Housewarming Etiquette

 How exciting to purchase, renovate or remodel a home.  A housewarming party is a great way to celebrate such an accomplishment by opening your doors to family, friends, and neighbors.  These guidelines will help you make a good impression as a host or guest.

Etiquette for the Host

  • When hosting a house warming party, try to give your guests as much advance notice as possible.  I suggest mailing formal invitations three weeks prior to the event.  Make sure to include directions to your home especially if you live in a new housing development that may not be reflected in a navigational system.
  • Do not include gift registry notifications within your invitation.  It is improper to imply or suggest your guests bring gifts to this type of event.  It is okay to register at a home store, but only share this information when asked.
  • In preparation for the party, make sure your home is nicely presentable by storing all moving boxes.
  • Whether your housewarming is of a casual or formal nature, the expectation is that hors d’oeuvres or a meal will be served. 
  • During the housewarming, allow each guest to tour your home.  This can easily be done if you host an open house style party in which guests stop by anytime during an allotted time span.
  • It is likely that you will receive gifts to welcome you to your new home, but do not open them during the party.
  • Send personalized thank you notes within a week or two to friends and family who came to your party and/or presented you with a gift.

Etiquette for Guests

  • As a guest attending a housewarming party, always adhere to the general guidelines of party etiquette.
  • Respond to the invitation in a timely manner.
  • Be timely and greet the host upon your arrival.
  • Be sociable, meet new people and do not expect the host to entertain you throughout the entire event.
  • Congratulate the person on the new home and compliment the house, decorations or interior design.
  • Even though the host is not to expect a gift, it is proper to bring a gift.  Housewarming gifts can include towels, kitchenware, a simple plant, a home improvement gift certificate, candles, wine or items from a store registry.  Most items for the home will likely be appreciated.  Present your gift discretely and do not expect the host to open it during the party.
  • Before leaving, thank the host for inviting you and mention how much you enjoyed yourself.
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Tina Hayes is the founder and owner of The School of Etiquette and Decorum in Antioch, CA. As a passionate instructor dedicated to providing quality and professional etiquette training to her clients, Mrs. Tina Hayes promotes the awareness that social presentation and behaviors are important to be successful in today's society for all ages.