If any of your friends or family chose to relocate this spring or summer, you’ll probably have to find a housewarming gift or two. Housewarming parties have become more common lately, so you might even be directed to a gift registry. (Yes, housewarming registries are a thing now.)
But like wedding registries, housewarming wish lists are just suggestions. If you don’t think upgrading from a ranch to a split-level warrants a wedding-level gift, you can go it alone and find something useful and sentimental without the sticker shock.
In their new, bigger space, your friends will probably be able to entertain more, cook more, decorate more and do more gardening. So focus your efforts on helping them do those things with style.
Olive oil is a fairly traditional housewarming gift, so splurge on some of the really good stuff in a bottle they’ll be proud to keep on the counter.
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A professional-grade corkscrew is always welcome at a party, right up there with a sturdy bottle opener. Don’t be surprised if these presents are used immediately after opening.
A fire extinguisher in a bright, nontraditional hue – or even a vintage pattern! – feels like a work of art when mounted on a wall. It’s a safety must-have that is often overlooked.
A smartphone docking station keeps cords for tablets, MP3 players and phones from cluttering up a table. It also means fewer mornings frantically searching for gadgets on the way out the door.
A Bluetooth speaker set is another great way to banish cords from view, and some models will even work in the shower for perkier mornings.
Framed pictures equal instant nostalgia. If you have pictures of your friends in their previous apartment or house, frame them in a material that evokes memories of those places by matching the exterior color or texture. This is a thoughtful idea for people who have outgrown a home they will miss.
A birdfeeder is a great way for people to showcase their style outside. Find one that really reflects your friends’ personality, and include some seed for local songbirds, too.
A young tree is perfect for those who have moved into a new subdivision without a lot of foliage or shade. If you have a friend regretfully leaving behind her Japanese maples or peony bushes, buy some replacements. (Bonus points for helping them plant any greenery gifts.)
Custom address labels with your friends’ new location will help them send their thank-yous – and invitations for future parties. If they are artistic, get them their own stylized return address stamp and inkpad.
Pinterest is loaded with ideas for DIY gift baskets, like spaghetti dinner ingredients in a snazzy colander, and recipes for meals in a jar that will come in handy for folks who haven’t filled their pantry yet. If your friends are moving into a place where they can finally garden, put together a basket of bulbs, potting soil and a trowel in a stylish but functional watering can. Steal ideas at will.
Whatever you get your recently relocated friends, make sure you’re putting their passions and hobbies first. A living space should reflect what makes its owners unique, so you can’t go wrong if your gift helps them put their stamp on the new place.
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens or visit http://communityamerica.com.