On with my non-birthday party ideas… When you move into a new house there is reason to celebrate, usually the arrival feels like years of stressing, packing, shunting, pushing… Only to get there and undo all that you have just packed and shifted…
Needless to say it is one time you would like everyone you know to see your new house in all its splendour… even if it isn’t that splendid – yet.
And here is my big tip: Don’t wait until your house is perfect before you celebrate… Because you will never celebrate! If you wait people will expect you to have your act together and be unpacked… but (now this is really sneaky!) if you do it instantly no one will expect perfection and you can just wing it – then there is no stress to unpack anything before the big event – in fact some things can remain packed for nearly eight years!!!
So here is your party in se7en Steps.
- STEP 1: Invitations: Invite everyone you know as soon as you can, the first weekend day or whatever, forget about unpacking for about 2 hours, put your feet up with some friends and relax. After all the stress of moving you have earned an afternoon off! The actual invitation is easy. We did a postcard size map with our new details on the back – how simple is that!
- STEP 2: Party Starters: Make a list of a couple of changes you want to make and pop it on the fridge, your friends will see your home is a work in progress and might even offer to help or at least brainstorm your projects! Now apart from taking everyone on a tour of your home they will have something to discuss. It is always easier to plan other peoples projects than your own. I have still got our list from when we moved in – we have done heaps to our home, but only one thing on the list: we put up a gate to prevent wandering Hoods.
- STEP 3: Party Games: Here you are not dealing with a bunch of tiny kids, you have a whole lot of adult hands roaming around. You also have a whole lot of tasks that need attention. Give your guests some! Now you do not want everyone doing projects around your home. What some may call aesthetically pleasing – you may not! And some tasks need an awful lot of supervision – do those ones yourself. But for example you may have a back wall that looks like this:
Make a trip to the local nursery and gather a bunch of plants… and let everyone who attends the party plant a plant or two for you – before you know it you will have a splendid wall year after year after year. A job that was too big for one is never too big for many.
- STEP 4: Party Craft: We had a huge peace of fabric that I laid out on a trestle table and everyone who was there did a hand print on it with fabric paint – a brilliant memory maker and table cloth… and if I take this out them my kids know we are not just having tea, we must be having guests! If you do this as people arrive you will have a better response than if you leave it till later. Either some will be dashing off early or others will be too chilled to partake!
So here is the how: Remember to wash your fabric before the party this makes the paint stick to the fabric. If you are using a white cloth then you can use any fabric colors you like but if you are using a dark color fabric go for white paint or do a color on top of a white fabric print else the color won’t show up. Also, remember to iron the fabric before you wash it or your keepsake will go glug glug down the drain with your laundry suds.
- STEP 5: Pinata: In all honesty this party doesn’t cry out for a pinata… but if you have a bunch of wild little visitors that have been more or less contained throughout an adult party then give them some fun… a gift bag taped shut fill of little household goodies (packets of seeds; candy of course) is a great instant pinata. Then your name will be upheld in party stardom for evermore!
- STEP 6: Party Food: This one is easy: remember The Golden Rule of Party Catering: One Food and One Beverage. If its summer: Watermelon and Fruit Punch. Strawberries and champagne. What about a huge lemon cake and lemonade. Order in ten pizza’s (unless of course you have totally financially hemorrhaged on your new bond!). Salsa with corn chips. Really One Food and One Beverage. This is not a dinner party or brunch!!! It is a housewarming not a seasonal feast!!! People want to mill around – see your new home have a snack and wander home!
- STEP 7: Treasure Hunt and Go Home: Well at this stage if you are up to a treasure hunt good for you! What you actually need though for a new home is a new address book and a new birthday calendar, your old ones are surely packed in the depths! Make sure all your guests fill in their info before they leave, this will save you an enormous amount of rummaging and scurrying – not to mention missing vital events in the lives of your closest friends – who won’t be close for long if you forget their birthdays!!!
Now that everyone has left… Welcome home and you now have the freedom to start settling in at your own pace.