How To Throw a Great Housewarming Party

Congratulations! After a whirlwind of navigating unfamiliar streets, packing and unpacking boxes, and rearranging furniture, you’re officially moved into your new home. Now comes the fun part: hosting a housewarming party.

The good news is your place doesn’t need to be 100% perfect before you invite friends over to check it out. As long as you have the essentials unpacked and a few places to sit, you can host an epic housewarming party. Here’s everything you need to know.

Let’s Start With the Obvious: Make a Plan

Whether it’s a big soiree or a casual get-together, there’s a bigger chance something important will slip through the cracks if you don’t have a plan in place. So here are a few steps you’ll need to take in the days or weeks before your party happens.

Timing matters

As eager as you might be to show off your new home, you’ll want to choose a date that’s far enough out to give yourself some party prep time.

Ideally, you should plan to throw a housewarming party within six months of moving in. This allows enough time to get your house in order and spend time on planning, but not so much time that your “new place” isn’t actually new to you anymore.


“Whatever your preference [regarding gifts], make sure to state it obviously on the invite. Also, include options at a variety of price points…It’s best to limit prices to $100 or less”


When during the day the actual party’s held depends entirely on what kind of housewarming party you want to throw, and maybe on some of the fun features of your new home. If you want something laid-back, or your backyard has a fire pit or a swimming pool, consider having it earlier in the day. A new theater room, or you’re in the mood to try out your cool new kitchen? Then aim for around dinnertime.

Three hours is also the sweet spot when it comes to how long a party lasts, but that’s just a guideline. If people are having fun, keep the party going!

Invite the right people the right way

When it comes to putting together a guest list, you’ll want to choose carefully. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun experience for you, too. So don’t feel guilty for leaving anyone off the invite list who will add to your stress. Stick to family, friends, and new neighbors you want to get to know better.


“If you have pets, you don’t want them running underfoot, getting loose outside, or eating something they shouldn’t when you’re not watching. Consider making a calm space for them…where guests aren’t allowed, or boarding them for the day”


As for the invitation, you have many choices. You can go with traditional U.S. mail invites, or choose a service like Evite to deliver them digitally.

Also, don’t forget to include directions. Name the major cross streets and give any tips for finding your place, especially if your address isn’t obvious from the street. It also helps to include any tips for where to park (or not to park).

The invite is also the place you list any expectations, like how casual the party will be, if your guests should bring some swimwear to try out your new hot tub, or what kind of gift would be appreciated (or not to bother with one at all).

Speaking of gifts, make a list

Houseplants are fine, but if you’re already in possession of a whole greenhouse of succulents, you might appreciate something else as a nice gesture from friends and family.

For many people, a housewarming party is an opportunity to receive household items they still need. There are registries for this at retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and Crate & Barrel, and there’s always the option of an Amazon wishlist.

But if you’d like something different, say so! Maybe you’d like to build up your wine collection, fill up your spice rack, or shower your pet with gifts to make the moving transition easier. And maybe you don’t want gifts at all.

Whatever your preference, make sure to state it obviously on the invite. Also, include options at a variety of price points so guests don’t feel obligated to spend more than they can afford. It’s best to limit prices to $100 or less.

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Remember, you don’t have to do everything on your own

Throwing a housewarming party is a major endeavor, and you don’t have to do it by yourself. Ask a friend, family member, and/or partner to help you out with things like shopping, decorating/setup, and teardown. Come up with a task list so that everyone involved knows their role and doesn’t get stuck doing it all.

And Now It’s Time To Party

As you’re thinking about the actual logistics of your party, remember housewarming parties are meant to be fun for both the guests and the host.

If you’re still feeling stressed out from your move, your planning should aim for a low-key event with a smaller guest list. On the other hand, if you’re the hostess with the mostess, go all out for your housewarming extravaganza! Either way, here’s how to ensure you and your guests are comfortable and having fun.

What to eat, what to drink, and where to sit

Housewarming parties usually don’t involve a sit-down, multi-course meal — unless you want one, that is. But if you’re not into cooking (or you want an Insta-worthy spread) consider hiring a caterer. Or make it a potluck so all the food preparation doesn’t fall on you.

Some other pro tips to help the day go smoothly:

  • Spread butcher paper across a table or counter for easy labeling of dishes and cleanup
  • Opt for bite-sized snacks that are easy to serve and eat
  • Use environmentally friendly disposable plates and utensils
  • Premix cocktails in a large pitcher or make a bowl of punch so you don’t need space for a full bar

Also be sure to have enough seating so your guests can sit and eat, or just take a load off. It’s a little tough to get enough seats if you haven’t unpacked fully or bought new furniture yet, but camping chairs, bar stools, or asking guests to Bring Your Own Chair should do in a pinch.

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The grand tour

The biggest part of what sets apart a housewarming party from other get-togethers might be guests asking to be shown around. They want to see your new home, after all!

Depending on if you have someone to play host in your stead or not, you might want to wait to gather everyone up for a tour. A good time for this is the gap between when most people have finished eating and whenever entertainment starts. If you plan to take everyone in a big group later on, make sure to label important rooms. It’s useful for guests to know immediately where the bathroom is, or which doors to keep closed so the cat doesn’t escape.

Little touches go a long way

If you want to go above and beyond for your guests, there are a few things you can do to make your home extra inviting.

  • Scented candles and essential oil diffusers can make your home smell incredible. But, make sure that they’re pet-friendly, lean towards clean and natural scents, and none of your guests are particularly sensitive to smells
  • Having amenities like extra floss, mouthwash, feminine hygiene products, pain reliever, etc. arranged in a basket in your bathroom is a nice touch your guests are sure to appreciate. And don’t forget: check that the toilet paper roll is full!
  • Unless your housewarming party doubles as a dance party, it’s a good idea to keep music calming and at a lower volume so people don’t have to shout when chatting
  • If you have pets, you don’t want them running underfoot, getting loose outside, or eating something they shouldn’t. Consider making a calm space for them in a bedroom or bathroom where guests aren’t allowed, or boarding them for the day
  • Entertainment is a must, but not everyone finds board games fun. Try setting out a variety of activities or choices so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Especially if you have a backyard, utilize the space for those who like to be more active, or for things that run a risk of damage if they’re indoors.
  • Your guests will really appreciate small party favors to say thanks for coming, as well as thank you cards sent out to anyone who brought over a housewarming gift

There are so many ways to go about throwing a housewarming party. Whether you have a quiet get-together or a neighborhood blow-out, the goal should be to have fun and show off your beautiful new home (and maybe get more familiar with people in your community). By planning in advance and following a few rules of etiquette, your housewarming party is sure to be a smash.

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