Settling in to a new home provides a great excuse for a party. You've kept family and friends updated through the move, and now you can show off your new address. Take advantage of good weather to plan an outdoor evening or stay indoors if you moved in with snow on the ground. Whether you go formal or informal, plan ahead for an enjoyable new-home get-together with fun and food.
Instead of taking the easy way out and sending invitations from your smartphone, get your home computer set up in time to create your own custom "save-the-date" cards. Use your digital camera to take a picture of your new digs for the front of the card. You can print them out yourself or take them to a quick printer in PDF format, but send them well in advance. To cover all the bases, send a follow-up via email with a link to an online mapping site to provide directions. If you know your guests will want to bring you a housewarming gift, meet their hints with inexpensive suggestions of things you really can use: some LED replacements for burned-out incandescent bulbs, for example. Finally, simplify your refreshment planning with a request for RSVPs so you can estimate head count in advance.
Think of your housewarming as the residential equivalent of a grand opening celebration. You may not be fully unpacked, but you're up and running—and in these initial weeks, you see your new home in a way you may not see it again. Whether you keep this residence for a short time or live in it for years, you'll want to capture the excitement and charm of newness with an abundance of photos as your guests tour your new place for the first time. Stock up on memory cards for your digital camera before the day of the party so you can catch every moment.
Catering a housewarming party may save you time, but it certainly won't save you money. The easiest time to put new appliances in place comes before you occupy a new home, and doing so enables you to serve familiar favorites to your guests. If you've just taken delivery of a whole new set of kitchen appliances, verify the appliance manufacturer recommendations on how to prepare appliances for use. Most cooking appliances, especially ranges and ovens, require that you run them for a period of time before their first use, so plan ahead. You may be tempted to load up your refrigerator with favorite vintages, but your guests may save you the trouble by bringing wine as a gift—and if your refrigerator serves carbonated water through the freezer door, you can mix beverages on the fly.
To set an appropriately celebratory mood, you'll want music playing throughout your festivities. If you've unpacked your home theater system or audio dock, set up a long playlist built from songs that accompany shared memories for you and your guests, as well as music that fits your new-home mood. On a Wi-Fi®-enabled playback device, take advantage of the ability to stream music from your smartphone, tablet, computer or online music service, filling the entire house, apartment or condo with a pleasant background to a great occasion.
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