Whether they closed on their forever home or are relocating to a new rental, your loved ones deserve to be celebrated upon moving houses. And while there are plenty of traditional housewarming gifts on the market, it can be nice to think outside the box a bit and treat people to items (or rituals) that will make them feel special and won’t just feel like extra clutter. We’re sharing a few of our favorite thoughtful housewarming gifts and traditions below.
Treat Them to A Home-Cooked Meal
Unpacking kitchen items can be an extensive, tedious process to begin with, and if your friend has moved to a new city or neighborhood, they may not have yet found their go-to grocery stores or takeout spots. If you live nearby, consider stopping by with a home-cooked meal to take one major item off your friend’s list. If you’re not much of a chef, don’t worry, this doesn’t need to be overly extravagant or restaurant-worthy. A batch of chili that will last several weeknights or some homemade lasagna is always an excellent idea (just be sure to take any dietary preferences or constraints into advance before shopping for ingredients).
Gift A Candle or Two
Use the power of scent to help your friend create new memories in their space. Fragrance is so significant in this way—we do associate specific moments in times with certain smells. If your friend is in need of a fresh start, scent can help. After picking out a candle or two, we suggest gifting it along with a nice accessory set. This gift is both kind and practical—your friend has supplies that will last for years to come, and they'll think of you every time they light the candle.
Surprise Them With A Little Luxury
During the unpacking phase, most people simply focus on locating all of the essentials as quickly as possible and don’t have time to shop for decorative accessories that truly make a house feel like a home. Take the time to pick up something for your friend that they may not ordinarily purchase on their own. And note that an item can be considered a little luxury without actually breaking the bank—favorite options of ours include a candle or matchstick holder, a set of festive cocktail napkins, a jewelry dish for the bedside table, a nice bottle of olive oil, or a cheerful succulent, to name a few ideas.
Document Their Journey
Celebrate your loved one’s first days in their new place by stopping by and taking photos of them and their surroundings. It’s ok if things are still coming together—chronicling the entire process of settling into a space will give your friend something to look back on and reminisce about down the line once their home feels complete. If you have a disposable or Polaroid camera, even better, but the camera on your phone will work just fine.
Convey Care With A Card
Write a nice note to your friend that celebrates them and their move. Perhaps they’ve purchased a home after a decade of saving aggressively, maybe they’ve relocated to their dream city, or maybe a work promotion allowed them to upgrade rental apartments. Putting into words how proud you are of your loved one and how excited you are for the next phase of their journey is a significant gesture that will not go unnoticed. If your friend is someone who relocates often, a card may be preferable to any material items while still holding substantial value.
Honor a Cultural Tradition
In some cultures, specific gifts hold special significance during the move-in period. For example, in the Korean tradition, it’s customary to present a friend settling into a new space with soap or laundry detergent. Paying a nod to a particular tradition that will resonate with your loved one is always a thoughtful approach.