If you’re like me, you struggle to find just the right housewarming gift for a friend, relative or client that has just moved into a new home. Yet, this is one of the most important times in one’s life and what you gift could make a difference in your relationship.
8 Things To Consider When Buying A Housewarming Gift
Is it appropriate for the nature of your relationship? If your shopping for a client you might want to stay away from bedroom or even bathroom items and focus on the kitchen, living room, dining room, foyer, library, den or other areas of the home. My favourites are the kitchen, garage, mudroom, porch, garden and shed. If your shopping for a family member or close friend then you could get away with items for the bathroom or bedroom, just avoid being tacky. You want something that gives the right message that stays around for a while.
Will it make their life easier? Some gifts require maintenance and effort and can become more of a nuisance than anything else. Giving a gift that requires some technical skills to set-up or use to an elderly person who is not familiar with technology will not go over well. If you’re going to give a gift like an Alexa to someone who is not comfortable or familiar with the Internet of Things, then be prepared to set it up for them and be called when they are having a problem with it. Items like the Magic Bullet are easy to use, clean and make food preparation a lot easier.
Will it make their home more comfortable? Most people appreciate items that feel comfy or make their home more comfortable. A good pair of house slippers, a couch blanket, a throw pillow, or house coat make great gifts that may be used often. Just make sure you pick the right colour and item that they will want to use.
Will it make their home look better? Everyone wants to find ways for their new home to look better. Wall plaques, posters, fridge magnets, hangers, mail boxes, house numbers and decor items offer great variety to choose from regardless of price constraints.
Does it match their character? Giving a gift that matches one’s character tells them that you actually get them. Avoid the little syndrome where you buy someone what you like or need, rather than what the recipient would want.
Will it fit into their lifestyle? Home bodies that like gardening, cooking and puttering around the house will appreciate gifts related to entertainment (music, television or movies), the garden (gnomes, birdhouses, tools), the kitchen (gadgets and utensils). Customized or monogrammed items like coffee cups, hand towels, oven gloves and cooking aprons can work well and have staying power. On the other hand those that like to get outdoors or hit the gym might appreciate things like a bike rack, equipment storage unit, monogrammed golf balls, indoor putting cups, and monogrammed towels.
Do they need it? In this day and age, does anyone really ‘need’ anything. Seems like we’re surrounded by much more than we really need. So when you buy an item, make sure you’re not duplicating something they already have covered. For example, if they spend most of their time at the office, with Starbucks as their backup, then do you really need that gift for their den? Yet, there are items that are necessities for the home.
Do they want it? There are tell-tale signs to watch for that reveal what an individual wants. You can see it in the magazines they read, websites they visit, things they talk about, even what they look at or pay attention to in discussions. If they’re asking you questions about something specific, chances are that’s what they want. You can test this by talking about some of your gift ideas ahead of time to see what they think about that item.
Remember that when buying gifts for someone moving into a new home, you want to give something that they will appreciate, use often, show that you know them and that you care enough to find the right gift just for them. Whatever gift you choose, you’re likely to make a better impression when it is customized to the individual. Monogrammed items, items with their name, their favourite colours, sayings, reference to their life journey, work, play, relationships, lifestyle or sports team affiliations will make that extra difference.
Share some of your good, and not so good stories, about housewarming or homewarming gifts you’ve given and the outcome.