Moving into a new place isn’t just an exciting milestone in your life. It’s also the perfect excuse to host a housewarming party! But if you’ve never hosted a housewarming party before, it can feel really overwhelming to consider the logistics on top of unpacking or settling in. Here are seven tips to help you host the perfect housewarming party, from setting a date to planning the menu.

1. Get settled in your new place first.

Before prioritizing your housewarming party, give yourself enough time to settle in and get unpacked. Three or four weeks is a good benchmark, but you might need more time if you have a lot of stuff to unpack or you plan to renovate the house after you move in. If you tend to procrastinate on unpacking, then having a party on the books can motivate you to get it done!

Ideally, you want all the rooms to be open to guests during a housewarming party, so it is best to get rid of the boxes and decorate the rooms as much as possible; give yourself enough time to accomplish that. You will also want all the necessary party supplies prepared so that you’re not trying to hunt for your bakeware on the day of the party.

2. Decide on your gift policy.

Once you’ve set the date, you need to decide on your gift policy before you send out your guest invites. While it’s traditional for people to bring at least a small housewarming gift, you can totally skip this part if you already have everything you need for your new place; just be sure to specify on the invitation that no gifts are necessary.

If you decide to ask for gifts, make sure to create a housewarming registry to avoid duplicate gifts of kitchen accessories or stemware. You can also have people bring alcohol to stock your home bar (and to serve at the party) or ask them to bring food for a potluck party, so you don’t have to worry about cooking or catering.

3. Send out your invites to the guest list.

Once you’ve set a date and decided on your gift policy, it’s time to send out your invitations. While you can go the old-fashioned route and send out physical invitations in the mail, it will be much faster to use digital invitations such as Paperless Post or other online Evite websites.

Try to invite people a minimum of two weeks in advance and give them more of a heads up if possible. If you send out invites at the last minute, people are more likely to have plans already, whereas if you give them plenty of advance notice, then they can clear their calendars.

4. Don’t worry too much about decorations.

For a housewarming party, you don’t need to stress about putting up extra decorations — the house has plenty of decorations in itself! Now, if you genuinely want to put up balloons or banners or otherwise trick out your space, then a housewarming party is a great excuse to go shopping for some new elegant home decor.

But don’t feel obligated to go to the extra effort and expense if it’s not something you want to do; your guests won’t expect lots of fancy decorations, so don’t put that pressure on yourself if you don’t enjoy decorating for parties.

5. Keep the food and drinks simple.

If you decide to take care of the food and drinks yourself instead of having your guests bring them, keep the menu simple and limit prep work as much as possible. If you have the budget, getting food catered from a local restaurant is a great way to reduce your workload and introduce your guests to all that your neighborhood has to offer.

If you want to make the food yourself, try cheese boards, chips and dips and other easy-to-make foods that are sure to be crowd-pleasers. Serve wine and beer as drinks, or designate one of your friends as a bartender for the night, so you don’t have to spend the whole party playing mixologist.

6. Create open space and have enough seating.

People are going to want to circulate through your new house during the party, so doors should be left open and walkways unobstructed as much as possible. This is another reason why it’s so important to have all the boxes unpacked and recycled before your guests arrive; you don’t want them in the way!

You should also make sure to have plenty of seats for when they get tired of standing and walking around. If you’re going to have a lot of people over, you might need to borrow some chairs from your friends or neighbors or rent some to ensure that you have enough seating for your party.

7. Prepare for your house tours.

House tours are an expected part of a housewarming party, and if you don’t want to spend your entire party giving the same tour on a loop, then you need to do a little planning ahead. Depending on the size of your guest list, you might be able to give one tour in the middle of the party and be done with it.

However, if you have a lot of guests, you might need to break it up into a couple of smaller groups so that everyone can fit in the rooms. You can also put up signs or hand out floor plans and let your guests give themselves a tour at their leisure so that you don’t have to worry about timing your tours.

What’s the most memorable housewarming party you’ve been to? Are you planning a housewarming party of your own right now? Let us know in the comments below!