When you’re moving to a new home, your focus is probably just on getting to your new place and settling in. Once you get there, however, it’s time for the best part: a housewarming party. This last step of moving is one that can make your new place feel like home and strengthen your relationships all at once.
Even if you’re exhausted from moving, you can still throw a great housewarming party. Here’s how.
Do you have friends at your moving destination? What about new co-workers you met while interviewing for a job in a new city? Or, did you just buy a home near your old place? In all these cases, you should have people you can invite to your party. After all, it’s not a party without people.
Within a few days after you move into your new place, decide on a date about three weeks out and schedule the party. Also, plan the party on an evening before you have a day off. A Friday or Saturday evening is best for most people.
One great way to invite people to your party is by creating a Facebook event. It’s easy for your friends to RSVP with “Going,” “Not Going,” or “Interested.” If you send your invitations this way, contact the people who chose “Interested” a few days before the party to ask if they can confirm that they are or are not attending.
Want to do something more classy? Pick up paper invitations from a stationary store. Spend an afternoon preparing them, and mail them to your friends’ individual addresses. Make sure to let them know how to RSVP. If you’d like them to respond via mail, include a self addressed, stamped envelope inside to make this easier for them. However, it may be easier for them to send you a quick email or Facebook message.
Why plan the event for three weeks after you’ve moved in? You will need plenty of time to prepare. Keep in mind, this information is for one person, a couple, or a family. Everyone can get involved in preparations and in the party itself.
During that time, your main priority will be unpacking and arranging your new home. It’s tough to feel settled in when you have moving boxes stacked here and there. With your books on their shelves, your clothing in the closet and in your dresser, your cups and plates in the cupboard, and your pictures on the wall, you’re bound to feel more comfortable and at ease. Since you will want your home to look amazing for your party, it will give you extra incentive to get unpacked and settled in.
A few days before the party, buy the food you plan to serve. Finger foods are great. Purchase things like chips, crackers, baby carrots, dip, and other ingredients you’ll need. Prepare the snacks a couple of hours before the party and set them out on a table just before it’s time for the guest to arrive. You may also want to get some desserts, and be prepared to make coffee or tea.
Also, purchase whatever drinks you plan to serve at your party. This is a great time to christen your new place with a home bar.
If you have pets, depending on their behavior, how comfortable they are in the new house, and how well they get along with strangers, consider putting them in a back room for the duration of the party. Check on them now and then.
Greet each guest as he or she arrives. If they have brought housewarming gifts, accept them graciously. Often, people will gift things like artwork to brighten up your new home. Offer each guest a drink and a tour of the house, and show them where the food is.
If it’s a dinner party, have a basic planned time for dinner and serve it around that time.
An hour or so before the party to ends, offer your guests a choice of desserts and drinks. This is the time to make coffee or tea, depending on what people want. Have decaf coffee on hand as well. Some people will enjoy a cup of coffee and a piece of cake or cookie in the evening, but won’t want to have any more caffeine.
After everyone has left, it’s time to clean up. All right, you may be pretty tired after hosting a housewarming party. That’s completely understandable. Still, you can put away the extra food (and snack on the leftovers all weekend), and throw out the dirty paper plates. Get some sleep, and in the morning after you’ve slept in and had a nice breakfast, finish cleaning up after the party so your home looks as nice as it did when everyone arrived.
Enjoy the rest of the day. However, remember to send thank you notes. You can do so via email, but if someone gave you a gift, take the time to write them a card and send it via postal mail.
That’s it! If all goes well, you’ll have strengthened your local friendships and you’ll feel more at home in your new house.