You are moving into your dream home, and naturally want to show it off to your friends and family. Particularly for new home buyers, a housewarming party is a great way to celebrate a major life event and the achievement of a dream. Says blogger Denise Stewart, “A housewarming party helps jumpstart the social life of a home, and your guests will know that they’re always welcome!” Here are some tips to make your housewarming party easy and fun for you and your guests.
Give Yourself Some Time
Moving into a new home is work, let’s admit it. Unpacking all those boxes can take time; in fact, on average, it takes Americans 182 days to unpack everything after a new home move. Granted, you don’t need to have every item unpacked and snugly put away before your housewarming. But, at the same time, don’t feel rushed to host a party. There’s no right or wrong time frame for hosting a housewarming party.
Mix up the Guest List
Your housewarming party is a time to reconnect with old friends and neighbors, and create new neighborhood connections, as you show off your new home. While you don’t need to invite the entire new neighborhood, include the neighbors immediately surrounding you at a minimum. Add to that your close friends, family and former neighbors whom you consider friends.
You can make your “we’ve moved” announcement cards do double duty by including the invitation to your housewarming party. For new neighbors, drop a fun invitation in their mailboxes or hand deliver it for another opportunity to get better acquainted. An email invitation works just fine, too.
Keep it Casual
The last thing you want to do after a move is add more work to your plate. So, keep your housewarming party low-key and casual. Ditch the four-course plated dinner, and opt instead for a format that encourages guests to free flow around the home and interact with one another. Remember, it’s likely that your guests won’t all know each other so make it easy to meet and mingle while ogling over your new home.
If you’re planning your party in warmer months, set up seating and food/drink stations around the outdoor living area. If indoors, create themed food displays in different areas of the home – charcuterie boards and cold appetizers in the dining room, bite-sized desserts on the breakfast bar, serve-yourself drinks in the kitchen or wet bar.
Choose low-maintenance items that are fine if set out for a few hours. And, don’t be bashful to use recyclable plates and serving ware.
Showing Off Your Home
Guests will want to tour your new home, and there are several ways you can facilitate that. First, and easiest, is to simply invite them to browse around the home at their leisure. That keeps you free to visit with your guests and keep an eye on food and drink supplies.
Another option is to ask a friend to serve as tour guide. Or if you prefer to lead the tours yourself, you might coordinate larger groups or plan a “grand tour” for everyone to minimize your time away from the party.
Keep it Fun
No need to buy a lot of decorations; your new home itself provides all the decoration you need. But you can add some fun ambience to your party by creating a playlist of home-themed songs. Think: “Sweet Home Alabama” mixed with Simon and Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound.”
And work in some engaging activities to keep it lively. How about a scavenger hunt, with maps for guests to solve clues as they tour your home? Set up yard games if the party is outdoors. Create a trivia game about the neighborhood (the year the first home was built, who the streets were named for, the mascot of the local elementary school). Make it a themed “stock the bar” party where guests bring their favorite libations to share. Or, ask each guest to bring a favorite potluck item, with copies of their recipe to share in take-home keepsake boxes or oversized envelopes decorated with your party invitation.
A housewarming party is a time to celebrate friends, family and home. Keeping it low key and low maintenance will also keep it low stress for you.