How to Throw a Housewarming Party

Plan the perfect housewarming party

Congratulations on being in your new home! You’ve survived the stressful journey of selecting a place to live, packing and moving. Now you’re ready to kick back, relax and enjoy it. So why not throw a housewarming party and celebrate?

Housewarming parties are a great way to meet new neighbors and co-workers, hang out with family and friends, and get acclimated to the community. They’re traditionally low-key affairs, but be as fancy or as casual as you wish — it’s your party, after all! If you’ve never hosted a housewarming party, or if you’re looking for a refresher course to get some ideas, you’re in the right place. Read on for tips on how to host a memorable, stress-free get-together that won’t break the bank! 

Welcome mat and moving boxes at the door of a housewarming party.


Determine the date

While you may be excited about moving into your new home and eager to show it off, you just went through a big life change — be mindful not to burn out or get overwhelmed. There’s no specific timetable, but you may want to wait at least a few weeks so there’s time to get settled, catch your breath, unpack and arrange the furniture. You may even want to decorate a little.

Set a budget

You and your new home are the stars of the show, so don’t feel pressure to get fancy with your party (though that’s totally acceptable if fancy is your style). Whether you’re looking to spend under $100 — or maybe a little more or less — you can still have an unforgettable party. Just set a budget you’re comfortable with, and go from there. 

Finalize a guest list

New and old friends alike are all welcome at your housewarming party! You don’t have to invite everyone, but asking close friends and family, a few new neighbors, your co-workers, or friends from your kids’ school is a great way to make connections. 

If you live in a place where you share walls (like a Condo), or your guests’ cars will need to park along the street, be sure to give your neighbors a courtesy heads up — the last thing you want is to irritate them right off the bat.  

Determine a gift policy

Some new homeowners register for gifts, while others don’t. If you have specific things for your new home on your wish list, but you don’t have room for much else, it’s best to set up a gift registry. If you prefer to keep things casual with no gifts, consider asking those who may be inclined to bring one to contribute something for the party instead (like food or drinks). Whatever the decision, make your preference clear on the invitation.

Choose a theme

Now that you’ve determined your budget and guest list, it’s time to plan the food and the fun! What better place to start than deciding on a theme? A theme can create a fun, light-hearted environment that gets everyone involved. You don’t need one, but it can be a clever way to plan for food options, decorations and activities. Here are some simple themes to consider:

Unpacking party

You obviously don’t have to put your guests to work. But if you’re hosting a small party with close friends and family, and you’re still moving in, you could have guests help you organize and unpack. This is a great way to bond with loved ones and get some work done in the process! 

Location-themed party

Are you moving somewhere fun that’s famous for its cuisine, fashion or culture? Center the theme on that! For example, if you’ve moved to Austin, plan a taco party, and have friends bring their favorite Mexican food staples. Seattle? Have your friends dress up in ‘90s grunge fashion and serve some seafood. New Orleans? Enjoy some Cajun fare and have a Mardi Gras-themed costume party!

Open house party

Pick a block of time and throw a come-and-go “open house” party. This allows guests to check out your new place as their schedule permits. This is a no-frills, laid-back way to show off your home and spend time with your friends at a time that’s convenient for them. 

Potluck party

Host a potluck party! You could provide a meat and veggie tray or some light hors d'oeuvres and tell your guests to bring over a few of their favorite dishes. It’s simple, easy and is a fun way for guests to get involved and share their favorite things with everyone! 

Casual party

Maybe you don’t want a theme at all. Just say “come as you are,” and have guests show up ready to see your new home!

Send out invitations

Housewarming parties are traditionally casual affairs, so formal invitations may not be necessary. Send a text or a Facebook message about it, or email invites. Just be sure to communicate with invited guests a few weeks in advance to give plenty of time for planning.

Plan the menu

Food is an essential part of any party. If you aren’t going the potluck route, here’s some other options that you could choose from:

  • Consider planning your food options around the chosen theme.
  • Finger foods like charcuterie boards, vegetable platters or hummus and assorted dips are always a big hit.
  • You could also arrange for catering, set up a cookout, and ask guests to bring their favorite side items. 
  • Or, keep it simple by ordering pizza.

Whatever your choice, limit the menu to foods that are easy to prepare and eat and that aren’t too messy. 

Keep it simple

Save some effort on cleanup by using paper, plastic or other recyclable plates and utensils. Plus, if you haven’t completely unpacked the kitchen belongings, this will save you from having to hunt down the one box that holds all of your serving platters.

Put on a fun playlist

No party is complete without music. You’ll want to find something that continuously plays so you can devote more time to entertaining guests. Put on your favorite Pandora station, find a cool playlist on Spotify, or create your own mix of favorites for an upbeat atmosphere. Bonus points for choosing fun home-related tunes like “Our House” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young or “Home” by Phillip Phillips! 

Tidy up before the party

While you may still be living out of boxes, be sure to tidy up the main areas. Take the drop cloths off the sofas and tables, straighten up the living room, and move boxes to a low-traffic area. This way, guests can walk around without tripping over your moving-in clutter.  

Offer tours

Finally, when guests arrive, offer a tour or invite them to peruse on their own. Don’t worry if you still have some boxes to unpack and the walls and windows are bare — it’s all part of that “we just moved in” charm! 

Share your party ideas with us!

We hope that these ideas spark your creativity and help you plan the best housewarming party ever! If you used some our suggestions or have other tips or ideas for a fun housewarming party, let us know if the comments below!