Ten House Warming Gift Ideas

These house warming gift ideas will be appreciated in any new home.

Buying a house-warming gift can be difficult. You want it to be something the person will use but doesn't already have. Personal taste comes into play when decorating a new home, so buying art, decorations, or the like can be tricky. Here are suggestions for thoughtful gift giving whether you're buying for an acquaintance or your best friend.

Kitchen collection: This is wonderful for a young person in his or her first apartment or an old friend who is starting over on his or her own. In a reusable container (large cookie tin, plastic space saver, etc.) place items like: can opener, spatula set, measuring spoons, oven mitts, cooking whisk, vegetable peeler, garlic press and so on. Or you can give larger items like baking pans, dishtowels and serving dishes. The aim is to give practical items but also ones that people may not buy for themselves right away.

Garden items: If the recipient has a yard for the first time, give gifts like a garden hose, sprinkler, garden gloves and tools, or gardening books. Unless you know of a specific item they have mentioned, stay away from patio fixtures, plants or seeds; these tend to be selected on personal taste.

Tool kit: This is a must-have for young men and women on their own for the first time. Pack a toolbox with basic screwdrivers, a wrench, hammer, picture hooks, pliers and crazy glue. Maybe even include light bulbs, fuses and a book on basic home repair. Most young people will not think to buy these things but invariably need them somewhere along the line.

Gift certificate: It may not be glamorous, but when setting up a new home, most people want to pick out the furnishings themselves. By giving a gift certificate to a garden or home d├ęcor store, they can pick out what they like and know you helped them to get it. Or, if they still have renovations to do, a gift certificate to a lumber, hardware or plumbing store will undoubtedly be appreciated.

Neighborhood package: If the recipient is new to the city or neighborhood, why not help them learn about their new area? Give local business maps or gift certificates to restaurants and attractions in the area to help them feel at home.

Family plan: If there are children at the new house that's being warmed, include something for their room. Posters, light-switch plates, night-lights, and special figurines all make a great impact on kids and make them feel like they are part of the event.

Bathroom saver: Again for the "first apartment" housewarming, think in practical terms. Extra towels (in a neutral color and pattern to accommodate all tastes), toilet brush, and bath mat are the type of purchases first-timers don't make right away but always need.

Helping hand: Many times when people move into a new place, they are strapped for cash. This type of gift package goes over well with young people or those starting a new life. Take a beautifully decorated canvas bag or large tote box and fill it with items like: paper towel, toilet paper, laundry detergent, light bulbs, tissues, window cleaner, a plant, towels, linen, drinking glasses, etc. Other larger items could be a folding shopping cart, toaster oven, kettle or coffee maker.

The great outdoors: For the first-time house owner, gifts to enhance the outside of the home are also appreciated and can be practical for safety reasons. Garage door opener, motion-detectors and garden lamps are just a few examples.

Wine and special food: Marking an occasion like a new home is often done with a special meal. A good bottle of wine is a reliable old stand-by. But why not put together a basket of fruit, cheeses, breads or desserts that the recipient enjoys but doesn't often eat? The selection doesn't have to be fancy or gourmet, just something other than every day fare.

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