If you moved into your first apartment over the summer, by now all your friends and family want to see what you have done with the place. It’s time to invite them over for a little get-together, and — lucky you! — at this time of the year you can even make it a twofer, a holiday/housewarming party in one.
Housewarming parties can be a little uncomfortable, especially if they’re your own! If you’re anything like me, you don’t love calling attention to yourself…but your first apartment is a HUGE milestone, and more likely than not, your friends and family are dying for an invitation inside.
What better way to host your loved ones than a traditional housewarming party? Here are our tips to make it a FUN and GREAT success!
There are probably three core groups of people who you should consider inviting to a housewarming party:
Friends are always by your side, so of course, when celebrating your independence, you want them there as well. Choose to invite your core group of friends, since you’re working with limited space, or plan to host a housewarming followed by a night out so your guests don’t feel too cramped all night.
Family may be some of your most important guests, especially if they helped you move out of the house into your first place. If you don’t think they will mesh well with your friends, consider hosting a separate housewarming with them.
Neighbors, once you’ve met them, would also probably love to attend a housewarming to get to know you better. Make sure that you are comfortable enough with them to invite them into your home, though! An invitation is a great gesture.
Once you’ve solidified who you want to invite, pick a date! Choose a time that most of your guests are in town or available for, but it should also ultimately be the best date for you. Your housewarming party should be during a week that you’re not too busy otherwise. Preparing for your party can take up a lot of time during the week prior to the big day, so try to choose an open week without any major personal or business commitments.
Sometimes, guests assume that they should bring housewarming gifts to your housewarming party. But what’s the polite way to ask? The truth is that there’s not really a polite way to ask, as far as traditional etiquette goes. Some people may bring small gifts, or ask in advance if you need anything. If someone asks, be honest and fair when describing what you need. Think dishes, towels, or other relatively inexpensive items when you ask.
Since you’ve invited all of these people over, it’s polite to prepare food or drinks for them! This can range from heavy appetizers (chips and salsa, cheese and crackers, meatballs, or if you’re feeling crafty, check out these recipes) to a dinner (think grilling or a pasta dish that isn’t too expensive to make in bulk). Either way, make sure to prepare food for your guests and don’t forget drinks!
Another idea is to invite your guests to participate in a potluck dinner, in which each guest brings their own favorite dish to share with the group! That’s easy to indicate on an invitation, and even easier to mention in person. Plus, it can turn out very fun to try other peoples’ favorites. (Just make sure to give each guest a food category (appetizer, main or dessert) you’d like them to bring, so you don’t end up with all desserts, or even worse, no desserts!)
Play music to entertain guests, or provide games like board games or cards. Expect most people to spend the night socialize with your other guests so don’t worry too much!
Overall, HAVE FUN! This is your party to show off your new place. Make sure to clean up in advance of the party, do as much prep (food) before the party as possible, and enjoy your party!