A new influx of people are buying houses again! Congratulations to all my friends that have landed a new home. The market hasn’t gotten any better but people can only go without buying a home for soooo long before you give up on waiting and just take the crappy interest rate on the loan.
I’ve started seeing more house warming parties happen again too as people have been laxing back to normalcy. It’s been a while since we’ve had to think about these etiquettes. While I think it’s tacky to show up to any party empty handed, a house warming party is a celebration where it is not just polite but customary to bring a gift.
BUT WHAT TO BRING? The fact that you’ve not yet seen this house is something you need to take into consideration. Your gift shouldn’t assume they have counter space, tons of storage, or something that needs to have certain wall colors etc. Save the nice art work for after you get a feel for their new space and personality they want to put into it. Check these out instead.
1. Hanging plant kit
I love this one because it’s both traditional and being conscious of their space. Bringing a plant is customary for house warming parties but you run into the issue of assuming they have end tables, desks, or counter space to display them on. If more than one person brings a plant it can get overwhelming for small spaces. Hanging plants are great because they can kind of go anywhere. Hanging by empty wall spaces or on the patio outside. I’ve seen some that look great hanging in the dinning room and kitchen spaces too.
It’s a modern twist on an old fashioned gift.
2. Branch Basics cleaning kit
What better gift than that of an environmentally conscious and toxin-free way to keep their new space looking nice?
Cleaning products get so expensive and take up loads of your under-the-sink and pantry storage areas. I love Branch Basics (it’s all I use) because they send you the spray bottles once with instructions on the water to soap ratio for “all purpose,” “streak-free” and “bathroom” and “laundry” printed onto the bottle. Then all you buy from then on out is the soap concentrate.
The concentrate lasts quite a while, especially considering how much I clean. (I’ve been called overly tidy.) They also send you a toxin-free and natural oxidizer powder you can add to your various solutions for tougher grimes you don’t clean day-to-day. Their website is full of combinations you can use to get anything out. I’ve gotten blood out of the bright yellow couch using their soap and vinegar! After that, I was 100% sold on this stuff.
3. Storage Bins/convenient storage
Help your friends with storage! When moving into a new home, I feel like there is just never enough storage anymore. Finding convenient ways to store things is a secret that should be shared with all. If you have a favorite way to store something to save space, get them the same set-up.
No one ever says, “noooo, I don’t want more cabinet space in my kitchen.”
4. Small goodies from locally owned shops near the new neighborhood
This one is going to take the most amount of time but it’s actually fun to do and could be kind of used as a family outing when shopping! Go to their new neighborhood (or show up early to the area day-of the party because with gas prices who is trying to do that twice?!) and find where the local shops are. Poke around and pick up a couple knick knacks and create a little house warming basket that welcomes them to the area!’
This one is for your tight pals. At local stores it’s easy to find things that make you think of your BFF. They have the best ornaments, one-of-a kind crafted objects, random kitchen gadgets and themed decor to shop. You also got the added benefit of shopping a small business.
5. Home Depot gift card
This is the “gotta do this quick but still want it to be useful” gift! You could just do a Visa gift card with the same amount so they could use it on anything but the fact that it’s Home Depot (or whatever one they actually have near them) stays on theme and says “welcome home” more than a general visa pre-charged card.
New homeowners will find themselves at Home Depot a lot their first year. More than anyone would want to admit. Even move-in ready homes end up having dozens of little projects you want to do once you physically move your things into the space.
From adding hooks and hanging things to full room renovations you might find yourself there multiple times on a Saturday. IYKYK.
6. A family recipe
We can’t all afford to show up with a gift. THAT IS OKAY! Friendship and support isn’t about dollars, it’s about giving someone space in your mind and your time.
To pick out and handwrite a family recipe down to share (perhaps one they love that you’ve prepared them before or have a memory together with) with your friend is so generous and a true gift from the heart. Something that can now become THEIR family recipe as they make it their own. It’s a beautiful thing to share knowledge with someone.
Being a new homeowner is such an adventure. When you’re finally ready to welcome people to your new space it’s exciting but also a little nerve wracking! If you’ve been on the receiving end already, you know how much it means as a host for people to help out.
Show love and support to your friends by coming with something to help them embark on the new journey.