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July 24, 2016

Throw Yourself a Housewarming Party!

So now you’re a homeowner! At long last, your dream of a place of your own is a reality. And if you’ve purchased new construction in Savannah, GA area, more than likely, you’ve become members of a planned community. Luckily for you, it means that you have a great opportunity to make a bunch of new friends all at once! All it takes is a ‘Welcome to Our Home’ gesture to show your neighbors that you’re ready to join their ranks. Planning a housewarming party doesn’t have to be stressful. Keep it simple, and plan for guests to come and go as they please. Keep a good supply of finger foods, appetizers, snacks and beverages on hand, so that folks can nibble and nosh on their own schedules. While a suggested start time to begin receiving guests and a drop-dead hour to ‘close up shop’ is a great idea, expect that invitees will stop by for a while, then continue on with their day or evening. This open house type of set-up encourages new neighbors to stop by. Remember that for now, you’re all strangers. Committing to a specific chunk of time with someone you don’t know can be intimidating. Make sure that your invitations clearly state that people can wander in and out of your party as they please. Of course, if you have local friends and family, they will probably plan to spend most of the hours available with you as the backbone of your guest list! Offer to give house tours frequently. You, your spouse and even your older children can lead guests from room to room, allowing them to see ‘what you’ve done with the place’ while other family members help entertain visitors. Some of the most popular themes for housewarming parties are custom built for an open house format. Try a backyard barbecue with hot dogs, hamburgers and other quick, easy to prepare foods. Horseshoes, lawn darts, pickup volleyball or croquet games can help entertain children and adults alike. If its high summer (as it is now!) make sure there’s adequate shade available by putting up a canopy tent on the lawn. Be sure to offer indoor shelter if you’re comfortable with more than quick tours of your new home. You’ll be surprised how quickly guests will fill up your kitchen and living room, making these family gathering places feel like home! You can also throw a ‘build my book’ party that will not only encourage your neighbors to visit, it will give you valuable information about service providers in your area. Invite each guest to bring contact information for a local service provider they’ve used that will come in handy someday. You can glue or staple business cards or information written on a slip of paper into a bound blank book or spiral notebook for when you need professional help from a plumber, babysitter or pet sitter, landscaper, handyman or pest control company, just to name a few examples. Another great idea is a karaoke party. You can rent the equipment at a reasonable price from party supply stores or other vendors, or hire a professional to come in and stir up some fun! After the first two or three singers take the stage, guests will usually get into the swing of things. Encourage whole families to sing together and pair up random guests for awkward (but entertaining!) duets. A ‘white quilt’ party is always a hit! Buy a plain white quilted bedspread or duvet, and have each guest ‘autograph’ the quilt with their name with a permanent marker. Once the quilt has been decorated, it makes a great accent to a guest bedroom or a fun throw for chilly nights in the family room. If you prefer, you can create a piece of wall art using the same idea – just get a prepared canvas from a craft or hobby store and have it framed afterward. Some guests may bring gifts, although they are by no means expected. Accept all gifts graciously, and have a dedicated area set aside for them. Remember to send thank you notes afterward! You may also consider giving a gift to guests – a party favor to remember the occasion. Sweet treats like candies or cookies are popular, or you can go with a personalized takeaway item such as pens, notepads, beverage koozies, bottle openers or refrigerator magnets to commemorate the event. But most of all, remember to relax and have fun!

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