Help Them Make Their House a Home: 7 Tips for Housewarming Gifts

Did your friends just move into a new place? Help them make their house (or apartment or condo or wherever!) feel like home with our guide to giving housewarming gifts. A set of pans or fresh dishtowels might be enough, but these ideas are here to expand your approach to what a housewarming gift can mean and do for you and your friends!
Ross Sapir
By Ross Sapir
7 Min Read

muuv's Guide to Housewarming Gifts

If you've just been invited to a housewarming party, or even if your friends only just told you they're planning to move, coming up with ideas for housewarming gifts can get overwhelming. Do you opt for a glamorous gift or a practical one? How can you make a real and memorable impact as they settle into their new digs? Here are some tips for jumping into the process:

1. Usefulness Over Glamour

"Useful" can mean so many things here. For example, a "useful" gift could be either a relatively inexpensive, silly or sentimental gift that plays off an inside joke. It could also be a thoughtful gift such as a brand new french press for a coffee fanatic. It all comes down to what you think will make your friends happy and comfortable right after their move. Rather than thinking of something too over-the-top, like a vintage grandfather clock, which (let’s be honest) you probably can’t afford and might just end up in a closet or on the curb, try to reflect upon your friendship and pick a meaningful, useful gift that will make them think, "Wow. I can't believe you remember that!" or even just, "Thanks for thinking of me." Put yourself in their shoes: what would help you settle into your new place most effectively?


If your friends haven’t moved yet, you can help then learn how much easier life can be when you hire a pro.

2. Bring the Warmth

It's called a "housewarming" gift for a reason: it's supposed to turn an unfamiliar new space into a comforting and cozy homebase. How can you contribute to that warmth? We recommend looking beyond chain stores for this kind of gift. A painting from a local artist, or even a small mirror or pretty vase from etsy or a thrift store is likely to be a one-of-a-kind treasure and can help your friends personalize the atmosphere of their new place. 

Places like IKEA can be really helpful for the staples they need, like couches or desks, but when it comes to giving housewarming gifts, they might not be the best at contributing to the kind of warmth we're talking about. Plus, many people are working toward more green practices and choosing to upcycle and repurpose vintage home goods rather than buy new. 
Try to think of something special, weird, or totally unexpected that you'd love to see in your hall or bedroom every day, and go for that!


Try to purchase soy candles. They help your friends set a vibe and create a mellow, comfortable atmosphere and are better for their health and for the environment.

3. Make a Memory

Speaking of candles, scents are often closely tied to memories. When you give something like a candle or an essential oil diffuser, you can help your friends begin to establish memories of their early days in their new home, so they can always remember that very moment. Whatever you end up choosing, work to give something that can serve as a memory of the move itself. Maybe, if you helped with the move, you can frame a photo of your friends carrying a couch up the stairs! That's a perfect balance of humor and sentiment.

Make Scents: How Home Fragrance Can Impact Mood

Researchers believe that aromatherapy can impact our moods and that scent plays a big part in creating (or quickly changing) the atmosphere of a home. Spin the wheels to match your scent with a mood you want to create.

  • Need to Relax?
    Lavender: This calming scent is thought to help achieve a sense of calm and can also be helpful to coax you off to a good night of rest.
  • Time to Give Your Brain a Boost?
    Cinnamon: This spice is not just for baking – use it to help improve your working memory and keep you on task when you might be tempted to tune out.
    Coffee: Turns out you don’t have to drink coffee to get the effects. Simply brewing a pot or using coffee-scented candles or essential oils may wake you up and alleviate stress.
  • Need to Get Mellow?
    Pine: This is a great scent to chase away stress. It may also decrease anxiety and lower depression levels.
  • Want to Spark Joy?
    Fresh Cut Grass: Some claim the smell of a newly-mowed lawn can make people feel both ebullient and relaxed.
  • Feeling Low Energy?
    Citrus: The smell of oranges, lemons, limes or grapefruit is said to invigorate and energize the atmosphere. Try a combination of citrus essential oils in your diffuser.
  • Want to Make a House a Home?
    Vanilla: The smell of vanilla or fresh-baked cookies is an old realtor’s trick, used to make a home feel more cozy and inviting.
  • Feeling Romantic?
    Pumpkin: It’s not just for lattes. The smell of pumpkin has long been used as an aphrodisiac.
  • Under the Weather?
    Peppermint: Some say the smell of mint can increase the perception of clear nasal passages, and promote a clean bill of health.
  • Stay Optimistic!
    Jasmine: It's a bright floral scent thought to brighten a mood and it may even promote “glass is half full” thinking.

4. Get Playful with Games

Online games are awesome, but why not go old school? Many people feel game night makes a house a home. Does your friend? If you think they may have a penchant for play, why not bring a cool new game as a housewarming gift? You can even find a housewarming trivia game online.

Top 7 Games That Make Great Housewarming Gifts:

5. Encourage Self Care

A new place can be the perfect beginning for better self care. So choose a gift that will help your friend take gentle care of themselves in whatever way feels appropriate. You can go for a bougie spa basket, a soothing tea crate, or get them a subscription to a meal kit delivery service. If your pal is prone to losing things, one way to help them is give the gift of a bluetooth tracker.

6. Think Snackatizers

New digs often mean new neighbors and other new peeps. So take the pressure off when your friends have to pull together something quick to share! You can get them a subscription to a beer or wine of the month club, salsa of the month club – or, well just about any “of the month” club you can think of. You can also grab a really cool cheese board or set of matching melamine plates that will make any gathering they host instantly seem more buttoned up. 

7. Don't Forget the Pets

Fur babies make a house (or apartment or condo) a home. So be sure to help spoil them with this plush pet bed shaped like a bowl of instant noodles. Anyone who loves dogs, cats, or noodles will love tucking their fur babies into a bed shaped like a delicious bowl of instant noodles. You could also help them adopt their own pet wombat – really! If you choose this gift idea your friend will receive a cuter than cute plush version of your adopted animal, plus a formal adoption certificate and a “species spotlight card” chock full of fascinating facts.

Feel the Warmth

Moving can be exciting and fun. The best thing a good friend can do is help take a step back and appreciate the moment. They've just embarked upon an exciting new chapter, and although giving a gift can feel stressful, it's actually a chance to strengthen your bonds and contribute to the first few sentences of that new chapter. Let’s make sure this story has a great beginning, middle and end! If recommending muuv to your friends before they move is your kind of housewarming gift, good call. Reach out anytime to talk!

You're invited!

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