Ready to Host a Housewarming Party?

Once you’ve moved into your house and unpacked most of your things, you may be eager to host a housewarming party. It’s a great way to introduce your new home to family and friends—and meet your new neighbors.

A housewarming party can be as complicated or as simple as you like. Don’t worry if your home isn’t completely decorated. A “just moved in” ambiance could be perfect for the party!

These steps will help you organize and host whatever type of event that suits your style.

Step 1. Pick Your Party

Decide what type of party you’d like to host, depending on the number of guests, the season, and how much time and money you want to invest in the event.

Options include:  

A potluck where guests bring a dish to share and you supply beverages (and possibly the main course). This approach will be even more straightforward if you use disposable plates, glasses, and cutlery.

An open house where folks can drop by anytime during a several hour window (like noon to five p.m.) and snack on appetizers, drinks, and desserts. This will keep a steady stream of folks coming by and is an especially useful approach for smaller homes or a condo.

A home-cooked spread to showcase your culinary skills in your new kitchen. This will require more work and planning on your part, but if you love hosting celebrations, it’s a great way to kick things off in your new home.

A catered event is less personal but loads easier! Let someone else handle the food and drinks while you enjoy your guests.

A project party might be a good option if you’d like to enlist help from your nearest and dearest friends and relatives (excluding your new neighbors) to finish a project like painting a basement recreation room or landscaping work in your yard. If you make it fun for everyone, it can be a great way to get some much-needed help instead of gifts.

A scavenger hunt party is a way to show off your new place without giving a formal tour. Leave clues in every room and out in the yard. A fun prize for the winner will keep folks playing along!

Step 2. Make a Guest List

Consider the number of people you can comfortably accommodate—and who should be invited to the type of party you’re planning to host.

Step 3. Send Invitations

Select a date and a time of day that works best for your guests. Weekends are typically better than weekdays. Choosing a holiday may help or hurt attendance.

If you aren’t serving food, don’t schedule your party during lunch or dinner time. Do ask for RSVPs so you can plan accordingly.

Step 4. Stock Up on Drinks and Ice

No party can afford to run out of ice and drinks (alcoholic or otherwise, depending on the type of party you are hosting). Make sure you have plenty of both.

Step 5. Plan Your Food

Your menu plan will hinge heavily on the type of party you’re hosting and whether the food will be prepared in your kitchen, at a caterer, at a retailer (e.g., deli platters), or carried in by guests. Perhaps you’ll make some items from scratch and purchase others ready-to-serve.

Step 6. Stash Valuable and Fragile Items

Don’t run the risk of heartbreak if something goes missing or a guest accidentally breaks something precious. Make sure everyone has a good time during and after the event.

Step 7. Have Fun

Get everything ready in advance so you can enjoy your party without juggling too many host/hostess obligations. Greet each guest as they arrive and thank them for coming.

If you snap a photo with each arriving guest, it will help you keep track of everyone who came, and it may provide an opportunity to include a picture in a follow-up thank-you card.

Step 8. Clean Up

You can do this yourself, or hire help to put things back in order. Some of your (best) friends may offer to help you with the clean-up tasks.

Step 9. Send Thank You Notes

While this step is often overlooked, a quick, handwritten, thank you note will make your guests feel special and prolong the warm vibes of your housewarming party. It’s a nice gesture to extend to all guests, including those who didn’t arrive with a gift.