Housewarming Gifts

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Few events in life can measure up to the excitement of moving into a new home, especially a first home. Traditionally, it is proper etiquette to take a housewarming gift on your first visit to someone's new home. The range of choices are broad and can be challenging, so how do you decide on a gift for the new home?

First Time Homeowner

First take into consideration the circumstances of your recipients. If they are first time homeowners and just starting out, chances are they need everything. For newlyweds, you may want to check their bridal registry to see what basics were given as wedding gifts and what may still be needed. Practical gifts like appliances, staples to stock their pantry and towels may well be appreciated. Look for clues. If you helped them move, you probably have a good idea of what they need.


Do-it-Yourself Generation

If your recipients are a part of the “do-it-yourself” generation and their new home needs work, you have the opportunity to be creative. Consider a gift basket of painting supplies – paint brushes, rollers, paint trays and drop cloths. Including paint swatches and brochures (free from paint and home improvement stores) add a personal touch. A hammer, picture hanging wire and various sizes of nails and tacks are always needed. If they love to garden, you may create a basket using a watering can filled with garden tools, seeds and fertilizer along with a gardening magazine. And for any home, a bucket full of cleaning supplies will always come in handy. Do-It-Yourself Gifts such as these are great for giving at a Honey-Do Themed Couples Bridal Shower, too!

More Established

If the homeowners are more established, you might consider a more thoughtful or unique gift for the new home. If they enjoy decorating, a generous supply of decorating magazines are fun for inspiration. A charcoal or pencil sketch of their new home is something they will cherish and is suited for any style of décor. If their new home includes a bar, bottles of wine will help stock it. If they are downsizing, consider organizational products that will help them fit more of their favorite things into a smaller home.


Thoughtful Housewarming Gifts

Moving can generate a lot of stress. Not only do they have to sort, pack and move, they have to unpack, find a place for everything and adjust to new surroundings – not to mention a new mortgage payment. Perhaps a housewarming gift on the thoughtful side would help to calm the nerves. Thoughtful gifts for the new home to consider:

  • Homemade goodies.
  • Handcrafted items, like a decorative set of coasters, refrigerator magnets or a throw blanket.
  • Coupon Book offering your services for baby sitting, house cleaning, yard work or whatever you have a knack for.
  • Fresh Fruit or Vegetable Basket
  • Personalized Stationary and Address Labels
  • Wine of the Month Club
  • Local Newspaper Subscription
  • Local Books highlighting things to do in the area, local restaurants, and movie theaters
  • Gift Cards are a great help in making a smooth transition. Gift cards are available for lawn services, maid services, home improvement stores, pool cleaning services, and don't forget food – whether it is take-out or eat-in does not matter.


Gifts to Avoid

  • Stay away from stylized décor. Ornate candlesticks may suit your home, but appear gaudy in a country style home.
  • Don't give home improvement supplies to the unhandy – just because you prefer to do it yourself doesn't mean they would. This includes giving gardening tools for those who hate yard work
  • Stick with safe choices unless you know your recipient's taste. Don't give something that you want – everyone's taste is different. Remember, it is not your home!
  • Gifts that cannot be returned or exchanged – just in case.

Safe Choices

Choosing a housewarming gift for an acquaintance can be difficult. When you don't know the recipient well, it may be better to stick with safe choices:

  • A Cookbook, preferably local cuisine
  • Candles – if you know their favorite scent, it will make them feel more at home.
  • Fresh Flowers or Plants
  • Personalized Towels in neutral colors
  • Magazine Subscriptions

There are also some interesting gift giving superstitions for new homeowners. Gifts like bread and salt ensure the house will never know hunger and the pantry will always be stocked and giving seeds as a gift symbolizes the growth of the family in their new home. However, keep in mind these are just superstitions but can be an interesting add on novelty to the "real" housewarming gift.

By putting your “gifty skills" to work when choosing a housewarming gift, you will make a lasting impression. So whether you are stopping by for a visit or have been invited to a housewarming party, you'll feel good expressing your best wishes with your choice of gift for their new home.

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