So, you've just moved into your new residence, and you want to show off your digs with some merriment – a housewarming party is the answer!
There’s nothing like letting your hair down and enjoying your new place with some friends and fun. Your party will also be the first opportunity for friends and family to see your new house and any party is a personal expression of the host’s personality and family.
Whether you want to do a fancy dress party or just a memorable mingling to celebrate, there are certain steps to be followed to ensure your party is a smash hit.
Herewith your guide to organising (and enjoying) a great housewarming party!
The guest list. Before you even start thinking of fonts for your invitation, you should have a guest list. Which friends, family and co-workers are in? Do you have enough space for everybody? Would it be better to host 2-3 smaller parties instead of one gigantic one?
The date. When will the festive occasion take place? You don’t want guests to stumble over unpacked boxes! Make sure you have adequate time to unpack, decorate and clean before you break out that champagne (say, 2-3 weeks after moving in to motivate yourself to get a move on).
The invitation. Everyone’s busy, so make sure your invites go out at least 2 weeks before your planned bash. Shorter notice is acceptable if it’s a more casual get together. Opt for electronic invitations (i.e. email, SMS, or social media like Facebook) to cut down on your party costs (leave those fancy paper invitations for more formal gatherings).
And remember to include the date, start time, end time and RSVP date on your invitation!
Guests will understand that you recently moved in and have not settled in 100% yet – but that doesn’t excuse any bare walls! Make an effort with some decor; even if not all your wall art or mirrors are up yet, opt for some colourful streamers or balloons to fill up the blank space in the meantime.
And make sure that the main spaces where the guests will be mingling (i.e. living room, patio, kitchen) are free of any unpacked boxes and clutter. Hide the unpacked boxes in closets or stack them neatly in a corner/unused room.
Your guests will likely want to look at all the rooms in your new place; so, make sure that all the rooms look neat and semi-presentable, even the unfinished ones (and remember hand towels and toilet paper/tissues for the bathrooms).
Your guests will not be content with receiving only a guided tour of your new place – they’ll expect something to munch on as well. If you decide on a sit-down dinner for your guests, you may consider preparing in and serving from a slow cooker, giving you more time to mingle.
Should you decide to go the finger food route, you’re spoiled for choice: chips and dip, cheese and cracker trays, rolled deli meats, sandwich trays, mini meatballs and quiches… Just make sure you have sufficient plates, bowls, and cutlery prior to your party.
Even if you tell your guests to bring their own drinks, make sure you still have something that’ll quench their thirsts (and remember to cater for the non-drinkers with a non-alcoholic beverage).
homify hint: Ever considered conjuring up a speciality punch for the occasion? Homemade punch (with or without alcohol) is always a popular choice at parties. But remember to also provide clean, cool water for your guests, either in a filtered pitcher or in water bottles.
From champagne coolers to cake servers, take a look at the party essentials that the professionals of Magisso have in store.
Party proofyour place
• Will small children be attending your party? Better stock away the breakables on higher shelves for the evening, then.
• Do you share your house with pets? Make sure to keep them in a safe and comfortable place for the duration of the party, with food and water. While some pets may be great with new people, large and loud groups tend to frighten Fluffy and Kitty. And there’s usually one person at a party with pet allergies.
• Light some candles or opt for some hanging fairy lights if you have an outdoor space. This is sure to keep the ambience flowing.
• Some fresh flowers, either in vases or petals strewn on the dining / snacks table, can make all the difference.
• Have napkins on hand and make sure your guests know where to find them.
• Don’t put all the finger food out at once. Start with one or two trays, then add to them to provide new things as the party progresses (and keep the food and drink areas separate to avoid crowding).
Just a few minutes on your computer, and you can create an amazing playlist to kick off your party – and keep it going. Don’t leave this until the last minute, start working on your music collection a few days before the big day.
It’s a party, so upbeat music is key, but keep your guests’ music tastes in mind. If your friends have dramatically different music tastes, go with some instrumental and neutral music (singer-songwriter, trip hop, and improvisational jazz) to blend into the background.
Start your music about 30 minutes before the first guests arrive – this’ll get you into the party spirit!
If you have the space, move some furniture out of the way for a dancing area.
homify hint: Housewarming gifts are great, but don’t expect any – rather receive them as an unnecessary, yet happy surprise. And secretly make a note from whom you received a gift so that you can write thank you cards later.
A killer party needs a host that’s on the ball! Remember to:
• Greet each guest as they arrive yourself. This will be their first impression of your new home, and greeting them yourself sets the best tone for the party.
• Offer your guests drinks. Ask to pour it yourself, thereafter show them where the drinking area is and encourage them to help themselves.
• If you have any unfinished rooms, ask your guests for suggestions on how to organise the space. This will remove the focus from your unpacked room and give your guests an opportunity to feel helpful.
• Mingle with everyone and don’t spend too much time with any particular friend(s). Be sure all your guests know each other, and when introducing two people to each other, try and point something out that you think they may have in common.
• Towards the end of the evening, serve coffee and dessert (if your dessert trays are not out already). This will be the signal that the party is winding down.
• Be sure to thank everybody for attending your awesome housewarming party!
Still a bit nervous about your forthcoming bash? Then see some more Indoor Party Ideas.