The Bramwell Brown Blog

How Do You Throw a Housewarming Party

Housewarming party

A housewarming is a wonderful way to make your house feel like a proper home, welcoming and full of warmth. It can be an incredibly exciting moment for you to have a new home to call your own, and having friends and family over to celebrate this milestone is a terrific idea. Housewarmings are not without some stresses though, so we’re going to go through some ways to minimize the anxieties and make the most of this special moment.

When is the best time?

There may be some confusion over when to have your housewarming, and if you’re the one that should be hosting it. The short answer is to go with what you feel--if you want to have the housewarming a few days or a few months after you move in, that’s your choice.

However, a good time to throw your housewarming is when you have enough furniture and amenities in your home to make sure that people are entertained, comfortable and fed. You don’t want everyone standing around in an empty room waiting for something to happen. This is also a great chance for your guests to either bring things that you might need around the house or to see what you may want and gift it later. The idea is to make your home feel full of life and love, and creating happy memories right away is a perfect start.

Planning ahead

You may be comfortable taking on the task of a housewarming party alone, but if not, then ask some close friends or family if they’re willing to help out and delegate some planning to them.

Make sure to set your party well in advance so that guests have ample notice to schedule their plans to include your housewarming. Decide on your guest list and whether it’ll be an afternoon party where kids are welcome or a night soiree for adults. Likely, you’ll want to keep things pretty casual in either case, so don’t stress on invitation details as this is not a fancy evening. Send an invite through email or text stating the time and location, and any additional details if you need to.

You can also reserve room for guests to stay over if it’s late in the night and people don’t want to drive home. If you don’t have your home fully furnished, don’t worry--a sleeping bag and pillow are often enough for tired guests.

Consider inviting neighbours over as well, as this is a wonderful time to get to know the new people you live next to. Having your own family and friends is perfect to help everyone socialize and get to know one another. Neighbours often know a lot about the area and can tell you stories or recommend the best restaurants or stores for you to check out.

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Snacks and refreshments

Depending on the time that you’ve set your housewarming, you might opt for light snacks in the day and more of a meal in the evening. However, it’s a good idea to have food and drinks for people to nibble on even if you don’t have a meal waiting for them.

Chips and dip are classic standards, small sandwiches, cookies and snacking veggies offer variety for everyone. Having tea and coffee ready, as well as water and perhaps juice for kids is also a good idea. If you’re having alcoholic beverages, make sure that there is enough choice for everyone. An easy-drinking beer or wine can be a party-starter for an evening gathering.

If you are planning on serving a meal, you can go one of two routes--takeout or cooking at home. If you’re cooking a meal yourself, stick with something easy that you can make in a large quantity like a casserole or lasagna. If you’re going with takeout, you can adjust to options to the group’s tastes by asking them when they arrive. Having pizza delivered is a quick and easy way to feed everyone who is hungry, and is a way to stay flexible on your food budget.

Games and activities for the party

Making sure that your guests are entertained and having fun at your housewarming is as important as ensuring that no one goes hungry in your home. Depending on the crowd that you have, you can tailor your activities toward what suits everyone best.

Music playing in the background helps to avoid awkward silences and can set the mood for a party. Set a playlist going that features songs most people know, and keep the same genre going to minimize harsh transitions between songs.

Some ideas for entertaining could be a movie if you’ve got guests who would prefer a low-effort night, or board games for guests that enjoy being competitive. An ice breaker event can also be a good way to get people excited and working together. Consider a scavenger hunt--this is helpful for guests to get the layout of your home and you just need to hide a few treasures and clues around your home.

If you’ve got a home with a backyard, use it! You can have lawn games ready for guests and doing a barbeque lunch or dinner is something that everyone will appreciate as they explore your house and help to make it feel like home.

Making things easier on yourself

You can encourage people to bring things that they would enjoy as well. Think about making it an event where guests can each bring a dish or have guests bring over a bottle of wine and glasses if you don’t have enough.

Have specific areas where guests can serve themselves or make themselves comfortable. A few tables set up for food and drinks, and enough room to navigate around them without bumping anything or anyone. 

Another key area is for your guests to relax, so make sure to set up ample space for everyone to sit and lounge. Get creative and make use of all the space you have, especially if you don’t have all your furniture yet. Spread throws and cushions on the ground to create extra seating for guests. 

Set aside an area for gifts if guests choose to bring something for you (you may want to create a registry so guests have an idea of what gifts will be useful for you).

Be sure to clean your home even more thoroughly before your guests arrive. Sweep and mop so everything is shiny and clean. Check that you have enough supplies like soap, toilet paper and fresh towels for guests to use. Put things that you know will be used within easy reach for your guests, like cutlery and dishes. Have obvious bins for recycling and garbage, placed conspicuously to avoid trash being left around.

Designate an area where guests can sleep and let people know that they’re welcome to stay if they’ve had too much to drink or are too tired to get back home safely. Guests will appreciate you as a good host for thinking about their wellbeing. If you don’t have an extra mattress since you just moved in, then spread out sleeping bags and pillows and be sure to offer guests towels and a toothbrush.

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Create a housewarming checklist

To make sure that your party goes off without any trouble, making a list of the most important things that you’ll need will help you to not forget anything. Below, we’ve made a list that can get you started. Tailor it to your party, and make notes for who will be covering what if you delegate some aspects.

Housewarming Checklist

  • Invitations (informal/formal)

  • Tidy up

  • Food (cook/takeout/snacks)

  • Drinks (coffee/tea/alcohol/water)

  • Dishware, cups, cutlery

  • Games (board games/scavenger hunt/video games)

  • Music (preset playlist)

  • Seating space (couches/tables/chairs/floor space)

    Final considerations for your party

    Think about what you are realistically able to do and how much effort you’d ideally like to put in, and go from there. Your housewarming is something that you should enjoy and have the chance to create fun memories during but if you’re stressed and overworked, you’re likely not going to feel the same way.

    Ask people close to you or even guests to pitch in where they can. Don’t discount the value of ordering in and having food ready, as it will cross a big item off your list. Wherever you’re able to make shortcuts, go for it, so that you are able to free yourself up to enjoy the time more. 

    Do any last minute tidying an hour or two before guests arrive. This doesn’t necessarily mean vacuuming and wiping down counters, as that has likely already been done earlier. But putting things away, making sure nothing is on the floor and creating a neat appearance in your home. Go from room to room, pretending to see through the eyes of your guests and make note on what catches your attention--quickly fix anything that you see as you go. 

    Set out snacks, and make sure there is ample room for guests to serve themselves and have a seat. Put on some music and wait for your party to start!

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