30 housewarming party ideas to celebrate your new abode

A woman greets another woman, smiling, at the door with a bottle of wine with a silver bow on it.
Paperless Post BlogGet-Togethers > 30 housewarming party ideas to celebrate your new abode

From as far back as we can tell, people have gathered to help friends and family celebrate the milestone of moving into a new place. Whether you light a fire for a literal “warming”—as was done in Medieval times—or have your pals over for pizza, a housewarming party is what turns your new territory into a home. 

But how do you throw a housewarming party—especially when most of your stuff is still in boxes? Once you’ve nailed down the housewarming party invitation wording, it’s time to plan an event that will get everyone in your (new) neighborhood talking. Check out these housewarming party ideas for guidance on when to have your party, who to invite, what to do, what to serve, and how to pick the best theme for your shindig.


A colorful online invite with the words “Apt 2B Potluck,” blue and green stripes, and on the right, a bunch of rainbow-colored blocks, simple gifs of a cocktail shaker and wine glass, and the letters BYOB flashing.
BYOB” Flyer by Paperless Post.


When to have a housewarming party

When it comes to the timing of your housewarming party, there’s no rush. A new home will still be new in a few weeks, or even a couple of months. Plan your party at a time when you feel ready and comfortable to show off your new home. 

Unpacking takes time, but depending on how fancy you want to get, you don’t have to be completely unpacked to invite friends and family over for a quick celebration. Get settled in, get most of your things in order, and then invite your guests to come over. Your party can be an open house or it can have a theme that revolves around your move, your favorite foods, or your new neighborhood. 

After you’ve nailed down a date to display the new digs, notify attendees with Paperless Post housewarming party invitations to set the tone for your event. You have plenty of housewarming invitation ideas to choose from, which means you can find one that matches the tone and theme of your party. 


Who to invite to a housewarming party

If you’re new to the neighborhood or city, creating a guest list may be tricky. While relatives and pals in the area are a given, it’s also nice to extend the gesture to your new neighbors. 

If you choose to just have a few friends over, you can make your housewarming party an intimate experience.

If you’re going for more of a neighborhood party, ask for your new neighbors’ contact information when you see them watering their gardens or walking their dogs. Paperless Post makes it easy to send invitations by email, text, or shareable link so you can start making friends you’ll keep long after the party is over. If you’re inviting mostly new people, you may want to keep your theme more general and casual until you get to know everyone better. 


Housewarming party theme ideas

A housewarming party theme can be as simple as warming up a new house with the good vibes of the people you like best. But if you want to throw a housewarming party to remember, you’ll need a theme—and we’ve got 30 to run by you. Be sure to clue in guests to the theme on your invitation so they know what to expect. 

1. Home sweet bar

Turn your pad into the hottest speakeasy on the block with a bar-themed housewarming party. Task your friends with bringing the ingredients for some popular cocktails.

Have a favorite spirit? This could be your chance to collect a year’s supply so you’ll always have enough to go around when your friends stop by in the future.

2. Fill the library

If you’re a bookworm, you know that no house is complete without a proper library. Invite your guests to bring a favorite book with them to help fill your new shelves. 

Make it more intimate by suggesting they bring something from their shelf to yours, and ask them to write a note on the inside cover to commemorate the event.

3. Grow something together

Have friends bring plant cuttings from their garden to help you start your own. Pot the cuttings, and keep track of who brought what with garden markers. Serve garden-themed foods like vegetables and fruits, or encourage guests to wear their favorite gardening overalls. Then, invite guests back at the end of the season to see how their gifted plants blossomed. 

4. Potluck party

Who’s got time to cook (or even stock the fridge) when you’re moving? Potluck to the rescue! 

Ask friends to bring over their favorite dish and enjoy the best cuisine in the neighborhood. If you’d rather host an outdoor BBQ in your new backyard, have them bring their favorite meats to throw on the grill. You can also ask guests to leave recipes for when you’re ready to cook in your new kitchen.

5. Cookie party

A sweet theme choice during the holidays—or any other time of year—is a cookie exchange party. Ask guests to bring a platter of their favorite cookies, and set them up on your dining table—or whatever table is clear of boxes. Serve coffee, hot cocoa, hot toddies, or ice-cold milk to wash them down. Provide baggies for guests to collect a few cookies from each platter. By the end of the party, they’ll have their own delicious goodie bags.

6. Casino night

Whether you’ve got a full poker table or just the surface of a big cardboard box, no one’s going to say no to a casino-themed housewarming party. Host a poker or blackjack game for smaller parties, or have several games running if you’ve got a bigger crowd. Decide if you’re playing for money or just friendly bragging rights. 

7. Housewarming brunch

Not every housewarming party has to be in the evening—instead, have friends and neighbors over for a nice brunch, complete with mimosas, omelets, and toast points. You’d be surprised how quickly your jam selection can help you make friends in a new place.

8. A dance/karaoke party

What’s a celebration without a little singing and dancing? Have your guests RSVP with a favorite song to dance to (and for the bold ones—a karaoke song to sing). Make a playlist, unbox your speakers, and you’re ready to go. 

Rent a karaoke machine for the day, or keep it simple (and cheap) by singing along to karaoke tracks on YouTube. You’ll definitely want to invite the neighbors to this one since it could get loud. 

9. Housewarming “whodunnit”

Turn friends into foes and neighbors into suspects with a murder mystery housewarming party. Guests receive character assignments and spend the party gathering clues from witnesses. 

Have a prize for the person who solves the crime. For extra fun, encourage guests to gussy up in their finest cocktail or themed attire.

10. A combination celebration

If there’s another nearby celebration on your calendar, you can combine it with your housewarming party. Already hosting a winter party, anniversary, or birthday? Make it a dual-purpose (or even triple-purpose) event. A Cinco de Mayo/birthday/housewarming party? Yes, please.


Housewarming decoration ideas

The best housewarming decoration ideas involve easy setup and clean-up—you’ve got a lot going on, so why add complicated party decor and supplies to your list?

Typically, housewarming decor depends on a theme, but sometimes amazing decor can help you choose a legendary party theme instead! Get inspired at the Paperless Post Party Shop—or shop for all your pre-determined party needs—no matter your move-in status or color scheme.

11. Moving day decor

If your new abode is full of cardboard boxes, go with it! 

“Moving Day” is a fun, relatable theme that anyone who’s changed living situations can understand. You’ll get a giggle from your guests, and clean-up is a snap.

12. DIY decorations

Twine, paper, tape, and scissors are all you need for some do-it-yourself streamers—and chances are, you’ve already got those lying around after moving all your stuff. 

  • Cut out simple shapes from moving paper (or cardboard, if you’ve got extra), string twine through holes at the top, and hang your DIY decor from the ceiling
  • Cut out a message, such as “WELCOME” or “MY FIRST HOME,” from a box and set it next to the front door
  • Tape up strips of packing paper for streamers, and let the party begin

13. Welcome mat chic

You’re welcoming guests into your home for the first time, but is that new welcome mat enough? Tie in the imagery of a welcome mat throughout the party, starting with: 

  • A welcome mat invitation
  • Placemats for the table that look like welcome mats
  • A rectangular cake decorated like a welcome mat

14. Tropical housewarming trappings

Planning on an indoor/outdoor party? Set up tropical decorations, including coconuts, pineapples, tiki torches, and leis all around your new home. 

Great for housewarming themes like pool parties, luaus, or BBQs, island decor gives guests a virtual vacation in your very own backyard.

15. Renovation gallery walk

If you did a lot of work on your home before moving in, decorate the housewarming party with before-and-after images of the renovation. Feature the photos on a blank wall, or hang them in the relevant rooms for guests to peruse. 


A neutral colored online invite with the words “Dinner at our new place!” on the left, and on the right, an animation of a fork and knife with the words “First Feast.”
First Feast” Flyer by Paperless Post.


Housewarming party food & drink ideas

After an hour or so of admiring your new house, guests might start to feel a bit hungry. Even if your cupboards are currently bare, you can feed a small army (or, at least, your friends and family) with a few housewarming party food ideas. 

Remember to read the results of the Guest Questions you asked in your Paperless Post invitation to accommodate any dietary restrictions before you commit. 

16. Portable snacks

The last thing you need after moving is to do dishes—especially since they might still be packed. Create portable snacks for guests to enjoy, such as:

  • Veggies and dip in the same plastic cup
  • Cupcakes in an ice cream cone
  • Fruit kebabs
  • Pigs in a blanket
  • Finger sandwiches

17. Home “sweet” home treats

Focus on the “sweet” part of the moving experience with a dessert bar. Include brownies, cookies, or even an ice cream sundae bar to appeal to everyone’s sweet tooth.

18. Get local catering

If you’re living in a new neighborhood, now’s a great time to learn about the best restaurants around. Get some recommendations, and pick up catering or take-out from the local favorite. Your guests will love it, and the clean-up couldn’t be easier.

19. Pitcher beverages

Not everyone’s lucky enough to have a house with a full bar, and even if you are, it may not be stocked yet. Instead, serve lemonade, iced tea, margaritas, or sangria in pitchers or drink dispensers for easy refills and fewer dishes to wash later.

20. New house cocktail

Got a favorite cocktail? Buy enough ingredients to serve your guest list, and make it your signature house cocktail. Create a name to go with it, too—think along the lines of “Mai-new-house-tai.” Bonus points if your drink warms people up in colder months—it’s the true spirit of house ”warming.”


A white invitation with a branch with pink and gold berries and green leaves and the words “Break in the bar” lies on a green background with a dark green envelope, a red drink, and a plate with cheese, nuts, and honey.
Blueberries on my Front Porch” by Mr. Boddington’s Studio for Paperless Post.

Housewarming party games and activity ideas

The house looks great, your guests have their beverages and snacks, and everyone’s happy. Now what do you actually do at a housewarming party? You whip out the housewarming party games and pre-planned activities—they’re great for bringing together new and old friends and neighbors.

21. A house tour

Every guest wants to see your new place, but they don’t want it to take all night. Get a small group together, and in 10 minutes or less, show them the features that made you fall in love with your place.

22. Unpacking or painting 

If you’re not completely moved in or your walls still need a refresher paint job, use those extra hands to your advantage! Loyal friends and family can make quick work of tasks that might have taken you weeks to complete alone. Once the job is done, everyone can enjoy some refreshments and admire their hard work at your “moving day” themed party. 

23. Make it an open house

To keep your party a little more low-key, ask friends and family to drop in over the course of several hours. Provide a start and end time, and let them know they should come and go as they please. 

By staggering arrivals, you’ll have more one-on-one time with each guest—and therefore, less stress. Serve light bites you can leave out on the counter, and be prepared for influxes and lulls at different points of the party as people linger or leave.

24. Heat things up

If you’re lucky enough to have an indoor fireplace or a fire pit outside, light them up to show guests how cozy your new home can be. A fire also adds a great vibe to a murder mystery-themed housewarming event. 

If you don’t have a fireplace, light candles—or burn sage, which some believe cleanses negative energy from a space. 

25. Play “house” music

Create a playlist with lots of songs about homes, houses, and movin’ on. Start with some oldies but goodies, likes: 

  • “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver
  • “Homeward Bound” by Simon and Garfunkel
  • “Our House” by Crosby, Stills & Nash (or “Our House” by Madness, depending on your generation or your vibe)

26. Set up outdoor games

Once everyone has seen your digs, head outside for cornhole, badminton, ping pong, bocce, or giant Jenga—anything that gets people working together and having fun. 

These activities are great options for warmer times of year, especially if you’ve got a great backyard setup to show off or are hosting an outdoor BBQ themed event. 

27. Play the Hygge Game

Named for the Scandinavian sensation of cozy togetherness, the Hygge Game is a set of conversation starters that make every guest feel important—and every new neighbor feel like an old friend. Make up your own questions, or buy the premade board game version.

28. Have a new-house scavenger hunt

Who’ll find the walk-in closet first? Where’s the upstairs recycling can? Who’s spotted the stained glass window in the hallway? 

Make a list of items for your guests to find and check off as they celebrate your housewarming. This is also a great way to find missing items you’re sure you packed but can’t locate now. You can also extend the game to your entire neighborhood if you really want to show guests around.

29. Moving box memory game

You know that last box you tossed everything into because it didn’t belong anywhere else? The one you’ve been dreading opening and unpacking? Use it for a memory game at your housewarming party. Open the box (or any random box), and give guests two minutes to memorize what’s inside. Then, close the box, and have them write down the items they remember. Whoever remembers the most items wins! 

30. Host a movie night

Does your new place have an amazing entertainment center or home theater? Use your housewarming party as a great way to show off your setup to your movie-loving friends—stream a new movie that no one’s seen, or screen a relevant classic. Make sure you have enough popcorn to go around.


Know the etiquette

Can a renter throw a housewarming party? Is it okay to create a housewarming registry? Would it be rude to ask my guests to remove their shoes in my new home? 

Just like any party, housewarming parties have their own unspoken rules—even though they tend to be a bit more casual.

Rent or own

Warm homes aren’t just for those with mortgages. Renters can host a housewarming party in a house or apartment unit, too. 

Consider the size of your new place, and be realistic about how many guests you can squeeze into the square footage. An open house, with family and friends trickling in throughout the day, is a great option.

It’s also perfectly acceptable for homeowners who have recently remodeled or renovated to throw themselves a soiree in their new and improved space. Having an event on the calendar can even help push you to complete those last few projects.


Guests like to give gifts, and the easiest way to get what you need is to choose a theme that has a gift idea baked in, such as “Home Sweet Bar.” 

You can also compile a registry of gift ideas in a range of prices on your favorite store’s site. Of course, presents are not a prerequisite for a proper housewarming party, but it’s easy to add information to a Registry Block on a Paperless Post invitation––and people will appreciate having a list. 

House rules

With a new home comes a new opportunity to lay down some ground rules—literally. Decide if you’re a “shoes-on” or “shoes-off” household, and stick with it. If “off,” set up a designated spot for kicks right near the entrance. If they miss it, hopefully they’ll get the hint when they see you and the rest of the guests traipsing around in socks. For more party etiquette, consult expert Lizzie Post’s guide to polite party tips.


Happy housewarming!

More than the decor, food, and activities, a housewarming party is about the people. Send housewarming invitations to old friends, new neighbors, and everyone in between, and then enjoy yourself. Add Registry Blocks for housewarming registry links, Travel Blocks for driving directions, and ask Guest Questions or take a Guest Survey to gather information about dietary restrictions and other guest needs.

Whether you go big or small with your housewarming party—and whether you throw it the day after you get the keys or three months later—take it at your own pace. You’ve been through a lot just to get here, and now’s the time to relax and enjoy your new abode. 

Send Paperless Post invitations to your friends and family in the area, and use our real-time RSVP tracking so you know who’s coming at any given time.



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