Host a Housewarming Party, Painlessly
Moving is stressful enough; going through the mounds of boxes, organizing closets, and all those extra expenses. Then once you are in, everyone wants to see your new home but you just did all the work; are these people crazy, they want you to throw a party? It sounds worse than it is. In fact, if you choose to host a housewarming party, I think you will be glad that you did! I’ve included some tips below to make the whole thing way less painful!
- Give yourself at least a week, if not two, after unpacking. It is inevitable that you will move around pieces of artwork or reorganize shelves so giving yourself enough time and freedom to do so before having to worry about cleaning for a party will help you enjoy the process a bit more!
- Host an open house style party. Have a start time and an end time but not a set time. This will keep you from feeling like you should entertain everyone the entire time—if they choose to come at the start and stay, great! If they come just for 30 minutes then that is fine too! This takes the pressure off you and puts the decision making in their hands.
- Give good directions! In our day, when everyone has access to a GPS system, we get so used to telling people an address and they figure it out on their own but people appreciate feeling confident when they are travelling to a new destination. Even if they don’t ask for it, give them some landmarks that they will see along the way and describe what your house looks like so they feel confident ringing the doorbell.
- Don’t center the housewarming party around a meal but do have food and drinks. In other words, when picking the time, choose a time that is after breakfast but before lunch or after lunch but before dinner. Then choose your menu according to the time you pick. If you went for the pre-lunch option, serve some brunch type food and drinks such as muffins, ham biscuits, bit size quiche, fruit and mimosas. However, in the afternoon, you may want to have things like small chicken salad sandwiches, veggies and dip, wings, deviled eggs and bottled beers. You could even have a late-night shindig (starting at 8:00pm) if your friends and family want to come by for desserts and drinks.
- Speaking of food, recruit some help! Don’t feel like you must take it all on yourself; often when people we love move we want to help—when your friends and family offer, just ask if they could bring something to the house warming party. Also, make sure you have disposable cups, plates, silverware and napkins; I feel like most people know this but it will save you so much headache!
- While your guests will be there to see you and wish you well, they also want to see your new digs. So be prepared for tours. Also, prepare all the nooks and crannies of your home to be shown off. They will want to see how big your closet is so make sure you are comfortable with its condition!
- Seating is a concern, but not a HUGE one. After all it is an open house so no one will feel required to find a spot to sit and hang out; however, you want people who do decide to stay and visit to have a place to do so. If you are short on seating, have some foldable chairs available should you need them.
- Last thing I’ll note, this took me by surprise, we ended up having several friends who stayed the whole time at our house and then some—we luckily had a bunch of stuff laying around for quesadillas but we were pulling at strings for what to feed everyone who stayed through dinner and on into the evening. So, my advice is, if you have some room in your freezer, stock up on some appetizers and/or frozen pizzas so you can continue the party if you feel inclined to do so! And if you don’t end up using them, you’ll have them for the next time you host your friends!