By Faith Teel
Special to Relocation.com
Congratulations on moving into your very own place! At this point, the moving companies are long gone and you are starting to get settled into your new apartment. Now that you are unloading those boxes, it is also a great time to show off your new place to your friends and family by throwing an apartment warming party. After all: “Home is where the heart is, but happiness is where your friends are.”
Throwing an apartment warming party is a great opportunity to let people know you have moved into your own place, as well as an opportunity for you make your space feel like home. (It also guarantees that you will give a guided tour through the space only once). Having guests in your apartment for the first time will make a great occasion to cook in your kitchen for the first time. Plus, it’s nice to have a deadline to get things hung up and decorated, so you lay the job of unpacking to rest at the very beginning of your journey.
Check out Relocation.com's guide to hosting an apartment warming party for a fun and relaxing time:
Consider Who You Will Invite:
One of the joys of living in a small apartment is that all gatherings feel intimate. Most apartments only offer up so much space, so you might as well make the most of it by keeping the guest list small.
With that in mind, consider who you’re going to invite: your dearest friends or your ask your new neighbors? If you don’t mind mixed crowds, you can invite all your old pals, coworkers as well as new building neighbors over. Just be sure to introduce everyone as they come in and spend at least as much time with your new friends as you do with your old pals.
Talk to the Neighbors:
Speaking of neighbors, it’s a good idea to introduce yourself to your neighbors before you have your first party whether or not you are inviting them. This is especially true in apartments since they can probably hear a party going on, on the opposite side of the wall. It’s always nice to let them know what to expect and how to contact you if needed. Of course, you should also reassure them that you’ll keep the noise down in the evening.
This is also a good opportunity to talk about the parking situation during the party when your guests will be scrabbling for spaces. Ask your neighbors how they handle the parking situation for visitors.
Set the Date and Send Invitations:
Once you’ve done all of these things, it’s time to set a date for the party and send the invitations. For a casual get-together like an apartment warming, you can just invite friends by email or phone. You can invite neighbors in person or by slipping an invitation under their doors.
As with any other party, it’s wise to give guests at least a two-week notice. This gives your friends plenty of time to clear their calendars for your event. When you send your invitation, include any special instructions for getting into your apartment. This is especially important if they have to be “buzzed in” or if there is a special parking situation.
Consider Food and Tableware:
As the date of the party draws near, you’ll need to consider what kind of food you’ll be serving as well as what kinds of tableware you will be using. Do you want to use paper plates and napkins or do you want to dress things up a little bit? For most apartment warming parties, the atmosphere should be warm and casual, so don’t worry about being too formal.
To keep things simple, choose food that you can prepare well in advance. Cold finger foods (think: fruits and vegetables, chips and dip, pita and hummus, all the great party pairs…) are ideal. If you must have hot food, consider making something that you can prepare in advance and pop into the oven at the last minute.
If you’re going to serve alcohol at your party, the standard amount is about four servings per person. Make sure that you keep an eye on your guests. If anyone looks too drunk to drive, be ready to call a cab or let your guest stay overnight at your home. If you don’t want to serve alcohol, try a few “mocktail” recipes, which are fun drinks that mimic the flavor of alcoholic beverages but don’t have any alcohol content.
Keep It Cool:
There is one last thing that you should do before your party—relax! It’s tempting to spend the entire time rushing around and making sure that everything is perfect, but your attitude sets the tone for your guests. You've just moved, after all, now it's your time to stay calm and collected, and actually enjoy the party (and time in your new rental).
The most important thing is to enjoy your time with your friends, family and neighbors feel right at home—in your new apartment.