Just moved into a new place? Time to have a housewarming party! These are the top tips for a stress free housewarming party that will be perfect for celebrating your new space!
As we got closer to finishing up our home renovation, we knew we were going to want to have a housewarming party to show our friends and families the new house.
My husband and I love to throw a party, but with a little one and running two businesses from home, we knew we needed to plan ahead to be able to make sure we were able to efficiently throw a stress-free housewarming party.
Here are my tips for a stress free housewarming party:
It's all about batch working, whenever possible group tasks together to get them done at the same time.
Any party or gathering at your house becomes stressful when you try to do it all in one sitting.
The most well-executed gatherings are the ones that are planned out and the work is done over a period of a few days or a week.
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Preparing Your Menu for a Housewarming Party
This one is always the hardest for me, so I try to do it first.
I always have to scour through Pinterest recipes to figure out a "theme" for a party and then build from there.
Usually with informal parties where I know people will be coming and going, I try to do one entree and lots of side dishes or appetizers.
Think through your theme for your housewarming party
When you are thinking about your housewarming party, give some thought to the kind of party you'd like to have.
Time of day, number of guests, and where you will have it are all important factors.
Think through some of these options:
- Casual or More Formal
- Midday/Afternoon or Evening
- Inside or Outside
- Family Friendly or Mostly Adults
Easy Party Entree Ideas
- Shredded Chicken or Slow Cooker Pork and Hawaiian Rolls for Quick BBQ Sandwiches
- Hamburgers and Hot Dogs
- Ground Beef for Tacos or Fajitas
- DIY Baked Potato Bars
- Macaroni and Cheese Bar with Toppings
- Salsa Verde Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Make Your Own Taco Bar
- Mimosa Bar
How to Handle Food Allergies for a Party Menu
Planning a menu for a big group of people is difficult, especially when you know there are lots of dietary preferences or allergy restrictions.
I've found it's easiest to pick an entree that is deconstructed so everyone can choose the toppings they want.
The hardest part is making sure that the base for the recipe is something that everyone can enjoy, so I will often choose a meat option and a vegetarian option to start, then build my toppings around there.
A few vegetarian and non-vegetarian combinations to consider for your party menu:
- Turkey Burgers and Veggie Burgers
- Pulled Pork and Vegan Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- DIY Salad Bar with lots of protein options (meat, veggies, hard-boiled eggs, etc).
Consider allergies as well as dietary preferences:
Be sure you are thinking about gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free options as well.
I'm not saying to go crazy here as it's difficult to cater to everyone in some situations.
If you know for a fact that you have people attending who have allergies, do your best to provide at least one thing they can snack on.
I've found most people with any sort of dietary preference are used to not being able to eat at parties so they will often eat beforehand.
But it's always good to err on the side of caution and be mindful of people's food needs.
We had about 20-30 people come and here's what was on our menu:
Sample House Warming Party Menu for 20-30 Guests:
- 8 slow-cooked, pulled chicken breasts (seasoned with Italian seasoning, water added to cover the chicken, cooked on high for 3 hours then low for another 3)
- 24 sliced Kings Hawaiian rolls
- Asparagus Chickpea Mediterranean Couscous Salad (Doubled)
- Mediterranean Cucumber Salad (Doubled)
- Salad Bar, with lettuce and spinach and tons of toppings
- Cheese and Fruit Assortment (5-6 types of cheeses, grapes, sliced pears and apples, raisins and crackers)
- Pita and Homemade Hummus
- Chips and French Onion Dip
- Double Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream
Other food ideas for a housewarming party:
- Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers
- Orange Juice Fruit Salad
- Strawberry Vinaigrette Spinach Salad
- Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Frosting (cake mix used!)
- Beer & Wine Bottles
- Honey Sweetened Limeade with Blueberries (tip: have a bottle of sparkling cider on hand to refill your pitcher if you run out!)
- Peach Raspberry Sangria
- Honey Orange Lemonade
Check out these tips for throwing a wine party if you would like a more adult party.
How to Prepare Food for your Party:
Create a staging area for your groceries and non-perishable items to sit.
It's tempting to put them all away, but having them in an accessible area will make your food prep way easier!
If your groceries are purchased early, store them in the grocery bags in the fridge.
This can be a countertop that won't be used, a dining room table or even a fold-up table that will be used for the cooked food once the party begins.
How to Clean Your House for a Party
Clean progressively over about a week of time. Focus on smaller areas over the course of many days instead of trying to do it all at once.
Even if you can spend 30 minutes a day the week before the party cleaning, you'll cut your cleaning time on the day of at least in half!
On the day of, try to clean as you go while prepping the house but don't worry about having an empty sink!
People expect there to be dirty dishes around so don't sweat it.
Related: How to Prep Your Home for Guests
Food Prep & Cooking
The golden rule: Whatever you can cook ahead of time, do!
This is one of the main reasons I chose to do slow-cooked chicken because I wanted it to be able to cook all day without me having to watch it.
If you need chopped veggies for a veggie platter or for other items that have to cook, chop those the day before and put them in the fridge.
Do all of your prep beforehand so that when you start cooking you can simply focus on that!
If there are any desserts or main courses you can make beforehand that will be a lifesaver also.
One tip I love using is to set out your serving ware before you start cooking.
That way you won't be scrambling last minute to find a dish for something.
This also helps you be able to move something directly from the stove to the dish you're serving it in, without having to dirty another dish or create another step.
Related: Family Dinners for a New Home
Vary your serving dishes by size and also by height.
Using a tiered serving dish can really break up the space and allow you to serve a lot in a smaller area.
This also helps show you if you have enough space for the dishes or if you'll need an additional serving space.
We ended up putting our drinks on a separate table because there wasn't enough room on our island.
How to Label Food For a Housewarming Party
Use butcher paper across an island or table
I used a big piece of butcher paper across our island to go under the food and then used a permanent marker on it to label the food that was served.
If you have a lot of guests with dietary restrictions, consider labeling the food with dietary labels like "GF" for gluten-free, "DF" for dairy-free, etc. This makes it so easy for guests to know what they can have!
If you don't want to use butcher paper, use some sort of food labels to identify recipes! I love these little chalkboard stands!
When the party begins
It's helpful to create different stations for your party. Consider other areas for food, drinks, desserts, etc.
If your party is going to be indoors and outdoors, you may want to have an area both inside and outside for drinks.
This will help people have a natural flow through the party (and out of your kitchen!).
We made sure to have people bring yard games and lawn chairs so that we could make sure we had plenty of seating for people in different areas of the house and outside.
What do you do at a housewarming party?
Housewarming Party Games
We love having lawn games to give people something interesting to do outside.
If you have a small space, keeping people outside is a huge help in not letting the house get too overcrowded.
Some of our favorite lawn games:
This was also a great escape for people so that we didn't have 25+ people in our 1300 square foot house at one time.
Last piece of advice: Enjoy your party! This is a celebration of your new house and you should enjoy it!
Grab a drink and a plate of food and mingle with your friends and family.
They're so excited to celebrate with you, so don't get caught up in the details once the party starts. Just go with the flow and enjoy it!