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11 Tips for Throwing a House Warming Party in Your Apartment

By: Susan Finch
February 18, 2020

You just settled into your brand new apartment. Now, you’re ready to celebrate your first big move with friends and family. But how do you throw a house warming party in a small apartment and still have room for plenty of fun? 

It’s possible to throw an apartment-warming party even if you’re short on space. Follow these proven tips for a party so successful, your guests may never want to leave!

1. Give Yourself Time to Unpack

It’s tempting to celebrate your brand new apartment the moment you move in. But give yourself time to properly unpack, tuck away unmentionables, and break down boxes. It won’t make a good impression if your guests are stepping over boxes and staring at empty walls during your apartment-warming party.

2. Consider the Size of Your Apartment

Small apartments may sound too cozy for a house warming party. However, you can accomplish it without feeling cramped. 

Start by considering how much space you really have before. Then, brainstorm house warming party ideas for your apartment.

How many people can realistically fit into your apartment with ease? Remember, you can push back the furniture and put coats and handbags in a bedroom. You can also open up the balcony doors on a warm day to create more space. 

You can always host more than one house warming party for coworkers, family, and friends. That can help you to maximize your space.

3. Invite Carefully

There’s no rule about who to invite to your apartment-warming. However, you’ll start out on the right foot if you consider your new neighbors. 

A party is a perfect way to get to know your apartment community. But it also lays a foundation for house warming success. After all, how can neighbors complain about the noise if they’re having a blast at your party?

4. Send Out Invitations 

Skip the formal, paper invitations to your house warming party. Use Facebook Events instead. 

It’s easy to set up. It also automatically keeps guests informed about any updates. 

And if your guest list is looking thin, you can also allow friends to forward the event onto other friends. That’ll bulk up your RSVPs.

5. Choose the Right Menu

No one wants to stand around in a small apartment and stare at a pile of cheese and crackers all evening. Focus on fun, easy food and drinks to serve that keep things festive. 

Head to your local grocery store for mini-subs, chicken wings, dips, and fruit and vegetable trays. Most grocery stores also offer an olive bar. 

You can also look for specialty cheeses, nuts, and mini pizzas. If cooking just isn’t your thing, ask a local deli to cater to your house warming party for you.

6. Pick Your Drinks

Mixing up drinks for your apartment-warming can get expensive quickly. Focus on a few craft beers and reasonably priced wines. 

You can also add one or two crowd-pleasing mixed drinks like margaritas or martinis. Consider hiring someone to play bartender and server. They can help out for a few hours.

7. Set the Mood

A house warming party can feel daunting when you have no idea who’s going to show up. Make sure the mood is just right, whether you have a high-energy crowd or just a few friends. 

Set a playlist and create soothing, ambient lighting. You can also open up all the windows during the afternoon. That’ll get the energy flowing in your small apartment.

8. Use Decorations Sparingly

Adding fresh flowers to mason jars or string lights to your mantle are festive ways to soften up your apartment decor. 

However, there’s really no reason to go crazy with decorations. The party is a chance to connect with new friends and old. The purpose isn’t to celebrate like it’s New Years.

9. Plan Fun Things to Do

Turn your house warming party into an excuse to get to know your neighbors. It’s also an opportunity to reconnect with coworkers and old friends. Plan a house warming game without making people groan at your activity of choice. 

Put together a list of interesting trivia about your neighborhood. People can play for a door prize. That’ll serve as an ice-breaker. 

Choose unique and funny bits of information to keep your guests engaged. A neighborhood scavenger hunt or pub crawl after the party is also a fun way to end the party without putting any pressure on anyone to join.

10. Stock up on Supplies

There’s nothing worse than realizing you just ran out of basics like toilet paper and paper plates at your apartment-warming party. Head to a discount retailer and stock up on paper plates, cups, and utensils. Keep a few extra emergency snacks on hand. 

11. Set an End Time 

With careful planning, you’re on your way to hosting a successful apartment-warming where everyone has a blast. That’s all the more reason you need to set an end time. You won’t want everyone to be lingering endlessly around your apartment all evening.

Add an end time to your invitation, but keep it flexible. If everyone is having a blast, invite everyone to stay a little longer. Take that opportunity to finish up your conversations. 

And if you really need an out, announce that it’s time for everyone to head out for a pub or dessert crawl around the neighborhood.

With some careful planning, you can host a house warming party in a small apartment with success. However, once the party starts, stay in the moment and enjoy yourself. After all, the real purpose of your party is to connect with guests and forge new friendships.

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Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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