Housewarming Party Guide: Tips for Celebrating Your New Home

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The best thing about moving into a new place is showing it off to your friends. Throwing a housewarming party shouldn’t be a stressful event—moving is enough stress. A little planning and organization make throwing a successful party a whole lot easier.

Date & Time

How soon should you throw your housewarming party? Some people prefer to have their home set up and decorated before presenting it to the world; others can’t wait have everyone over to break in the new space. It’s not unusual to see housewarming parties taking place up to three months after the move-in date. Your house is party-ready when you feel it is; the more comfortable you are, the more comfortable your guests will be.

A quick tip for party success: Set an end time, usually within three hours of the start of the party. Having a finite end time gets most people to the party on time so you don’t have constant comings and goings, which can disrupt the flow of your get-together. And just because you set an end time doesn’t mean that your guests can’t stay later if the party’s still going strong.

Guest List & Sending Invitations

Invite your new neighbors and, if you’ve changed jobs, your new coworkers. You’ll expand your circle of friends and have a great time in the process. If you would prefer a more intimate gathering, invite your immediate neighbors only—it’s a good way to get off on the right foot.

Be sure to set an “RSVP” by date. Knowing how many people to expect will help you when doing your shopping and prep work. Give guests the option to RSVP by phone or by email to ensure the biggest response. Send housewarming invitations a few weeks in advance so your friends can plan accordingly.

housewarming party tips

The Theme (Or Not)

You don’t need a theme for your housewarming, but it can streamline your decorating and food choices. If your new place has a pool, consider throwing a pool party. You’ll only have to dress up the pool area and you can serve tropical-themed food and drink. Or your theme can be a color. If you’ve chosen a dominant color for your living room, that can be your party theme, requiring only minimal embellishments.

The Decor

If you’ve waited until your home is picture perfect before planning your housewarming party, then there’s probably not much to do to dress it up for guests. If you’re not quite finished yet, there a few things you can do to make your home warm and inviting. Try putting fresh flowers around the main party area. A softly scented candle or two in the guest bathroom is a nice touch as well. Move boxes out of the space so there’s more room for guests. Put a pretty tablecloth over a makeshift dining table and no one will know it’s not the real thing.

The Menu

Two words: finger food. Keep your menu simple and delicious. Try canapés, pinwheel sandwiches, mini quiches and other favorites. You can serve your treats buffet-style on your dining room table or set up smaller stations around the party area. Drink selections should be simple as well: beer, wine, a few basics for mixed drinks and non-alcoholic selections.

House Tours & Games

Your guests will want to see your new place, so give some thought to how you will conduct the grand tour as your guests arrive. Having a plan will help you show everyone around quickly and efficiently so you’ll have plenty of time to relax and socialize with your guests.

Games can be a great way to break the ice with new friends. Don’t feel pressured, though, if you’d rather just kick back and socialize instead.

The Backup Plan

Keep an eye on the weather forecast for your party date, especially if you plan to throw your soiree outside. You’ll need to have an easy-to-execute backup plan in case you have to move indoors. Even if you’re planning on staying inside, you’ll want to be sure to have someplace for your guests to put wet umbrellas and to dry off wet shoes.

The Big Day

On the day of your party, make sure your home is as clean and tidy as it can be, even if you haven’t unpacked all of your boxes yet. Show your place at its best.

Keep things simple, from food and drink to decor and activities. You’ve just been through a big, exhausting change, so give yourself a break. Your friends are there to celebrate with you. Keep it casual and relaxed; a party’s supposed to be fun. If it’s turning into a project, it might be time to stop and change course.

This article was written by Megan Gordon for, an online resource for moving information, products and coupons.

Last Updated: June 12, 2012
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