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etiquette schmetiquette:  housewarming how-tos 1 2 3 4
continued from page 1

Housewarmings tend to be pretty straightforward affairs – the prime feature of the day/evening will be the grand house tour, given by yours truly of course (actually, it’ll probably be more like a steady succession of grand house tours, since it’s next to impossible that all your guests will arrive at once). Do make sure to leave the door unlocked so that people can let themselves in (a simple "Please come in!" sign posted on the door helps), or assign a buddy door duty.

Food and drink are, of course, essential, but keep the munchables portable so that people can easily mill around your pad. Finger foods are truly key, and it’s a great idea to have several food stations scattered in different areas of the house, to encourage people to move about and explore.

party ideas
If you need a little more structure for your party planning, try one of these themes…

afternoon tea: There’s one big advantage of throwing your housewarming during the daylight hours: your guests will actually be able to see what the outside of your house looks like! And an afternoon tea’s simultaneously elegant and relaxed – leaving you plenty of time and energy to play tour guide while your guests nibble and mingle. Just make sure to provide plenty of tiny sandwiches, scones, mini tartlets, cookies, and, of course, tea .
garden party: Everyone who’s ever made the transition from apartment to house knows that the most exciting new feature is the yard. So why not make your housewarming a garden party? Weather and climate permitting, of course.
wine tasting: Ask each of your guests to bring a bottle of wine for a combination wine tasting/housewarming.
pajama party: Make sure your friends feel as at-home in your new digs as you do – have them arrive in their favorite comfy pajamas.

when do you throw a housewarming?
When you’ve moved into a new apartment, when you’ve bought a new house, when you’ve finished a major renovation even … anytime you want to unveil new digs to friends and family, you can throw a housewarming. There’s no set limit for the timing – it can be three weeks after move-in or three months – but basically, as soon as you feel like your abode is fit to be seen by the outside world, you’re ready to start sending out those invites! There’s no need to wait until every single last thing is perfect – for most of us, the decorating and redecorating process never ceases anyway – but if there’s a danger of guests incurring injury due to precariously stacked boxes and towering mountains of thing-a-ma-bobs that have yet to be dealt with, you may want to hold off on that party just yet.

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