Need Ideas on Housewarming Party!

Updated on July 13, 2010
C.C. asks from Visalia, CA
16 answers

My Sister and her teen daughter will be moving out this weekend, also my eldest daughter will also be moving in with her to share the rent. All three live with me. This will be the first rental home my sister will do since her divorce 6 yrs ago. Its a big step for her, she is leaving her comfort zone.

I would like to throw a housewarming party for her and my daughter since they be going in without hardley anything(dishes, pots and pans, bath room decor, so on and so on. Sister got rid of her pre divorce househould belongings to the second hand stores or gave away to co-workers, she needed a clean slate so-to-speak. I looked up on-line about housewarming parties and I practically fell asleep.

Would I be out of place if I were to put on the invites what exactly they need, color schemes and themes of each room?? For example if the bathroom is red and they bring orange poka dotted bath towels, cause they dont really kno what they need?? I believe they are gonna furnish the house first and then I would throw the party. Whoa! I just thought of a garden party, since the yard is bare right now and the rent includes a gardener!!

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answers from Dallas on

What about a gift card party?? I know it may not be as "fun" of a gift but I know she'd love shopping with the cards herself. :) You could do a red carpet movie theme and have everyone bring their favorite dvd as well as a gift card.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

It would not be out of line to make a list of things she might need and let it be up to the guest want to do you are a good mother A. no hills

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answers from Indianapolis on

Sounds like a great could take pictures of the house and then send pics of the new house to the invitees..............I am assuming most people already know the circumstances since they are probably friends.

I would just put on the invite that they are starting over and need furnishings......if they have questions or need color idea's please contact you.

You might even call it the "Starting my life Over" house warming party......all things needed to furnish a house!

Good Luck and are you going to be ok? You're going to be left all alone!!
Take care.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

A garden party would be great, and if you are looking at how to inform guests of needs, why don't you just have them register. You can register for other events, not just weddings and babies. = )

Good luck to your sister and daughter.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Register at Bed Bath and Beyond and then state on the invites that they are registered at that store. Then if the guest wants to bring a gift they just purchase something from the registry.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I agree with the other posters - this is much more than a housewarming party. I think in this case it's totally appropriate to have her register. Alternately, if you want it to be a surprise, I don't think that it's rude to ask people to bring gift cards to certain stores (bed bath and beyond, home depot, target, etc).

Try writing your own poem (cutesy) for the invitation, explaining why the party is a big deal and why you are requesting the specific gifts, and I think it'd help people play along. You know, something like "sis is starting her new life, and we want to help her get off right, she'll need lots of stuff to start anew, here's what we thought you could do..."

I think this is a nice idea you have. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Reno on

I gave a lot of thought to this, even going so far as to type a response and delete it because my answer is so at odds with everyone else. So, here we offense intended.

I was raised that to throw a party just to get gifts was wrong; that one throws a party to celebrate something and to share the joy with others. I understand that your sister-in-law needs a lot but it seems to me that if the people invited were her friends, they'd know her situation and would bring gifts accordingly. To send a list of needed gifts, color swatches, etc. makes me think that the guests are nothing more than a cash cow.

Having said that, I like the idea of registering at a store like Bed, Bath & Beyond. That will give the guests guidance in what your sister-in-law needs but falls short of flat out asking for gifts. Keep in mind that in our current economy, many of the guests might be in financial difficulties themselves and such a heavy emphasis on gifts may keep them from attending what should ultimately be a celebration of your sister-in-law moving forward with her life.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I would suggest an "around the clock" housewarming party. Give each person on the invitation a certain "time" and to buy their gift accordingly. For instance:
if they got the time, 6am - They would get a kitchen item or a bathroom item, 11pm, a bedroom item (linens, etc.) you get the hint. It can be a lot of fun and you could give a little poem for each time of what they might be doing when they open the gifts. This way each honored member could take turns opening gifts!!! It would keep the party lively and fun!! Others posted that having a gifts party is wrong... I totally disagree. Yes, make it fun... perhaps a girl's only event celebrating independence and a new beginning. Register only at one store.. listing more would be too weird because it's not a bridal registry after all. I really like the idea of Bed Bath and Beyond and also the Pampered Chef Party. Make it simple and your sister will feel honored.
if your sister were giving her own party, that would be rude. Since you are being sincere and wanting to give your sister a special day, I think its very sweet!! Go for it!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

How about a Private Quarters party. You can email or evite or snail mail the invitations and add a link to the site where people can choose gifts and have them sent to her home. They come within a few days. There is a terrific sale on this month too! This is the sale flyer: You can view my site at

I am an interior designer so I can help with pulling a look together if needed. You can email me at or call at J. ###-###-#### for more information. Happy to help you, just ask.


answers from Los Angeles on

Its called registering. But personally, in this economy, I think the whole idea is rude. She had stuff, she wanted to get rid of it. That should not be someone else's financial burden.



answers from Dallas on

If they need kitchen things, have a Pampered Chef party! They will earn free and discounted products, free shipping, a host special, and 10% off future orders for a year. The guests can come see the house, learn a quick and easy recipe and purchase items for themselves and for the host!



answers from Los Angeles on

I have to agree that you do not throw a party to get gifts, you throw a party to enjoy time with your friends and family. A gift at a housewarming party is optional.


answers from Austin on

FYI, people really respond to evites, so consider snail mail and evites.. You will be amazed at the response. .

There is a way to post photos, lists of items they need , and the places they are registered at.. Have fun!



answers from Honolulu on

Maybe a more tactful phrase on the invite could be for gift ideas to contact you--then you can get very detailed by email or phone.

I like the garden party idea too. Everyone could bring a rose bush or whatever she's in to. For my best friend's wedding rehearsal dinner, we did an outside BBQ and I had their families bring momentos to create garden stepping stones. (You can get the forms and cement kits at craft or hardware stores.) The groom's older brother brought a small piece of brick from the little house they grew up in for the center of that stepping stone...that was pretty powerful!



answers from Los Angeles on

I would suggest gift cards from a few favorite spots and put that on the invite. Then the three of you can have fun shopping and furnishing the place with other peoples funds. Also, you don't have to worry about the "taste" and sense of style of others and potentially be stuck with stuff they may have to give away. Ikea, Crate and Barrel, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc.

Good luck



answers from Los Angeles on

While I do agree with some other responses about having the party for fun and not gifts there are other ways to get what she needs. She could register. You could mention things "through the grapevine" that she needs and wants. You could also have games that the guests could win prizes. A popular one in my family for bridal showers is to bring a kitchen gadget (spatula, serving spoon, whisk, can opener, etc) to enter a raffle. I got so many gadgets I have about three sets of everything! AND someone had the chance of winning a $25 Gas card (something everyone could use!) Times are tough for everyone right now so I wouldn't state that she only wants the specific things, I am sure if it doesn't match, she would still be grateful and make it work!

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