To-do-list when hosting a housewarming party

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Having a house warming party has been known as a part of culture in France when you just move into new residence. We called it “la pendaison de crémaillère”. It is actually a perfect occasion for the hosts not only to present their new home or apartment to their friends, but also to make a thank you meal to the friends who give them assistance to settle in their new place.

A house warming party is an informal party, before throwing this party last week, I did not expect any presents from the guests, I only expect that they will bring some drinks and flowers, just like typical french soirée. In fact, the guests are normally bringing presents for “the new home”, not for you. I was really surprise when my guests gave me lots of decorations, kitchen tools, I thought it was too much, but apparently the idea of house warming party for the guests is giving the presents to furnish your new home.

Well, now, let me help you to organise your house warming party:

1st step
Make list of the guests.

This is not only important to decide how many people who can fit in your new home and also foods and drinks that you are capable to afford with your budget. Besides, it also important to know if you have mix guests (elder people, kids, youngster, or average adults). For example, when one of your guests will bring their kids, make sure that you have some toys or balloon that they can play with, for elder people or average adults you need to make sure that you have enough seats available.

2nd step
Decide the menu and the drinks.

It’s very important to decide the menu at least two weeks before the party. So, you still have time to ask a catering to prepare you main meal for the party just in case you don’t have time to cook by your own.

When you throw house warming party, most of guests will stand, dance and talk. They are normally will drink and eat some light meals. So, here’s some tips for you:

  • Prepare more light meals and snacks as much as you can. Why? Because, when they eat too much appetizer and have lots of drinks, they will not that hungry by the time you serve your main meal.
  • Prepare only one main meal with two companies (rice and pasta, or pasta and chips or rice and potatoes).
  • Prepare your own home made cocktail in pitcher
  • Buy common drinks which everyone can drink, such as orange juice, coke, beers and bottle of waters.
3rd step
Make your own invitation and write down also the menu.

It’s pretty simple when you throw a party to your friends which you can just simply invite them on Facebook or messengers. However, when you are going to invite your colleagues, it’s kinda necessary if you make a proper invitation. It doesn’t need to be sophisticated, you just need to give a little effort to make your own invitation and print it :). To make your own invitation card you can use picture and edit with Adobe Photo Shop or Microsoft word for simple one. But, if you don’t really have artsy hand you can use below links for some idea.  This is very useful, when you want your party without kids or party with shoes off – the invitation is also a polite form to tell them. Some of your guests might have a company that they can’t go without, so you can write down in your invitation that they can bring their company with. Last but not least, do it during the weekend, so people less stressful and busy.

Here’s some useful links for free printable menu and invitation cards:

4th step
Send your invitations

Give your colleagues and friends date line to tell you whether they are able to come or not, also if they will come alone or with company. This is very important to prepare your food & beverages quantity.

5th step
Shopping time!

For those who do not have spare time to shop except during the weekend – I split the shopping in two times.  I went to supermarket a week before to buy groceries list which you can hold for a week, such as drinks, snacks, and disposable table ware. Then, I went one day before the party to buy fresh groceries. Don’t forget to bring your shopping list!

Tips: My Mom always said, when you invite guests, prepare double portion of drinks and snacks for your guests. It’s better to have more than less.

6th step
One day before the party
  • Re-check your shopping list and get your fresh groceries and addition
  • Arrange your chairs and table position.
  • Prepare your cooking preparation (cutting vegetables or meat) and put in tupperware and keep on the fridge.
  • Clean your laundry (you don’t want your guests to see your dirty laundry don’t you?). 
  • Prepare spare room or hanging wardrobe. If you don’t have enough coats hooks or hangers, you can free your hanging wardrobe and put your clothes temporarily on your luggage, so when you’re guest coming they can put their jackets or coats there. You can also use your spare room to put their things while having a party.
  • Sleep early. You need to save your energy for the P-day.
7th step
The P-day
  • Clean up your home in the morning (even it’s going to get dirty again after the party, you don’t want your guest to see your home is not tidy)
  • After having lunch, start to cook your meal. (Cook main meal that you can set aside and pre-heat before serving)
  • Prepare yourself at least two hours before the party!
  • Put the light meals, drinks, and snacks one hour before the party started.

Tips: Let your guests know where they can smoke, if you don’t have smoking space or you’re not allow to smoke in your residence. Let them know to go outside politely.

Important notes: make sure you have enough toilet papers and plastic bin.

Have fun 🙂 !

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