Monday, July 24, 2017

Housewarming Presents We Can Use

It has recently come to my attention that food and alcohol are the preferred housewarming presents of the Midwest.  But, since food is a delicate situation around here so your casseroles and pies will probably go uneaten and we still have a bottle of wine left from when someone brought it to a holiday party we had three years ago, these gifts while appreciated in terms of sentiment, actually aren't appreciated in terms of actual use.

So here are some alternative ideas for housewarming presents.

1) Gift cards.  Seriously.  Who doesn't like a gift card to Amazon, Target, a local grocery store, or a local hardware store?  My sister-in-law gave us a box of Magic Erasers and a $25 gift card to Target and this was super duper useful gift.  We have spent well over $500 at the local Ace in town and gift cards for that store would have been gratefully used.

But, I know. You want to get them SOMETHING, not cash or cash equivalents.

2)  Paper goods.  Someone else stopped by with toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, plastic cups, and some bottled water. They did this two weeks after we moved in and all of those things came in handy.  It probably cost them $20, but it was super convenient for us.

3) A potted plant.  This isn't for everyone (just like casseroles and wine aren't!), but my favorite housewarming present of all time was a plant a friend from grad school gave me. I have since moved with this plant four times and have given offshoots of it to other people as housewarming presents. If you have a friend who has a green thumb, consider this.

4) A return address stamp. I sent one to my sister when she moved last summer and I ordered one for us when we moved (this one from Gulf Road's Etsy shop for $20.35 + 4.99 shipping). I like these stamps for newlyweds AND housewarming presents, actually. 

5) Nightlights.  I found a two-pack of nightlights tucked away in the back of a bathroom closet right before we moved and boy was I glad to have them the first few nights we were in our new house when I didn't know where anything was and chances were there was a cardboard box in the way.

6) Personalized door mat. I purchased some fairly boring door mats (one for the front and one for the back), but if someone had gotten me a fun door mat, I would not be adverse to replacing one of them.

Consider names on the door mats ($19.99 + 9.99 shipping from Qualtry) or a fun Harry Potter-themed mat ($38 + 12.99 shipping for the it's home mat from Franklin and Figg or $30 + 16.95 for the 9 3/4 mat from Whimsical Vinyl).

7) If you're local, offer to take trash.  One of our friends came over and just took a bunch of our recycling. Our bin was already overflowing and he knew that we wouldn't get it removed for over another week and he just took a bunch and put it in his can that he knew he and his family wouldn't use. It didn't put him out too much, but it was really appreciated by us. 

8) If you're local, make a list of recommendations. Best grocery story, best handyman, best plumber, best free entertainment, best walking trail, best whatever you're the expert in.  I might not need to know "best ice cream" at this exact moment, but for my friend who wrote out a list of best ice cream places (by taste, price, and location - no joke) I have nothing but respect.  I will use that list someday, I promise.

9) Cleaning supplies. The next time I hear someone is moving, I'm putting together a laundry basket with some Windex, Chlorox, a microfiber duster, some paper towels, a broom/dustpan, and some gloves.  You just need this stuff when you're moving and who knows where they got packed?

10) A first aid kit. Damn it if I didn't cut myself when we moved here and I had no idea where the Neosporin or BandAids were. We eventually found out camping first aid kit (it's in a bright orange backpack we use for camping/hiking, so it was easily located) and used our supplies out of that, but it was a bummer when we unpacked the first aid supplies the next day and realized they were literally in the box right next to where I cut myself.

1 comment:

  1. These are all such great ideas! When we moved to this house, the most useful gift would definitely have been cleaning supplies or a gift card to a hardware store. So many visits to the hardware store in those first weeks!


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