When you first walk into your brand-new home it is such a wonderful experience. You just walk around in awe of the fact that you have a new home. Whether it is your first home or you are a seasoned new homeowner, there are still things that you tend to overlook when you first start moving in.
This is a guide for real estate agents, the seller of the home, or the friends and family of a new home buyer. If you have this gift basket sitting on the kitchen counter or front stoop when the new homeowners arrive at the house, you will make a huge positive impression on the new home-owner.
The Basket: The basket is not nearly as important as what is inside of it but it doesn’t hurt to select a basket with purpose in mind. When you choose the basket consider these two things: will all of the gift fits comfortably inside the basket and will the basket be useful after they remove the gifts from it? I would recommend purchasing all of the gifts first, before shopping for the basket. However, if you tend to overspend on gifts, you could also buy the basket first, so as to limit what you will buy.
When shopping for a basket, if you want to go for the traditional wicker style, look for something with a lid so that it is versatile for use around the house. Otherwise, consider using something else as a “basket” such as a medium sized (brand-new) garbage can. A medium-sized, clear storage container works really nice, too (just remember the lid).
The Gifts: There are any number of things that you could include in a Welcome to Your New Home gift basket but I think the following items are the most useful.
Besides having a full roll of toilet paper in each bathroom, the new homeowners would be grateful to have a package of toilet paper in the gift basket. Paper towel is incredibly handy, but often forgotten and overlooked when the new owners are busy cleaning, painting, and generally moving into their new house. Put a new package of paper towels in the basket. Light bulbs are always needed but are particularly useful if you have light fixtures that need unusual sized bulbs (i.e. extra big bulbs in the bathroom or candelabra bulbs in a bedroom fixture). Clear shower curtains (brand-new), or curtain liners, are useful to have so that the shower can be used right away. Clorox wipes are terrific to have around for general cleaning purposes and can be used for just about any area of the house.
Candles are always nice to help freshen up the air, especially if the house has been closed up for a while. Local take-out or delivery menus would be a nice gesture also, especially as it takes a while to get a kitchen up and running. A few non-perishable food items or a small amount gift card would add a nice touch. One final thing to consider would be a nice house plant to clear the air and bring new life into the house.
Write A Note: If you are putting this basket together for the people you will be selling your home to, consider writing a notes of things you would have found useful. Maybe there were neighbors that were extra nice or that were very handy at fixing things. Maybe there were neighborhood kids or dogs that tended to cause some problems. Is there a local grocery store that is better than the others? The new owners would love to have that information. In our house, the light switches weren’t easy to figure out at first. It took us a while to determine what switches went with which lights, especially for outdoor lights. You might consider creating a map of the house, with switches labeled and any other peculiarities that you discovered in your time as the home’s owner. Remember, it doesn’t hurt to be polite and considerate when it comes to pointing out those “special qualities” of the house.