Moving to a new home marks a brand new chapter in a person’s life. According to the American Moving and Storage Association’s latest market research on the moving and storage industry in the country, 11.2% of all Americans move house each year. AMSA have calculated that that percentage equals 35.1 million people, or roughly 15.3 million households at an average of 2.3 persons per household.
With so many Americans on the move, there’s a great chance of you having a good friend or maybe even a no-so-good friend who has just moved to a new home. Whether it’s a childhood friend or a colleague at work you barely know, the important thing is that you’ve been invited to a post-move housewarming party and you can’t just show up at their door without a proper gift.
What gifts should you get someone who just moved house? To avoid awkward and nerve-wracking situations of finding yourself unprepared for the occasion, here are the top 7 gift ideas for someone who just moved into an apartment or a house.
1. Something you’ve created yourself
Without a doubt, the best gift for someone who just moved house is something that you yourself have made – a work of art that you have created with your own two hands. That special gift can be anything, really – from a wood-carved figurine or a candlestick to a crocheted blouse or scarf. It all depends on your particular skills and how much time you have at your disposal to make your gift idea a reality.
Whatever new home gift you choose to create, your recently moved friend will surely appreciate it and treasure it for years to come simply because such thoughtful presents show how much you think and care about them.
2. Personalized items
When it comes to unique gift ideas for people who just moved house, another good idea is to turn seemingly ordinary gifts into more special ones by adding personalization to them. As you probably know, there’s a huge selection of items that you can be personalized – doormats, clocks, watches, wine casks, T-shirts, and even kitchen items, such as cutting boards and of course – mugs.
The personalized message is all up to you – it can be the recipient’s name, a famous quote you know they like, a short poem you recently wrote, heartfelt wishes for a brighter future, or just about anything else you can think of.
3. Framed artwork
Framed artwork never seems to go out of style as far as gift ideas for new home owners go. In the best case scenario, it will be something that you’ve painted, drawn or photographed yourself. However, if that won’t really work well, then you still have tons of choices to pick a framed artwork that you know, or at least hope that your friend will appreciate and enjoy.
If you know the person really well, then you can even take a bit of a gamble with something funny or humorous – a piece that will make them smile each time they take a look at the framed painting or picture.
Read also: How to pack pictures for a move
If you’re looking for genuinely thoughtful gift ideas for new home owners, then you should definitely consider giving them a carefully selected plant. Plants given as housewarming gifts have a great symbolic meaning – growth and prosperity under the new roof. The type of plant you go with may happen to convey just the right message to your friend, so give it a little thought instead of picking a potted plant at random.
Remember that one of the best gift ideas for someone who just moved into a house with a spacious garden is to give them a young sapling that will hopefully grow into a lovely tree.
5. Gift cards
At times it’s really hard to think of a gift that you know will make somebody’s day, and sometimes you don’t have the time to hunt down such a present in the first place. The reasonable solution? A gift card.
Gift cards work really great when you don’t know the recipient that well too – so, instead of handing them cash (an act that is not generally accepted and may be frowned upon), you’re leaving the actual decision up to them.
The only choice you’ll have to make, of course, is what type of a gift card to get your friend. Gift cards for home depot stores or subscription services are usually safe, but considering the high cost of moving house, a grocery gift card could also turn out to be a great idea.
Practical gifts for new home owners are usually greatly appreciated, so if you can’t think of a really unique and original housewarming present, then you should definitely choose something useful. Think about this: every new home needs a toolbox full of essential tools with various functions, shapes, and sizes.
If you happen to know for a fact that your friend does have a variety of tools but you still want to go with that gift idea, then you can easily buy them a quality toolbox that’s actually empty except for a gift card for a good hardware store lying on the bottom.
That’s right, you can’t possibly go wrong with a toolbox and tools that will practically be used for many years.
7. Something for the kitchen
If your friend or acquaintance enjoys cooking, then that fact alone can narrow down the gift options for you. Speaking of Just Moved-labeled gifts, there are so many kitchen items you can purchase that you may be a bit overwhelmed.
An excellent cookbook is never a bad housewarming gift, but fresh spices accompanied by a cute spice rack, or high-quality kitchen sets (a sushi set) sound like safe options as well. The general idea is to stay away from standard kitchen stuff such as small electric appliances (what is your friend going to do with two toasters or three electric kettles?) unless a small bird has informed you that your friend does need the kitchen item you’ve bought for them.
Still unsure what to give someone who has just moved into a new home? Consider this: a home cooked meal may as well be the most heart-warming housewarming gift a person gets after the energy-draining Moving day.
See also: How to make moving day less stressful