When Sarah Gay bought her Pennsylvania townhouse, it was a surprise. She wasn’t necessarily in the market to move, but she found a great deal. Since her home purchase was rushed, she decided to take her time – more than a year – remodeling, painting and prepping her home before considering party tips and throwing a housewarming for her coworkers and friends.
“I wanted to make sure the house was the way I wanted people to see it,” she said.
Even after all the remodeling, she had a lot of prepping to do when it finally came time to have her friends see her new digs. And she’s not alone. More than 300,000 people moved last year, according to U.S. Census data, and a lot of new renters and homeowners are in search for grade A party tips. Who to invite? What food and drinks to have? What day to throw it?
Thanks to Marley Majcher, The Party Goddess, we have the 4-1-1 on what you need to ask yourself before opening the doors to your new home for all your friends and family. Majcher says she has professionally planned parties since 2000, and for some of the fanciest clients in Los Angeles, including Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg and Sofia Vergara. Not to mention companies like Porsche, Bentley and Ralph Lauren.
Once you’ve answered these five questions, you’ll be prepared to throw the proper housewarming party to celebrate your new digs.
Who Should You Invite to Your Housewarming?
Number one party tip: plan your guest list as early as possible, especially when hosting a housewarming. The number of guests, whether you’re inviting your party-animal friends or the grandparents, and if kids are coming will all determine the type of party you’re going to throw.
It’s best to separate potential guests into groups: Work friends, close friends, family. Send out invites to the top people in each group, or have separate parties for each group.
“Identify the core people, because if you don’t invite mom, you’re going to be in trouble,” Majcher said. “From there you can move on and start to invite people from the B-list.”
What Ambiance Should Your Party Have?
The vibe of your party will determine how soon to throw your housewarming.
“Are you exhausted from moving and you just want everybody to come over and help you put stuff away. Or do you want to show off your place?” Majcher suggested new homeowners ask themselves.
Gay spent the year between buying her home making sure she styled her home the way she wanted with the perfect furniture and by painting different rooms.
“I didn’t buy a couch until five months after moving in,” she said with a laugh.
Once you know the vibe you’ll know whether you need to buy food, and what kind, as well as drinks.
Majcher suggested the party tip of creating a signature cocktail to cut down on alcohol costs.
“Simplify where you can,” she said.
When prepping for her party, Gay made sure to have a vegetarian and non-alcoholic option to cater to all her guests. Not a bad party tip!
When Should You Throw Your Housewarming?
Planning the time of your party early in your party preparation process is essential.
If you want your guests to help you unpack, then plan your party right after you move in. Or, if you’re like Gay, wait a couple months or longer to make sure everything looks perfect.
Also, consider what time and day would work best with your party’s vibe.
“If you want it to be a rager, you’re not going to have it at 11 a.m.,” Majcher said. “And if you want to show off your new place, you might want to have it at magic hour. You know, the time right before the sun sets and everything looks beautiful.”
Also consider having the party during the week to avoid competing with your guest’s weekend activities.
“Sometimes it’s good to have things when it’s not a Saturday night,” Majcher said.
Where Will Your Host the Party in Your New Home?
The time of your party – morning, afternoon or night – will determine where in your home you can host your guests.
Gay did a last-minute patio furniture run before her party so she could start outside at 2 p.m., but eventually her 20 or so guests moved inside. The festivities continued in her video game room (aka her basement) until 1 a.m!
“My friends and I are in the tech field, so we connected the games!”
Another party tip is to make sure to create a back-up plan in case the weather changes, Majcher advised.
How Will You Throw a Flawless Housewarming?
Having a flawless party requires help, so it’s always important to recruit friends before, after or both.
“Thankfully my friends helped me out at the end, and the only thing I had to do the next day was vacuum out the crumbs and do the dishes,” Gay said.
If you have time, throw a small party before your housewarming as a test run. Then you’ll know if you’re oven runs hot or cold before cooking, and you’ll be able to identify if anything is broken like the ice maker or doorbell.
When it comes time to make your shopping lists, a great party tip is to not be afraid to splurge a little on supplies.
“When it doubt, buy extra,” Majcher said.