Whether you’re attending a housewarming party or sending a gift to a new homeowner from a distance, finding the perfect item to welcome your loved ones into their new space may not be easy. A bottle of wine can feel cliche, or even out of line if they don’t drink alcohol. So how do you give a celebratory gift that’s memorable and useful?
The key is trying to make those final parts of moving in easier. “Anything you can choose to make a rough process easier is great,” says Julie Schechter, founder of care package startup Small Packages, based in New York City.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of gift ideas to help you find an ideal housewarming gift. Here are 15 gift ideas for the new homeowner in your life:
Consider gifting a tray, bowl or set of hooks to serve as a catch-all or drop spot for keys by the main entryway. A key holder is a simple but useful gift and is likely to come in handy if the person is still moving into their first home. By selecting a tray or hooks, however, be careful not to capture a design aesthetic that may not appeal to your loved one. “Design style is very subjective,” says Morgan Falevai, digital marketing manager for Brilliant Gifts, a care package company based in Kaysville, Utah.
Customized Return Addresses
Have return address labels or a return address stamp created to fit your loved one’s new location. This gift may seem small, but will remain handy for years as your friend or family member sends holiday cards, personal thank-you notes or the occasional official document via snail mail.
A welcome mat at a front door will always help a new home feel more complete, and there are plenty of online businesses that will print a personalized message to make it feel extra special. You can have a mat customized with your friend’s last name, for example, or a frequently used phrase or design that would appeal to them. Dozens of shops on Etsy offer doormat-customizing services, or check out ready-made designs from Target, HomeGoods and other home furnishing stores.
Tools for Hosting
Especially if you’re buying for a couple who married in the last few years, there’s a good chance they won’t need new dishes, knives or other standard kitchen utensils, because they likely received those items as wedding gifts. Instead, Falevai recommends a gift that can make hosting guests a bit more fun. For example, Brilliant Gifts sells a tapas care package that includes plates and utensils for serving small dishes as well as a tapas cookbook, or you could gift a slate cheese board with chalk to label different cheeses or hors d’oeuvres.
Home or DIY Book
Offer the gift of knowledge about moving into a new home by tapping the expertise of professionals who have written about it. Consider gifting the book of a favorite HGTV personality like “Homebody” by Joanna Gaines or a trendy guide like “The Home Edit,” by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin. It’s not ideal to recommend an organizing or homeownership basics book to someone you aren’t particularly close with, but if you know your friend or relative is seeking the best way to tidy or maintain their home, books can be a useful resource and helpful gift.
Gourmet Condiments or Food Items
Moving into a new home typically means you’ll have to restock the refrigerator and pantry with staples. Help out a new resident by gifting some fun food items that might not be a flavor or brand they usually pick up. In one of the Small Packages box options for a new home, for example, there are coffee beans, jam and infused salts for seasoning. “The fun thing about getting a present is that you’re getting something you wouldn’t necessarily buy for yourself,” Schechter says.
If you’re celebrating a close friend’s or relative’s new home and want to provide more personal touches to the gift, consider a care package that will include multiple items for the recipient to enjoy. Companies like Small Packages and Brilliant Gifts specialize in such gifts, providing options that cater to different personalities, scenarios and budgets. Tools, kitchen utensils, food and scented candles can each be the theme of a care package, or can be included in a larger one. “It looks like you put in effort when in reality it’s super easy,” Falevai says.
Local Favorites From Small Businesses
If the housewarming is for people who have moved a long distance, help welcome them to the area by introducing them to local businesses and area favorites. Treats from a local bakery, a trinket from a small business down the road or popular snacks that are unique to the region can be a fun way to introduce them to their new home. Schechter says a gift card to a nearby restaurant can be a useful introduction as well while your friends settle in.
Succulent or Cooking Herb Plant
A succulent is a low-maintenance plant that can add a bit of life to a room, or if your friend likes to cook, a basil or dill plant could be a nice gift for him to cultivate his own fresh ingredients. However, Falevai warns against giving plants as a go-to housewarming present. “Plants are a very personal thing to people, and sometimes if you don’t have a green thumb they will die very quickly,” she says.
Wine Stopper or Bottle Opener With a Personal Touch
Anticipate the influx of wine or beer bottles from other housewarming guests by gifting a wine stopper or bottle opener that references a favorite sports team, college, animal or pattern. In a couple of the Small Packages boxes designed for recipients who have moved into a new home, a bottle opener in the shape of a pineapple is included. It’s something that will come in handy, Schechter says, and its pineapple shape also invokes a traditional symbol of hospitality.
For a housewarming party in particular, coasters can be put to use right away to help protect coffee tables and other furniture from the ring of water that forms from a glass. If you’ve followed any renovations or decorating your friends have done, get coasters to match the color scheme or design style so they fit in the space well and are more likely to be used often.
Help a first-time homeowner prepare for simple DIY projects by providing them with a tool set with a hammer, wrench, tape measure, level and more. Many basic tool kits are available at any home improvement or home goods store.
If you like the idea of giving a gift with a bit more utility, consider a small step stool that helps new homeowners reach a high shelf or light fixture to change a lightbulb. If you’re handy, make it a personal and custom gift by building the stool yourself. Or buy a folding step stool that will be easy to slide into a closet for behind furniture when not in use.
You can choose a candle (or set of candles) related to the season that the homeowner is moving in, based on his or her favorite scent or drawn from the selection at a local business. Candles don’t go bad, so it’s OK if they’re not used right away. Depending on where you buy them, they can also be budget-friendly alternatives to larger gifts.
Hummingbirds are found in most parts of the U.S., and spotting the tiny birds from a porch or window is often a fun treat throughout the day. Help attract hummingbirds to your loved one’s home by gifting a feeder they can hang outside. Hummingbird feeders come in a variety of styles and prices and can be found on Amazon, at Walmart or any home improvement or wildlife store, ranging in price from $10 to $50 or more.
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