Everything You Need to Host the Most Awesome Housewarming Party

woman pouring rose over a decorated tabletop
Photo: Yulia Grigoryeva/Shutterstock
Break in your new pad with a memorable soiree.

The boxes are unpacked and you've finally managed to get your new digs feeling like home, which is no easy feat. Now there's only one thing left to do: Show it off. A housewarming party is the perfect opportunity to introduce your inner circle to your amazing new space (and an awesome way to meet the neighbors), and it makes the whole thing feel official. Here's everything you need to know to pull off an unforgettable shindig to celebrate your new place in style, with a few tips from Rebecca Gallop of A Daily Something.

  1. 1. Make a Plan

    woman writing in notebook in front of a laptop
    Photo by Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

    Before getting down to the nitty-gritty details (like whether to do wine and cheese pairings or if your signature pot stickers should make it onto the menu), do yourself a favor and think big picture. Nailing down the party type and the time will make all of your other decisions, including what to serve, a whole lot easier. Plus it'll give you a bit of insight into just how much time and effort will be required to pull the whole thing off, as well as how far in advance you'll need to give your guests a heads up. Obviously, a swanky dinner party or themed affair will require a bit more thought than a casual, drop-in soiree.

  2. 2. Send Out Actual Invites

    illustrated invite
    Photo by Paperless Post

    Forget Facebook events and texts—do the adult thing and send out actual invitations. Paperless Post is a great option if you want to keep things classy and cut paper (and the post office) out of the equation. And your crew is practically glued to their phones anyway, so they're guaranteed to see it. When you send them out depends on what type of event you're hosting. A week should be enough for a drop-in situation, whereas you'll want to alert everyone at least three weeks in advance of a more formal get-together, like a dinner party or potluck.

  3. 3. Prepare Ahead of Time

    A man spreading ricotta, making bruschetta
    Photo by KucherAV/Shutterstock

    Trying to cook, bartend, serve and socialize all at once is enough to do you in, and you just got through with the pandemonium of moving—cut yourself some slack! You want to actually enjoy the awesome evening you're planning, so Gallop recommends having everything ready to go ahead of time. “Have simple appetizers ready well in advance, and set them out 15 minutes before guests arrive, so you can greet everyone and not be distracted with final preparations," Gallop says. “Make what you can the day before, so you can be focused on your guests as much as possible." And don't feel like you have to make everything from scratch. It's totally okay to incorporate a few premade plates from your local deli or Trader Joe's.

  4. 4. Stock Up on Supplies

    bathroom sink and mirror
    Photo by Lifestyle Travel Photo/Shutterstock

    With so many things on your mind, it's easy to overlook details like TP and hand soap. Your bathroom is going to be getting more foot traffic than usual, so it's best to plan ahead. Add things like soap, hand towels, toilet paper and so on to your shopping list and make sure your bathroom is fully stocked. Other things you won't want to overlook? Napkins, paper towels, trash bags and stain remover—just in case a glass of red wine takes a dive on that new carpet.

  5. 5. Make Cleanup Easy

    Woman washing dishes at her sink
    Photo by Nattakorn_Maneerat/Shutterstock

    If you're the type who likes to save cleanup for the end, Gallop suggests rethinking your party-prep approach. “When you're preparing in the kitchen, clean as you cook so most of the mess is gone before guests arrive," she says. “And at the end of the party, accept help if someone offers it. There's nothing better than enjoying the lingering conversation as the dishwasher runs and you're hand-washing pots, pans and wine glasses together."

  6. 6. Arrange Furniture for Easy Flow

    modern home interior
    Photo by BondRocketImages/Shutterstock

    It took a lot of reshuffling to get your furniture in perfect formation, but if it's going to create obstacles for a crowd, you'll want to move things around. Trust us on this one: The better the flow, the less likely your buds are to knock over that prized piece of pottery or rare family heirloom. And the bonus? There will be plenty of room for an impromptu dance party.

  7. 7. Amp Up the Ambience

    Outdoor party with twinkling lights and food spread
    Photo by LStockStudio/Shutterstock

    Make guests feel welcome the second they step foot through the door with thoughtful details that capture all the senses. Candles and light fragrances will instantly make your abode feel warm and welcoming. Another idea? Go green. “I always have simple arrangements in every room guests are expected to visit, even the powder room," Gallop says. “And if I'm serving a sit-down dinner, I always love a sprig of something, like a woody-stemmed herb, at each place setting. Grocery stores, farmers markets and pick-your-own flower farms are great places to find in-season blooms and foliage."

  8. 8. Mix and Match Your Tableware

    Tabletop place setting with geometric bowl
    Photo by ben bryant/Shutterstock

    This is your home, not the Ritz, so don't worry about perfecting each and every detail. According to Gallop, it's the unique quirks and oddities that add personality and panache to your place. “I have a few different sets of neutral plates and glassware. If you're expecting a large crowd, it's perfectly acceptable to mix and match tableware, napkins and so on. It adds texture and interest to your table," she says. Besides, with rustic-chic and bohemian aesthetics being all the rage when it comes to event planning, your mismatched dinnerware will feel incredibly en vogue.

  9. 9. Strategically Place Food and Drinks

    Charcuterie plate and wine
    Photo by Foxys Forest Manufacture/Shutterstock

    People will naturally gravitate toward the food, so place the nibbles strategically to show off your abode's best features—whether it be a state-of-the-art kitchen, an unparalleled view or a dramatic fireplace. To prevent bottleneck, arrange items in a way that allows for easy access (reducing the risk of accidents or queues) and consider placing a few on side tables throughout the room to keep the space from feeling too crowded.

  10. 10. Put Together an Awesome Playlist

    Making a playlist on an ipad
    Photo by LDprod/Shutterstock

    What's a party without music? Eliminate the potential for awkward silence by curating a killer playlist or scoping out Spotify ahead of time. Kick off the evening with a few of your favorite upbeat hits, then gradually shift gears with more laid-back jams as the night winds down.

  11. 11. Show Off

    Lush living space with multiple textures
    Photo by Breadmaker/Shutterstock

    Your home is the main event, so showing guests around should definitely be on the agenda. Instead of doing individual tours, try a group approach to maximize time relaxing and hanging out with guests. Keep it brief—no more than 15 minutes—and have a few talking points, like unique architectural features, renovations you plan on doing, or moving stories that'll keep things interesting.

  12. 12. Find a Fun Way to Document the Event

    Instax pink Polaroid camera
    Photo by Nor Gal/Shutterstock

    Skip the standard guest book and have guests snap a pic with a Polaroid camera when they arrive, or create a custom hashtag where your friends and family can share photos from the event. If you're feeling extra ambitious, have everyone sign a piece of artwork or unique object to later put on display in your home.

  13. 13. Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help

    Millennials helping out in kitchen
    Photo by Flamingo Images/Shutterstock

    Breathe. You have a lot going on and your friends and family get that, so when you're reaching your wits' end, don't hesitate to call in the reinforcements. “When I'm feeling overwhelmed in the weeks or days leading up to a party, or preparations didn't work out the way I planned, I'll ask a friend to take care of one of the dishes or come an hour or two early to help with final preparations," Gallop says. And sometimes, it's nice to have a few extra cooks in the kitchen. “It's okay to ask a guest to help out in the kitchen—you don't have to have everything ready when guests arrive, and it's more fun to have help," she says. “Ask them to slice the bread, serve drinks or light the candles. Taking one or two things off your own list will allow you to stress less and be with your guests more."

  14. ​14. Keep It Simple

    woman pouring rose over a decorated tabletop
    Photo by Yulia Grigoryeva/Shutterstock

    You don't need to go crazy with the tablescape, create a menu worthy of a Michelin star, or pull out all the stops to host an awesome housewarming party. Less is more. Simple, delicious food and great company is paramount—the rest is just the icing on the cake.