First, break all the rules
When it comes to a memorable housewarming party, the best rule of thumb is to throw etiquette out the window. Intricately designed invitations are great for friends and family, but what better way to connect with new neighbors than to go door to door, or run into a few at the neighborhood mailbox and invite them over for a low-key get together.
Don’t worry about impressing anyone
You might not have furniture yet. Your real friends don’t care. They just want to help you enjoy the happiness of your new home. We had a housewarming party just days after moving in, we didn’t have new furniture yet. Friends happily found a cozy spot on the floor, and the comment we heard most often? “Your carpet is SO soft!” I replied every time with “Almost as soft as a couch, right?!”
Keep your party simple
That includes food. An endless supply of drinks and a nice fire pit in the yard is more than enough. A few backyard games don’t hurt either. Set up a sprinkler or slip-and-slide if it’s warm, or invite everyone to make s’mores or roast marshmallows as you watch new and old friendships come together.
For food, try simple appetizers, mainly finger foods, that require little prep and cleanup and satisfy a growling stomach. Caprese salad is a delicious, nutritious finger food that is even more visually appealing skewered on a toothpick.
Keeping with that theme, you can literally almost skewer anything; smoked turkey breast, fresh fruit, gummy candy, the possibilities are simple and endless.
Don’t forget to have your guests sign a thoughtful message in a decorative guestbook. You’ll want to remember your first party in your new home, and it’s a great way to remember the names of new neighbors.
Try a fun Polaroid camera to take snapshots. Write the names of new neighbors on the back; keep one photo for yourself and send one as a thank you to your guests for attending and, added bonus, they will have a tangible copy of your new address.
Lastly, don’t forget directions! While everyone probably has a GPS, they still might be roaming the streets of every cul-de-sac in your new ‘hood trying to find your house number. Try a simple app like Glympse where guests can view your exact GPS location, and even send you theirs so you know when they’re on your way.
If you keep the food simple and easy, the cleanup will be a mere afterthought. And the greatest friends and neighbors will probably offer to pick up a few things before they leave.
Happy Home Christening!