You have moved into your new abode and you’re making your way through the last of your boxes (or getting a professional home unpacking team on to the task)! You think it’s about time to celebrate and christen the new home, so you decide “let’s have a party, let’s throw a Housewarming!”
A centuries old custom, a housewarming traditionally is the concept of “warming” a house by having family and friends gift pieces of wood to light the home’s fireplace. It was also thought to cleanse the house of evil spirits as cold houses are where ghost reside. Thankfully, today its more an informal party, held within a few weeks of moving into a new residence or the completion of a newly renovated home. It’s an opportunity for the excited hosts to present their new home to their curious friends, as well as for friends to give customary gifts to help furnish the new home.
Don’t be too concerned if your home is far from finished by the time the housewarming party arrives. Whether you go casual or fancy, open invite or exclusive guest list, a housewarming party is an excellent way to celebrate your exciting new digs and take a breather after the all stress and headaches of moving. Before you embark on the event planning there a few things to consider so it runs smoothly, is memorable yet doesn’t break the bank!
1. Date and Time – Don’t schedule it for right after you move in
You don’t want to make hosting a housewarming party more difficult than it needs to be. Settling into your new home takes time, so before you invite over your friends and family to celebrate, give yourself an opportunity to get unpacked and get situated. You want to show off your new home at its best, after all, not just how it looks when it’s filled with boxes.
2. Make a guest list and Ask for RSVPs
See this opportunity to include family friend and the new neighbours – you can use the event to expand your social circle. Guest lists and RSVP’S is about making your life easier. If you don’t ask for RSVPs, chances are that most people won’t let you know if they’re coming or not. That can make it annoyingly hard to figure out how much you need in terms of food and drinks for starters. Give guests a method to respond to the RSVP easier, for examples by e-invites, via social media or asking for a quick text reply on if they can make it.
3. Invite your new neighbours
Inviting your new neighbours to your housewarming party is an excellent way to start forging a good relationship with them. You don’t have to invite the entire block, but do consider sending an invite to the people who live on either side of you and across from you—just slip an invitation in their mailbox. Even if they aren’t able to come it will be a nice gesture and will show that you are interested in becoming a part of the community.
4. Not catering? Then Don’t host your party during a mealtime
A golden rule of hosting any party is that you should never let people go hungry. If planning your housewarming party for noon or 6pm, you should be sure to provide some sort of nibbles or light meal. And if you’re just planning on putting out snacks and other general refreshments, note it on your invitation. If hosting your party during a mealtime but the work and or expense is not manageable, then why not host a potluck instead and ask everyone to bring something. Either way, be clear about the food situation if your housewarming party is during a typical mealtime, and if that’s too much to think about, schedule it for earlier or later in the day.
5. Don’t get too crazy with the decorations
A housewarming party is all about celebrating your new home, so let its character shine instead of covering it up with cheap decorations. If you do want to add a little bit of extra ambiance, skip the streamers and balloons and go with some tasteful flowers and candles inside or fairy lights outside instead.
6. Don’t do a gift registry
While gifts are very common for housewarming parties, it isn’t like a new marriage or baby, where gifts are expected. You can share ideas for what you need if somebody asks you but refrain from creating a specific gift registry.
7. Do send thank you notes for any gifts that you receive
it is very likely that you are going to get some gifts. And although you probably have a lot on your plate with getting set up in your new home, don’t neglect to send thank you notes, even if you said “thanks” when the gift was handed to you. Keep it short and sweet is fine don’t forget to mention the type of gift that the recipient gave you.
8. Housewarming Party Theme
So you want to theme is up? If you’re unsure about ideas, here are some of our favourites. Of course, some of these may not suit you comfort level or not be appropriate but could help make your housewarming more fun and memorable one!
Help Us Out Themes:
Many hands make light work so why not get your guests involved?
Just remember, make the theme fun and comfortable. It should add to the ambiance of the party…have drinks while you do it, make a playlist, then share a meal together afterward. This theme is more aimed toward a party of close friends and family members. Here are a few suggestions to make it fun for all involved:
Paint-a-Room– Your new home or apartment may have some rooms that need a fresh coat of paint or abit of colour. This one for before you unpack everything, a few extra hands will make the job a quicker one a lot more enjoyable.
Unpacking Party– Break in the new home by tearing into some of these boxes. Make sure that all of your moving boxes have proper labels on them, so guests know where they are unpacking what.
Stock-The-Bar – Have your guests help you turn your house into a home. with a stock-the-bar housewarming party theme. Each guest gets to bring over his/her favourite liquor and cocktail recipes. Not only do you get to stock-the-bar, but you also get to try some yummy drinks with new friends. What more could you ask for?
Potluck or International Cuisine – Nothing says welcome home quite like a neighbourhood potluck. Tell your guests to BYO fav dishes or a dish from another country to share and catering is sorted!
Garden Theme –If your moving date is sometime during the spring or summer months then a garden party could be a great idea to enjoy the outdoors.
Open House – As the host of the party, with this theme you set aside a block of time to keep your house ‘open’ (hence the name.) Guests can come and go as they please. The best part about this theme is that you allow your guests options, they can come over to check out your new digs whenever their schedule permits.
Block Party- Instead of just opening up your home to guests, why not have everyone on the block open theirs too. This is a great way to become a part of your new community.
Tips for Throwing a Housewarming Party on a Budget
Unfortunately moving costs money so it makes sense that you might not want to splurge on a big party right away. However, You can breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that you can totally throw an awesome housewarming party on a budget.
There aren’t a lot of rules when it comes to a new home party—just do what makes the most sense with the time, space, and budget that you have, and focus primarily on having a good time. Read through the following tips and get started on planning your perfect housewarming party without spending a ton of money.
1. Figure out how much you want to spend
Step one: Before you make any decisions about your housewarming party, know how much money you have to work with. A great housewarming party can be a casual affair. Once you you know you maximum spend from there you can plunge in to all of the other fun details.
2. Set a workable date
Many people wait a few months in between moving into their new home and throwing a housewarming party is totally normal. Especially if you are working to a budget, and that applies to timing as much as money. Pick a date that will give you financial respite from the move.
3. Be real
Party planning usually starts out with a grand Pinterest-worthy soiree. However look to set realistic goals for your housewarming party and don’t stress about having everything perfect to meet an idealistic, unnecessary level.
4. Limit numbers
A party doesn’t have to mean inviting a ton of people. While a housewarming is certainly the sort of event that you can invite your new neighbours to, but if you’re doing your housewarming party on a budget you’re probably better off just calling on your family and or closest friends. That will make your event less stressful and be a more manageable and budget conscious approach.
5. Nothing wrong with free invitations
No one is really posting invites these days unless its formal events like weddings or milestone birthdays. The internet offers plenty of ways to send nice free invitations via email. Otherwise just create an event on a closed or private event on Facebook. Otherwise just text messaging your invitees will suffice. Just be sure to give your guests enough notice and to request RSVPs so that you know close attendee numbers.
6. You don’t really need all the balloons and streamers
Your home is the setting and what all have come to see. Decorations can quickly get costly, so if you’re planning a housewarming party on a budget, just give them a miss and focus more on making your home look its best with the things you already own. If you do want to add some special touches, buy things that you can get use out of even after the party, like string lights, scented candles, art, flowers and vases etc.
7. Hit up the dollar store
If you really need some decorations to call it a party then head over to your local homewares / cheap store. You’ll find a lot of options in terms of super cheap decorating and party supplies. Be environmentally friendly and look to save your decorations for another celebration.
8. Cocktail Jugs anyone?
Buying alcohol for your party can get expensive fast, and it’s hard to know exactly what people will want to drink and how much they’ll want to drink. So instead of playing the guessing game, make one big batch cocktail to serve your guests. Let your guests know that a cocktail option will be provided, but to BYO any preferred alcoholic beverage they’d like, such as beer, wine, or a specific type of liquor.
9. Serve up tasty but budget bites
Most of the money you’ll be spending for your housewarming party is going to go toward food and drink costs if a meal time event. There are some great ideas for budget entertaining recipes online including sides, appetizers, and entrees. If you’re not into cooking, you can always throw a make your own pizza party! All you need to do is buy some fresh ingredients, pizza sauce and douch or bases and let your gue make their own pizza!
10. Make it a dessert party
You can make plenty of desserts that feed a lot of people for cheap, and it’s a great alternative to having to spend money on more expensive items like meats and cheeses. If you do decide to throw a dessert party, let people know that will be the case and don’t throw it during a meal time. That way, your guests will show up knowing not to expect a full spread. You can combine this idea with the potluck idea too, making a few desserts yourself but asking everyone to bring their favourite dessert as well. Otherwise If you’re not a baker, create a sundae bar by buying several tubs of ice cream and some fun toppings.
11. Throwaway vs reusable plates and utensils
It’s always tempting with a party to go the easy route and purchase paper plates and plastic utensils, but ultimately that just ends of being a waste of money. Use your own plates, utensils, glasses, etc. instead. If you’re planning to have more people than kitchen items, go out and buy plastic plates and cups instead of paper, since they can be washed a reused.
12. Focus on the ambiance
Throwing a housewarming party on a budget—or any party on a budget—is all about setting the mood and making the event seem more decadent than it really is. There are plenty of ways to do this, from lighting candles to making a great playlist to having cookies in the oven when people arrive so that they’re welcomed by the smell of fresh baked goods. Think of ways you can add to the affair without spending money by focusing less on the obvious things and more on the general ambiance.
13. Play games
If you want to offer a little bit more in entertainment, create your own free housewarming party games. These can include a scavenger hunt of items in the house, trivia about your town or city, or a scramble with words related to your new place. You can find printable games online or just make your own.
Although your big welcoming night will be full of house tours, food and conversation. If you have time, this could be the great chance for a game night. It will help you get to know your new neighbours better and celebrate with your close friends even more.
The key to throwing a housewarming party on a budget is to do the best with what you’re comfortable spending. Your guests only want to support you and check out your new home—they’re not expecting anything super fancy.
With all these helpful tips you should be equipped now to throw a great housewarming! However, if do you need an extra hand to unpack or organise your home to impress and be clutter free, then don’t delay! Please contact Mooving Matters, your responsible and efficient packing and unpacking team of professional home organisers. They will get your home ready to be on show for all your guests to admire!
To arrange a complementary on-site inspection of your home and an unpacking or home organisation tasks, just contact Mooving Matters, your home organiser Sydney. To simply discuss our ‘Ultimate full service packing + moving’ experience call (02)93375333 or visit us at moovingmatters.com.au.