Hosting a party at home is always a little daunting. You don’t usually have an event planner to help–and what happens if you run out of food? On top of that, planning a housewarming party adds extra pressure because, well, it’s a new house! You haven’t established a rhythm for cooking, cleaning, or even hosting. But with a little extra pre-planning, you can tackle your housewarming with confidence–and have fun doing it!
Cleaning your home is one of the biggest tasks for a housewarming party. Guests will mostly likely see every room, and will be actively looking at your things. But this doesn’t mean every square inch has to be spotless! Focus your cleaning on the bathrooms, kitchen, and surfaces (like tables). That’s where guests will be doing their business and dealing with food. Try to clean the night before, so you can leave the morning of for set up–and a quick sweep and vacuum of your floors.
But, of course, you can’t set up or clean until you’ve followed these seven planning tips. (With a bonus tip at the end!)
1. Wait a Little
You don’t need to throw a housewarming party right after you move in. Dishes will still be packed, and you’ll have boxes in every room. While your friends might not care–you’ll be stressed, digging through boxes in search of the glass pitcher you know you packed. Instead, just focus on moving in. It’s perfectly fine to wait a few weeks–or even months!–before inviting everyone over. You can wait even longer, if you moved during the wintertime. That way, you can use your new porch and backyard.
2. Host an Open House
While baby showers and holiday parties usually have a set schedule, your housewarming doesn’t need one. At an open house, guests can come and go as they please, and you don’t have to entertain them at every moment. Instead, friends and family mingle, eat, and play whatever games you set out the night before.
On the invitations, establish a start and end time. That way, no one arrives when you’re setting up or cleaning up! Even though it’s an open house, you’ll still need RSVPs, too. An accurate headcount will determine how much food and drinks to buy, and how much space to set for playing and sitting.
3. Invite Your Neighbors
If you want to befriend your neighbors, a housewarming party is the perfect opportunity. The same day you drop invitations in the mail, deliver an invite next door, along with a brief introduction. And if you live in big neighborhood–you don’t have to invite everyone! Simply invite the nearby neighbors around, like across the street and right next door.
Even if you don’t invite anyone from your block, you should still give them a head’s up about a large-scale party. That way, they can plan for the increase in street parking and noise level.
4. Skip the Decorations
You’re new home is your decoration! You don’t need to add balloons and streamers or themed napkins. That not only saves you some money, but also cuts down on your set-up time. Just make sure your home feels like you. That’s your housewarming theme! And if you want to make it extra cozy, light a few candles, drape soft blankets on the couch, or hang string lights in the den or living room.
5. Stock All Bathrooms
Let’s face it, your bathrooms will get extra use during a housewarming party–or any party! So be sure to stock all the potties with plenty of toilet paper, tissues, air freshener, and lotion. And be sure to highlight the available bathrooms on any tours, for guests who are too shy to ask.
Bonus Tip: You don’t have to open your en suite bathroom to guests! Simply ask guests not to use it, or lock the door.
If you have more than one bathroom, consider posting signs on the outside of the doors, to direct guests elsewhere. For example, the downstairs bathroom could have a note reading “Occupied? Try the one upstairs, second door on the right!”.
6. Schedule Group Tours
Giving tours is a critical part of your housewarming party! But if you give every guest a tour as soon as they walk in, they’ll be overwhelmed, and you’ll spend all day walking around your home. Instead, offer a tour every hour for new arrivals. You don’t have to make the tours official–simply announce that you’re giving another tour, for anyone who wants to join.
If a bunch of guests arrive at the same time, you can give an impromptu tour once they’ve settled in. Give them a few minutes to take off their jackets and grab a drink. Then, bring them around your home! (Don’t forget to open the tour to anyone else who wants to join, too!)
7. Create Designated Zones
At any party, there’s a risk that guests will gather in one or two rooms, and cause a traffic jam. To avoid any clustering, establish designated areas for all your activities. For example, separate the food and drink stations. You can keep all the food in the kitchen, with the home bar in the dining room.
Bonus Tip: This also lets guests explore more of your home!
This also applies to any game or sitting areas. If your living room is the main spot for sitting, you can bring out some games. But don’t put any food or drink stations in there! It will become overcrowded and uncomfortable.
Bonus Tip: Have Fun!
Your housewarming party is only a success if you have fun! It’s not a way to show off your new stuff, or an opportunity to feel judged by friends and family. Rather, it’s a time to celebrate an important milestone, and show everyone that your home is their home. When you keep this in mind, planning (and hosting!) a housewarming becomes a fun experience for everyone.
These tips were created with you in mind, because the ultimate goal is that you have fun! But for it to be fun, you’ll have to do some planning ahead of time. By waiting until you’re settled, zoning your home, and stocking it with the essentials–you’re setting yourself up for a memorable celebration with friends and family.
Have you ever attended a housewarming? Did the host use any of these tips?