May 25, 2017

Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Housewarming Party

ShowMe Suburban | Tips and tricks for a perfect housewarming party

Housewarming parties allow you to share the joy of a new home with friends and family, as well as meet new neighbors.  However, a big party right after moving to a new home can quickly turn you into a ball of stress.  By following a few simple tips and tricks, you’ll pull off the perfect housewarming party.  And, you’ll hang on to your sanity in the process.  Oh, and before I forget – I have a free printable for you, too!

My free Houswarming Bundle makes planning your party easy!

ShowMe Suburban | Housewarming Bundle Thumbnails

 

It incudes a party planning checklist, welcome sign, pets sign, new home information sheet, menu sign, address sheet, and party favor sign!

Don’t rush it

Many people schedule a housewarming party way too soon after moving.  They end up scrambling at the last minute to get unpacked, make their home picture perfect, and prepare food.  Don’t be that girl!

Instead, give yourself some time to get settled and comfortable in your new home before inviting others over for a housewarming.

Get unpacked

This maybe goes without saying, but get most of your stuff unpacked and organized before you host a housewarming party.

You don’t want your guests sitting on boxes and stepping on bubble wrap!

Maybe you’re having trouble getting motivated to unpack.  After all, you just did all that work packing and moving your stuff!

If that’s the case, you can schedule your party and use the deadline as motivation to get your stuff out of boxes and back into your life.

This isn’t to say that you have to have every single box unpacked!  Just enough that it feels like your home, and gets you excited to share it with your guests.

Stash any still-unpacked boxes out of sight for your party.

Establish your routines

Allow yourself some time to get comfortable in your new home.

Get your morning, evening, and weekly routines down.

Figure out your laundry and cleaning schedules.  Work with them for a few weeks until you’ve got them down pat.

Getting used to your routines in a new home makes planning events (Such as housewarming parties) so much easier.

Having the basics of your day-to-day life down before planing your party means less stress for you.

You won’t be wondering how and when you’re going to plan a party, get laundry done, get your house cleaned, run errands, buy and prepare food for guests, whatever else!

Your routines allow you to pre-schedule tasks like laundry, dishes, and cleaning.  Getting your home sparkling clean for your party will be a no-brainer, because cleaning is already ingrained in your schedule as part of a routine.

You also won’t have to stress about leaving other regular tasks, such as laundry, undone.  Again, because they’re ingrained in your weekly routine, you’ve already given yourself time to do them.

Well-established routines should leave plenty of white space on your calendar to schedule time to complete other party planning tasks.

Style your home

Remember here that everything doesn’t have to be completely perfect!

People will understand that you recently moved.  They won’t expect your entire house to look completely amazing right off the bat.

You do want your home to be a reflection of you, though!  Are you known for loving fresh flowers?  Luxurious throws?

Whatever your signature style is, put your personal touch on each space in your home.  Your friends and family will walk into each room thinking, “Yes, this feels like Amy!”

Plan your housewarming

Once you’re settled in your new home, you can start planning your party.  My free Housewarming Bundle will help you out!

Define your event

Create a clear mental picture of your ideal housewarming party.

You don’t need to spend tons of time on this.  However, answering these few questions will help you make decisions later in the planning process.

Will it be casual, or a little more spiffed up?

Brief (A few hours) or longer (An entire afternoon or evening)?

What date and time will your party be?

Would you prefer an intimate gathering of close friends and family, or lots of guests coming and going?

Will guests be mingling with finger foods, or grabbing a seat for a buffet-style meal?

Will you offer favors for your guests?

Do you need to make arrangements for your pets to keep them safe during the party?

Personally, my favorite housewarming parties are the ones where guests can casually drop in during set hours (For example, 3:00 pm-5:00 pm), take a home tour, grab a bite to eat, mingle a bit, and head out.  Sort of an “open house” format.

I prefer these casual, come-and-go housewarmings because people don’t feel obligated to stick around while you’re giving umpteen tours to others as they drop in.  It also allows you to spend a little time with everyone who comes by.

I’ve found that this style works particularly well with a larger guest list.

But that’s just me.  Do what works for you and your guests!

Create a guest list

A housewarming party can help you maintain old connections, and form new ones, too.

A well-planned guest list is a great way to bridge the gap between your previous neighborhood and your new one.  It can also help turn acquaintences into friends.

In addition to the standard invites to friends and family, consider inviting some of the following:

  • Neighbors from your prior home whom you’d like to keep in contact with
  • Neighbors on your new block
  • Acquaintences from work, the gym, volunteering, church, etc whom you’d like to get to know better
  • Board members of your new homeowners’ association

Send invitations

There are tons of options for invitations anymore.  It all comes down to your guest list and the type of party you’re having.  Here are some options:

  • Printed invitations
  • Facebook event
  • Verbal invite
  • Combination

Your choice of invitation reality depends on  the style of your party and who you’re inviting.

Printed invitations can be fun and cost-effective.  Websites such as VistaPrint make custom invitations a snap, and are usually running some sort of promotion (i.e., 20% off).  You can mail or hand-deliver them.

If printed invitations aren’t up your alley, you can create a Facebook event.  Verbally invite those not yet on your friends list, such as new neighbors.

Regardless of how you choose to invite guests, request an RSVP.  Some people who haven’t RSVP’d will probably show up anyway (Looking at you, flaky friend!).  But at least you’ll have a rough idea of how many people to expect.

Create a menu

Remember that mental picture of your idea housewarming party?  It will come in really handy here!

What were the guests eating and drinking?  Were they carrying glasses of champagne and nibbling hors d’oeuvres?  Or was it more of a salsa and Solo cups kind of scene?

Was it a “kick off your shoes and stay a while” sort of party?  Or were guests popping in and out?

Food for thought

When it comes to housewarming parties, I believe that simpler food is better.  For parties where people will be up and about, I strive for a menu which requires no utensils to eat.

Remember that your guests will probably be highly mobile – taking tours or showing themselves around, maybe revisiting certain areas of the home, even touring the yard.  No utensils means they can eat on the move, and won’t be searching for a place to sit in order to enjoy their food.

Plastic cups with dip or hummus in the bottom, and carrot and celery sticks inside, make a great mobile version of veggies and dip.

Mini sandwiches, bruschetta, even a cheese and fruit tray are all simple, elegant options that are finger-friendly.

You could even do savory mini muffins with cornbread, jalapenos, bacon, and shredded cheese.  Yum!  And hits 4 food groups!!  Ha!

Keep dessert fork-free too.  Brownie bites, cupcakes, fresh fruit skewers, or even truffles are all great options.  Save your world-famous cherry cheesecake for your first dinner party in your new home!

Another thing to consider is ease of prep.

Keep your menu consistent with reality.  Don’t plan any overly-elaborate or labor-intensive menu items unless you’ve specifically blocked off adequate time in advance to prepare them.  You’ll save yourself the stress and overwhelm of having too much to get done at crunch time.

Drinks on me

When it comes to beverages, an important decision for me is whether or not I’ll include alcoholic drinks.  For a party where guests will be coming and going, I would recommend not.

That being said, beverages are a great opportunity to get creative.  There are tons of recipes available for punch, juice blends, flavored lemonade, you name it.  You can also stick to classics, like canned soda, coffee, tea, and water.

Before you purchase food and beverages for your party, try and get a final headcount.  If you’re feeling gracious, track down anyone who hasn’t RSVP’d and ask if they plan on coming.  I usually do this about 3 days before my party, then purchase food and beverages.

Also, let your guests know what’s on the menu with a simple sign (I included one in my free Housewarming Bundle ).

Choose party favors

Favors at any party are a nice thank-you to guests.  It makes them feel valued, and gives them a little something to remember the party by.

Favors don’t have to be elaborate or expensive.  Small, unique, useful items that you can buy in bulk work well.  Bonus points if they are home-related!

Here are some ideas:

  • Lip balm
  • Small scented candles
  • Kitchen sponges
  • Small dish towels
  • Coasters
  • Travel-size air fresheners
  • Food bag clips
  • Magnets
  • Travel-size facial tissue packs
  • Purse-sized bottles of lotion or hand sanitizer

There is a cute little sign to thank guests for coming and encourage them to take home a party favor in my free Housewarming Bundle!

Plan to capture addresses

Another way to make guests feel valued (And keep in contact with them!) is to ask for their addresses.

Leave your address book or a few sheets of paper next to your party favor station.  Encourage guests to write down their addresses so you’ll have it for future reference.

This is especially useful for helping you remember who your new neighbors are and where they live.

I added address sheets for your gests to complete in my free Housewarming Bundle!

The finishing touches

A few days prior to your party, make a list of all those little odds and ends that tend to get lost in the shuffle.  Schedule time to get them taken care of.

They may include things like:

  • Purchasing fresh flowers
  • Purchasing ice
  • Ensuring adequate space to serve food and drinks
  • Trash cans with fresh bags (I like to have several strategically placed throughout my home)
  • Creating space for guests’ coats
  • Clearing space for guests’ shoes, if you’ll ask that shoes be removed
  • Purchasing plates, cups, and napkins (Hopefully utensils aren’t on your list!)
  • Ensuring you have enough serving dishes and serving utensils (Such as tongs or a punch ladle) to accommodate your menu
  • Touch-up cleaning in your home
  • Arrangements for boarding or confinement of pets (My free Housewarming Bundle includes a sign to place on doors of rooms where pets are confined)
  • Party marker for your mailbox or front door (Such as a sign or balloons)
  • Housewarming favors for guests
  • A designated area for housewarming gifts
  • Borrowing or bringing extra seating out of storage areas
  • An address book or sheets for guests to leave their contact information
  • Ensuring adequate parking is available (Street, driveway, etc)
  • Easy access to carpet and upholstery stain removal products (Just in case there are any spills during your party!)
  • Party signage (Welcome sign, menu sign, home info sign, etc)
  • New home information sheet (A bit more on this one below)

New home information sheet

The new home information sheet is a unique little touch of mine.  I like to display a little sign answering some common questions people ask at a housewarming party.

Think along these lines:

  • Year built
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Favorite feature
  • What you can’t wait to do in your new home

(Hint – my free Housewarming Bundle includes a new home info sheet for you to complete and display at your party!)

My free Houswarming Bundle makes planning your party easy!

ShowMe Suburban | Housewarming Bundle Thumbnails

 

It incudes a party planning checklist, welcome sign, pets sign, new home information sheet, menu sign, address sheet, and party favor sign!

In the end

Housewarming parties should be fun and memorable for you and your guests.   Give yourself time to get settled, plan a realistic and movement-friendly menu, make guests feel appreciated, and wrap up odds and ends prior to your party.  You’ll have all your bases covered, and you’ll be able to turn your attention to your guests – and your new home!

Have you ever hosted a housewarming party?  What was your most memorable moment?  Tell me in the comments below!

ShowMe Suburban | Tips and tricks for a perfect housewarming party

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