30 Housewarming Gifts People *Actually* Really Want

Celebrate a big move with something thoughtful.

October  9, 2018

We all know moving’s no picnic. First comes the organizing and piling. Then it’s the lifting and lowering and packing, along with some cleaning, and then, likely, some driving. By the time everything’s unloaded and arranged in the new nest, it’s time to celebrate.

If you’re heading to a housewarming party, you want to bring the perfect gift to honor the occasion—something thoughtful, useful, and not a fifth bottle of wine. (Actually, on second thought, more good wine is always a great thing.) A gift the hosts won’t return in a month.

Here in New York, moving from apartment to apartment is almost an annual event. So I asked the Food52 team just what they wanted after a move, as well as their go-to gifts. Check them out below:

Kitchen & Entertaining

“I bring the cocktail-infused ice cubes or a bottle of Tost from our Shop. But I also love the idea of bringing a cookbook or a wreath!” —Louise de Verteuil, Assistant Buyer

“If it's not something bubbly (which is always welcome, don't you think?), I usually stick with something functional but nicely styled, like a wine opener that is a step above a traditional rabbit-ear or wine key situation, or pretty coasters. Neither option takes up too much space, and I won't feel like I'm imposing my style too much!" —Hana Asbrink, Senior Lifestyle Editor

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“When I moved out of my parents' house, they brought me a loaf of bread, a jar of salt, and a new broom. Don't know where they picked up the tradition, but it was lovely--especially my mom's homemade bread! ”
— Quill

“I bring a wine opener because they somehow always get lost in a big box. Other than that I like to give cheeseboards or cheese knives." —Victoria Maynard, Director of Finance

"My go-to holiday gift, this snuggly double-oven mitt, also makes a perfect housewarming pick-me-up. It hangs cheerfully on the oven door, as if to say: Don't worry about all those boxes! At the end of all this, we're baking brownies." —Kristen Miglore, Creative Director, Genius

“I opt for a scented candle. People don't buy good ones for themselves (too expensive), but always like to have them. Otherwise, I bring something like a double-handed oven mitt, which they may not be familiar with and can always use even if they have oven mitts. It's a good icebreaker, too.” —Amanda Hesser, Co-Founder & CEO

Design & Decor

“My go-to gift is a Louise vase in copper from Hawkins New York with fresh flowers. Honestly, I like the idea of any kind of vase with the addition of bringing flowers or a plant.” —Kristina Wasserman, Director of Merchandising and Product Development

“Flowers are the one thing people tend not to buy for themselves, so whenever I get them from guests my home and heart feel very warmed.” —Eric Kim, Senior Editor

“When I moved to my first apartment in New York, my mom gave me a fancy scented candle and paired it with coffee from my home state, Louisiana. It was a perfect balance of making me feel less homesick and more grown up.” —Grace Montgomery, Director, Brand Strategy

“I have so many thoughts on housewarming gifts! Lately, I'm obsessed with gifting a drawing or coloring of the new house. It’s a unique gift and you don't have to worry about if it matches with everything else in their home!” —Eunice Choi, Director, Brand Activation

“When I moved, getting succulents instantly made my home feel more 'homey.' I also would have loved to get nice bathroom soap, like Aesop, or a Nest reed diffuser.” —Nina Amjadi, Email Production Manager

“I think the tapered candlesticks from the Shop are a great gift! Also, an Instant Pot” —Jane Katz, Senior Account Executive

“At a company I used to work for, we moved offices and received one of the Creekside Farms wreaths as a housewarming gift. I just moved recently and would love to receive this one to make our new entrance inviting and beautiful!" —Megan Güntaş, Digital Designer

Just Nice to Have

“When I moved up here, my friend gave me a gift card to Instacart grocery delivery service, which I was BEYOND thankful for since I was 1. unemployed 2. new to the city.” —Danielle Curtis-Williams, Marketing Coordinator

“While utility stuff (kitchen wares, nice fruit bowls, gift cards to Crate & Barrel or Williams Sonoma) are helpful in theory, I love gifts that have a story the very most—a print that a friend got at an antique store or flea market in the East Village; a little bowl or pillow cover they picked up in Morocco; a macrame wall hanging or throw they made themselves. I can buy myself all the tools I 'need,' (and prefer to do so anyway) but these super-personal gifts help inject life and warmth into my space." —Brinda Ayer, Books & Special Projects Editor

"One of my favorite gifts to bring to my friends are cuttings from my own pothos plant. Not only does it liven up their new homes, but it's something that keeps on giving—it's so easy to propagate and create your own little garden!" —Katie Macdonald, Assistant Editor

“I bring paper towels and toilet paper—it’s always needed!” —Sean Lee, VP of People and Culture

What's the best housewarming give you've given or received? Share in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.


ktr October 10, 2018
I would rather just have someone help with the move than bring me more stuff to put in my house - especially since before moving, I've just gone through my stuff and gotten rid of a lot of "extra" things I didn't really need.
Quill October 9, 2018
When I moved out of my parents' house, they brought me a loaf of bread, a jar of salt, and a new broom. Don't know where they picked up the tradition, but it was lovely--especially my mom's homemade bread!