Throw a housewarming party without all the stress. 5 ideas and tips for easy housewarming parties after a recent move.

Moving in to a new home is almost always a stressful and time-consuming task, so the last thing you’re probably thinking about right now is throwing a housewarming party. After all, who wants to show off a home still overflowing with unpacked boxes and a kitchen in desperate need of a paint job? That’s hardly the message you want to send to your new neighbors.

Fortunately, it is possible to throw a low-stress housewarming party that you’re not only proud of, but that makes you excited to continue settling in. No matter what stage you’re at in the unpacking process, here are 5 ways to celebrate your new home without turning the event into a hassle.1. Stay Outdoors: If the weather is right, make your housewarming party a housewarming barbeque. It’s much easier to clear a space outside than it is inside (especially if you’re not all the way moved in yet), and you can provide tours of the house with strategically closed doors to hide the worst of your sins. This has the added advantage of encouraging neighbors to “stop by,” since there’s no pressure for them to linger any longer than they wish to.

2. Keep the Food Simple: Wine, cheese, and crackers. Beer and pizza. Margaritas and a taco truck out front. No matter what theme you decide on, do whatever you can to avoid spending time in the kitchen. The goal of a housewarming is to relax and enjoy, not spend days cooking (especially if you should be spending those days unpacking). Simplify the menu and focus on what’s really important.

3. Go Full Potluck: Most people understand the hassles of moving in and will be more than happy to help you provide the meal. Ask everyone to bring their favorite dish and enjoy a potluck-style meal. This will prevent you from spending too much time cooking (and maybe even provide you with some leftovers for a few days so you can take time off from dinner duty).

4. Get Your Guests Involved: You have a fence that needs putting up, a living room that needs painting, a few heavy pieces of furniture that could use some muscle. With the right planning, you can turn your housewarming party into a house-helping party. Let your guests know that you’ll be throwing a “living room painting party.” Provide the alcohol and food, some great music in the background, and all the necessary painting supplies, and let your guests do the rest. You can introduce them to your new home at the same time.

5. Show off Your Unpacked Glory: If you set your housewarming party for the first week after you move in, you might be able to get away with doing zero unpacking. There’s something charming about a house that’s been just moved into, with the cavernous rooms and stacks of boxes, or piles of paintings and artwork propped against the walls. If you’re brave enough to show off the bare bones of your home rather than the finished product, you can turn this into your theme.

Be proud of your new home and your new life no matter what stage of unpacking you’re in. Housewarming parties are meant to be fun and interactive—and your guests will appreciate any effort you make in the middle of all your other hard work.

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