course, to have fun. The good thing about these types of parties is that they can be whatever you want them to be, whether that includes themed décor and everyone you know, or an intimate party with just your closest friends.