Abby Slutsky has been a recipient and giver of housewarming gifts. She is usually the person in her family who selects the gifts.
Housewarming traditions can be quirky and unusual. Many traditions stem from a desire to ward off evil spirits or encourage a house of prosperity and joy. Some housewarming traditions include:
- Giving bread in the hopes that no one will ever be hungry in the house
- Tossing rice or coins in the house to promote prosperity
- Ringing a bell to promote a positive aura in the house and drive away negativity
- Giving wooden items, which stems from giving wood as fuel before central heating was invented
It is unclear which country started the tradition of giving new house gifts; however, some believe it started in France, while others give Russia credit for the custom. Both countries traditionally give gifts that symbolize wishes for a house of prosperity or a happy home.
In France, the last item put in a house was traditionally a crémaillère, or chimney hook. At a housewarming party, friends would gather around while the hook was installed for luck and a new beginning.
In Russia, friends would traditionally put up a horseshoe to symbolize good luck in a new home, and sometimes they would give a ‘Money Tree’ plant to wish for prosperity.
Why Do We Give Gifts When Someone Moves?
Today, moving to a new home or purchasing one is a momentous occasion. It is exciting for friends and family to share the joy of the milestone of moving. Many people give gifts to wish the homeowners good luck and prosperity in their new home.
Choosing a gift for the home is not hard, but thinking about who lives in the new house, their lifestyle, and the type of new home can help you find the perfect gift.
Gifts for Single People
Single people are likely to take care of almost everything in their homes themselves. They may live in more compact spaces or center a lot of their free time around work or friends.
1. Robotic Vacuum
Last year my oldest son moved out of the house and immediately wanted a robotic vacuum as one of his gifts. Since he works full-time, he did not want to spend a lot of time cleaning but knew he needed to clean the floor every once in a while.
If it is a little more than you want to spend, consider going in on this gift with one or two other partygoers. I have the Eufy Vacuum (Robo 11S0), which is trim enough to get under beds and hard-to-reach places. It is easy to clean, quiet, and comes with replacement parts. Make sure to tell the recipient to remove wires and dirty clothes from the floor as they can get caught in the brushes. Nevertheless, this vacuum picks up quite a bit with the touch of a button. The recipient can direct it with a remote or let it roam freely.
2. Wine Rack
Many singles love to share a bottle of wine with friends. A wine rack can provide storage and add a decorative touch to their home. My younger son has the AROPY Vintage Wall Mounted Wine Rack. It conveniently holds wine and wine glasses and is the perfect gift for someone who does not have room for a bar. Best of all, it stores the wine and the glasses in one place for easy entertaining.
Gifts for Families With Children
When you give a housewarming gift to a family with children, choosing one that everyone can enjoy or use can help make the gift more meaningful. Here are some of my favorite new home gifts for families.
1. Wipeable Cork Place Mats
When I purchased my first home, I received wipeable placemats. When I had young children, these were the placemats I reached for repeatedly because they easily wiped off without running them through a washing machine. Their durability was so wonderful that I still use them and have purchased other similar placemats as well. They are affordable and can be purchased online or at Home Goods and other discount stores.
Spices are frequently associated with good luck. Since it can be expensive to take young children out to eat (and they are not always well-behaved), a selection of spices is a wonderful gift that will allow the recipient to experiment with flavor as they cook. Of course, the whole family will enjoy tasting well-seasoned food. Try a gift card to Penzey's, or choose a selection of spices you think the family would enjoy.
Gifts for Couples
For many couples, their home is a place to relax and unwind. Why not give them a gift that encourages romance or adds to their lifestyle?
1. Candlesticks and Candles
Couples can enjoy a lovely candlelit meal without worrying about the danger of fire around children. Additionally, unlit candles with attractive candlesticks can add to their decor.
2. A Pretty Throw
There is nothing like cuddling under a cozy throw on a cool evening. Couples can use it on a deck to snuggle under the moonlight, or they can enjoy keeping themselves toasty while they watch television on a sofa. Best of all, attractive throws are available in a variety of price ranges, so it is easy to find one in your budget. Consider choosing one in a neutral shade that will match any color scheme.
Gifts for Small Spaces
Given the cost of housing in many areas, many people choose to purchase or rent smaller spaces and appreciate space-saving gifts for the house.
1. Vertical Garden
Many new homeowners or those moving to a new apartment love gardening or growing their own herbs. Unfortunately, limited yard space can put restrictions on gardening. A vertical garden allows the recipient to plant multiple types of herbs or flowers in a small space.
2. Utensil Holder
As a professional baker, I find it challenging to have enough space for my kitchenware, even with a reasonably-sized kitchen. A small kitchen has limited drawer and cabinet space, so a wide-mouthed utensil holder is an excellent gift that can make ladles, spatulas, and other large cooking utensils accessible while freeing up drawer space.
Most of the more attractive utensil holders are made out of porcelain or metal. I recommend choosing one made out of tin or another metal so it cannot chip or break. I prefer one that is a solid piece of metal instead of one that has decorative patterns with open spaces because it's easier to clean.
Guide for Selecting a Utensil Holder
Porcelain with a wide mouth
Easy to clean with a soft cloth. Usually dishwasher safe. May be heavy.
Metal with a wide mouth
Non-breakable. May be easy to clean if solid metal all the way around.
May be heavy, depending on the metal. Some may be designed with an open weave that may make cleaning more difficult. Typically cannot go in a dishwasher.
Porcelain or metal with a 5 inch mouth or less
Does not take up a lot of counter space.
Only fits a small number of utensils. Opt for as large of a mouth as you can find.
Cool Housewarming Gifts
Cool new house gifts can be useful, eye-catching, and unique.
1. Globe Plant Watering Dispensers
Someone gave me a set of hand-blown, plant-watering dispensers, and I love them. They are attractive enough to keep in my plants all the time, and I refill them a few times a week instead of watering my plants daily. They also help keep my plants alive if I am traveling for the weekend. The Wyndham House 3-Piece Globe Watering Set is functional and stylish when your friends care for small house plants. These hand-blown water dispensers are breakable, so be careful to insert them in the soil securely enough so that they do not fall out of the pot.
2. Lightweight Water Pitcher
One of the first housewarming gifts I received was a beautiful glass water pitcher. It was casual enough to use for light entertaining or my family, but unfortunately, it was impractical because it was very heavy when it was full. Eventually, I purchased a lightweight pitcher that I use frequently. The Guzzini Mediterranean Blue Happy Hour Pitcher is ideal for serving water, beer, or other beverages. This plastic pitcher is light, stylish, durable, and will not shatter.
Tech-Savvy Housewarming Gifts
New house gifts that are technological may please many new homeowners. These tech-savvy housewarming gifts may be just what they want.
The Ring doorbell is a fabulous way to keep an eye on your home when you are not around. Ring requires the recipient to purchase a subscription, but upon setting up the app, they will be able to see anyone approaching their door whether they ring the doorbell or not. If someone rings the doorbell, the recipient can converse with them. There is also a video feature, so if you are worried about someone trying to steal items from your front or back porch, Ring can help you keep an eye on your possessions. The one drawback to Ring is that it is sensitive, so it may pick up cars passing by if they live on a busy street.
2. Wireless Phone Charger
A wireless phone charger can be a convenient addition to any household. They are perfect when an outlet is not nearby and make it easy to charge a phone at a moment's notice.
Traditional Housewarming Gifts
Traditional gifts include gifts made of wood, bottles of wine, and gifts of food.
1. Wood Salad Bowl
One of my favorite gifts to give to new homeowners is the Nambe Harmony 3-Piece Salad Bowl. It is a wooden salad bowl that includes salad utensils. It is perfect for any salad and stylish enough to use for a family meal or company. The wood is thick and durable, and the bowl is pretty enough to display if desired. Recipients should occasionally season the bowl with oil, and it cannot go in the dishwasher. However, it is easy to clean with a soft wet cloth and a little dish detergent. Hand dry the bowl, and with proper care, it will be a long-lasting and useful gift.
If you know the type of wine the recipient drinks, wine can be an excellent housewarming gift that the new homeowner will appreciate.
3. Sweets or Honey
Whether you bring a home-baked dessert, honey, or a bakery treat, the sweetness of your gift will let the recipient know that you wish them to have a happy, sweet life in their new home.
Wrapping It Up
No matter the type of gift you choose, the recipient will appreciate the thought you put into purchasing them a gift that complements their space and lifestyle.
Remember that your housewarming gift should include a warm note of congratulations and positive wishes. A pretty wine bag, attractive ribbon, or beautiful wrapping paper can elevate the specialness of your gift and make the recipient aware of the effort you took to find the ideal gift. Happy shopping!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Abby Slutsky
Abby Slutsky (author) from America on June 15, 2021:
Yes. That is a popular gift. Maybe you got her The Ring. It is listed under tech gifts. Thanks for reading. Congrats on her new home.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 15, 2021:
This article has great suggestions, Abby. I like the variety of ideas. Our daughter and her family just bought a new house and we got her a camera for the front door that they could see on their phone. That had specifically asked for this gift, so it was kind of a relief to know exactly what they wanted. Thanks for sharing this information.