Hosting a Move-In Party

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It takes a lot to make a house into a home. There is something intangible that runs through a place that has been loved and lived in. Having positive experiences in your new home will help you connect with the space, and make you feel more settled in, even if all your things aren't unpacked yet.

Hosting a move-in party is a great way to make some new memories and even meet the neighbors.


You should plan on inviting some of your new neighbors. Invitations could be attached to plates of cookies or muffins that you bring door-to-door, or you could just hand out standalone invites.

Try and hand the invitations over in person, especially if you have not previously met some of the people in your neighborhood. If you are in an apartment complex with a bulletin board, post a flyer for the party up there.

If you have friends that live around the area already, invite them too. Make sure, however, that you specify "no gifts" if you are inviting mixed company. Your neighbors may feel uncomfortable if they show up to the party empty-handed and see that other people have brought gifts. For this reason, you may want to avoid the term "housewarming," since it implies gift-giving.

Food and drink

Don't put too much pressure on yourself with the menu. There are going to be people you don't know very well at this party, so keep it simple. Wine and cheese are always classy, and enjoyed by many. And of course the staples, chips, vegetables, and dip, should satisfy most palates. Plan your party for a time after most people have eaten dinner. That way, they can come and relax, and you don't have to worry about feeding an army.

You might not know how many people are coming, so plan on getting more food than you "need," because you might actually need it. Make sure to provide plenty of non-alcoholic refreshment. If you want to cook some hors d'oeuvres, consider having some of your friends help out, especially if your kitchen isn't exactly cooking-ready yet.

Other considerations

There are a few other small things to consider when planning and executing a successful and stress-free move-in party:
  • If your building has a super or a landlord, make sure to run the idea by him or her first.
  • Don't schedule it on a weeknight.
  • Have some ideas for activities ready, in case the energy starts to fizzle out: playing charades or a board game is a good idea.
  • As the host, make sure that you spend a good amount of time with people you don't know very well. Try and have some good conversation with your new neighbors, and be sure to make them feel at home.
  • Consider the age range of the attendees when choosing the music.
  • If you have the resources, think about implementing a theme.
  • Make sure that you are attentive and courteous to all your guests.
  • Don't leave a bad first impression on those neighbors who don't attend; make sure that things don't get overly noisy.
A fun, relaxed move-in party can serve a lot of functions. You will make new connections with both people and your home. You might also get some great pictures out of it that you can look back on later.

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Patrick Hanan  Posted by Patrick Hanan on August 27, 2009

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