A guide of housewarming tips for hosts and guests, from menu to music to manners.
My housewarming was last month and, now that I finally have everything cleaned up (kidding!), I thought it would be helpful (and fun) to organize everything I learned into a guide of sorts. The information in this post should be helpful for both hosts and guests with tips on everything from menu-building, to music, to gift-buying, and even cleanup afterward!
I basically followed the entertaining tips outlined in this post with the exception of maintaining a simple theme/menu. I had over 50 guests come in from around the city, the state, and one extremely sweet friend all the way from Colorado so I wanted to be sure to have options for everyone. I requested plus one information and dietary restrictions along with RSVPs in order to help me plan and refine the menu. (I recommend using Invitd for easy text invites.) The responses indicated allergies, Whole30 participation, vegetarianism, veganism, and religious considerations but none of that threw a wrench in the operation because variety was already part of my plan! Below is the menu. Items I've shared on the blog before are linked and others are coming soon.
- Spicy Shredded Chicken Sliders
- Rotel Dip, Salsa & Chips
- Spicy BBQ Meatballs
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Dodo (Fried Plantain)
- Fruit Salad
- Strawberry Brownies
- Praline Brie Dip
- Assorted Cheeses, Dips, Nuts, etc.
- Rum Punch
- Red & White Wines
- Assorted Sodas and Liquor
- Bottled Water
Music + Setup
Now, if you're the host or hostess, the very least you can do for your guests is provide an A1 playlist. They need something else to listen to besides how you decided on the paint finish or kitchen countertop color! Here's the link to my housewarming playlist. It's got a little bit of everything--from Texas trill to 90s chill--so I play it all the time.
You may not have the patience to download an embroidery font and frame your wifi network and password but it's still a good idea to post it somewhere. Let's face it, people want the information and this keeps you from repeating yourself. Because I love y'all so much, below is a free printable version of my sign! Also, I found the frame for it at the dollar store. Honestly, Truly.
While at the dollar store, I also grabbed some little garlands and Mardi Gras beads to add to props I already had for an impromptu photo area. (The glasses are from my latest Tinselbox.) My guests and I made a bunch of memories and cute boomerangs for The Gram here!
For good flow, I turned my dining table into a giant nosh station with the wines, dips, crackers, cheeses, etc. and placed the "real food", liquor, and punch in the kitchen. This helped prevent congestion around any one area, stimulate conversation, and made the best use of my space. My mom is always picking up little hostess supplies for me and she grabbed the little signs I used to label everything some time ago. I'm not sure from where but these are very similar if you'd like to use them with toothpicks at your next event!
- I still stand by my crockpot tip! I had three going to both cook and serve food out of. This helped reduce dishes and kept the food warm all night long.
- Clean as you go. Especially since I served much of the food in my kitchen, I didn't want a sink full of dishes. If you have a dishwasher (I don't) make sure it's empty and ready to be filled up afterward. Speaking of dishes, plastic and paper are you best friends, particularly if you'll have a lot of guests. There are lots of cute disposable options out there, too. I used these plates and these cups.
- Have food storage containers, zip top bags, and wine stoppers on hand to put everything away once the party is over. Here are my favorite food storage containers and I received these fancy wine stoppers as a housewarming gift.
- Also, make sure your internal and external trashcans are empty beforehand because they'll both go from zero to 100 real quick!
Mind Your Manners
A good thing to do before a housewarming or any big gathering is alert (and maybe even invite) your neighbors as there will be lots of cars and noise. It doesn't hurt to take them some cookies and introduce yourself while you're at it! And before I switch over to tips for guests, remember to have some thank you cards on deck. Some people had gifts shipped to my home before the party, so I filled out those cards beforehand to have them ready...unfortunately, I forgot about them in all the shuffle. So, I'm still handing them out/mailing them, haha!
My Recommendations (Gift Guide)
told encouraged me to create a registry for easier gift-giving but if your host doesn't have one, below are a number of great options.
Blankets/Throws: As soon as you get your own place you realize you can never have too many blankets! When you only have a bedroom to work with, a comforter and maybe a throw are probably all you need but you won't want to drag them from one room to the other. When you have guests, extra blankets are the real MVP. The blankets and throws I registered for (which are all on sale) are here, here, and here.
Libations: A bottle of wine, champagne, liquor, or even a six-pack will be warmly welcomed by the host and maybe even cracked open during the party. If not, you'll be helping stock his or her new bar.
Fresh Flowers: Nobody will complain about too many beautiful fresh flowers hanging out around the house. They add natural fragrance and sophistication to any space. My tip is to bring them in a vase so your host doesn't have to take time out to find one and tend to them during the party.
Candle: This is a good go-to gift but it doesn't have to be a thoughtless one. There are scents to suit any mood and personality as well as masculine and feminine fragrances. I like this for a clean, neutral scent and this one for a hint of spice.
Something Personalized: Go this route to help your host put their own stamp on the space--literally. An engraved cutting board, etched glasses, or monogrammed towels would all be much appreciated. If you have a good amount of lead time, Groupon regularly has deals on personalized items.
Coffee Table Books: I had quite a few coffee table books on my housewarming registry because they help to decorate and personalize a space but aren't something most people want to spend a ton of money on. Below are some I either have my eye on, have recently purchased, or received as gifts [Thank y'all!].
I hope this is helpful to you in planning or attending your next housewarming. Let me know if you have any other questions below. Thanks for reading!