So your friends have landed themselves a great new apartment, and they’re throwing themselves a party.
Great! But now you have a dilemma: What to get them for a housewarming gift? Apartment dwellers already face storage challenges, and you don’t want to contribute to their clutter. What kind of gift is practical, enjoyable, and doesn’t take up a lot of space?
Fear not! We have 10 housewarming gift ideas that your friends will love. Even better, they’re easy on your wallet, too.
1. Potted plants do double duty.
Not only do they add nice decorative touches to a room; they also keep indoor air filtered and clean. Go for a small plant that can be kept on a windowsill and doesn’t require much maintenance, like an aloe plant or a cactus.
2. Give them a collapsible kitchen.
Measuring cups and spoons, colanders, dish drainers, cooling racks, graters, and all sorts of other gadgets come in designs that collapse flat, making them a snap to store in a small kitchen. Your friends shouldn’t have to sacrifice cool cooking equipment just because they live in a small space.
3. Everyone loves food.
Edible gifts only take up space until someone scarfs them down. Seek out a cool local bakery for some sweet treats, or give your friends a nice bottle of wine or some unusual tea or coffee.
Help your friends personalize their apartment’s entrance with a one-of-a-kind doormat. There are all sorts of design options – monograms, photos, and the message of your choice – for as little as $20.
5. Nothing says “welcome home” like squeaky cleanliness.
Cleaning products may not sound like the most fun presents to receive, but your friends would buy them anyway, making them super-practical gifts. Treat them with some non-toxic cleaning products from Method, Mrs. Meyers, or Seventh Generation. You can spend as much or as little as you want, but this new home kit from Method costs $30.
6. Coffee? Oui!
A French press is a perfect accessory for a small kitchen – they’re smaller than coffeemakers, and they come in all sorts of neat designs. Small models start around $5.
7. Let them tinker with tiny gadgets.
For technophiles, there are some great toys out there that can easily fit in desk drawers. Consider this: A fish-eye, wide-angle, and macro lens 3-pack that straps easily to an iPhone camera. Your friends will enjoy taking photos for years to come, and it’ll only cost you $6.
8. Fund their laundry with rolls of quarters.
What? If your friends live in an apartment community with coin-operated washing machines, or if they have to visit a Laundromat, they’ll appreciate this practical present. Sweeten the gift packaging with a few packets of detergent and/or fabric softener.
9. Skip the gift wrap altogether.
You don’t automatically have to show up with a present wrapped in paper and ribbons. Rather than a physical gift, treat your friends to an evening out – dinner, a movie, or just hanging out. Spending time with people you love is the best gift of all.
10. If all else fails, go with the gift card.
If you’re stumped, let your friends decide what they want. Some say gift cards are impersonal, but in reality, they’re the perfect presents – after all, who knows what kind of stuff your friends want or need better than they do?
Photo credit: Shutterstock / natu