Friday, July 18, 2014

The Very Best Housewarming Gifts

Welcome Wagon is a thing of the past, and the neighbor with the plate of brownies doesn’t happen all that often anymore either. If you have friends who have just moved and are settling into a new house, your housewarming gift could make a big splash if you think outside the box. 

Here are 10 ideas for unique, best housewarming gifts:

1. A living, growing gift


Help the newcomers bloom where they’re newly planted by giving them a tree seedling, a basket of herbs that can be planted in the yard, or a basket of seeds for wildflowers. The best part? They’ll think of you every time they look outside.

2. A welcome mat


‘nuff said.

3. A homemade wi-fi password QR code display


This one is a guaranteed one-of-a-kind gift. You’ll definitely not hear, “Oh! Thanks for the wi-fi password QR code display, but I already got one, so is it OK if I return it?”

Here’s the story of how - and why - to create one of these for a friend as a housewarming gift.

In a nutshell, with this framed on the wall of their home, your friends won’t have to give out their wi-fi password to guests. They can just scan the code with their device and get Internet access.

4. Tools


Key toolbox items (like a wrench, screwdriver set and hammer) and some less common ones (super glue, twine, work gloves and a level) will be much appreciated. Even if the new homeowner has tools, an extra toolbox in the kitchen or garage will come in handy. Get creative and put the tools in a fun, colorful container.

5. Tickets


If they’ve moved to a new town, every new homeowner appreciates a local music or cultural event. Help them get to know their new town with tickets to an upcoming show or concert. Or spring for a year membership to a museum.

6. Return address labels or a stamp


With the quick turn-around on printed items now, you can order personalized return address labels with your friend’s name and new address and have them printed and delivered within a week or two. Or give a stamper that allows the recipient to order his or her own choice of stamp.

7. Personalized Christmas ornament


You may be able to find one that looks similar to the new house or building. Add a hand-painted name and you’ve got a keepsake.

8. A meal for the freezer


Some of the best housewarming gifts I’ve received were the ones that took some work off my hands. A casserole, lasagna, or one-dish meal that can be fixed anytime or popped in the freezer is a much welcomed gift for the person who has just moved and has a long list of things to do.

9. Takeout menus from local eateries


Here’s the least expensive housewarming gift of all: Gather up takeout menus from local eateries, put them in a notebook or tie a ribbon around them. A nice added touch would be a gift card to one of the take-out restaurants and a DVD. You’ll be sponsoring a quiet night in for the newcomers.

10. A book about moving (ahem)


Let me shamelessly plug my book Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves. It’s a collection of funny stories from my many cross-country moves with my family. Order from Amazon,, or get a signed copy directly from the author through


If you like Diane's humorous take on moving, you'll love her book Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves.

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