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Moving can be a really stressful time. Whether you move just a few miles from your old home or you take a journey across the country, moving always takes a huge amount of time, effort, and money.

This is probably why the idea of “housewarming” became so popular. A housewarming party or gift is a perfect way for new neighbors and old friends to show their appreciation for someone who has moved, and help them relieve some of the stress of their move.

In the past, the most popular housewarming gifts were usually home goods, designed to help a newly-moved individual, start their new life in their home. Artwork, kitchen goods, home goods, and even tools were all traditionally given during housewarming parties, and as housewarming gifts.

Recently, though, a better alternative has developed. Gift cards are a fantastic way to give a fun, flexible housewarming present that your recipient can actually use. Gift cards can also be purchased in a wide variety of amounts, so you’ll never have to worry about over or under-spending.

Gift cards have another added advantage – they’re very easy to send across the country (or even across the globe). You can purchase a gift card and send it to the recipient’s new address, or buy a digital gift card and have it delivered to their email address instantly. This is a great way to give a gift, even if a friend is moving away and you can’t attend a housewarming party.

But not all gift cards are built alike when it comes to housewarming gifts. You’ll want to pick the right gift card for the occasion, the individuals, the area, and your budget. But never fear! EJ Gift Cards is here with a comprehensive guide to picking out the 10 best gift cards for a housewarming!

Let’s Start With The Budget!

Housewarming gifts are a bit difficult to budget for. Most people don’t really expect a housewarming gift at all, so they’ll certainly appreciate any gift that you give them, regardless of price. However, it’s still a good idea to have a general idea of how much you should spend in different housewarming situations. Here are our recommendations.

  • New Neighbor: $20-$50 – Your new neighbors probably won’t expect a housewarming gift at all, so there’s no need to go overboard. In addition, giving them a high-value gift may make them feel uncomfortable, simply because they don’t know you that well.
  • Close Friends: $50-$75 – If you have a close friend who is moving back to your area, or is moving away, you should spend a bit more on their gift.
  • Family Member: $75+ – If you have an immediate family member who is moving, feel free to spend whatever you can to help them start their new life. This is especially good advice if you’re buying a gift for a recent college graduate, or someone who just bought their first home. They’ll need all the help they can get!

While there are certainly other housewarming situations, you can follow this rule of thumb: the better you know the person, the more you can spend. However, don’t feel obligated to spend a lot of money on a housewarming gift – it really is the thought that counts.

1. Home Improvement Stores

Whether your friend is moving into a new home or an apartment, there’s always something that needs work. Leaky faucets, loose door handles, chipped paint, untamed bushes in the lawn – whatever it may be.

A gift to a home improvement stores like Lowes or Home Depot is a fantastic choice, especially for a first-time homeowner. Living in a house requires quite a bit more maintenance and upkeep than living in an apartment – especially because you can’t just call your landlord if your shower starts to leak.

A home improvement gift card can help the recipient spend a bit less on these unexpected essentials, and aid them as they turn their house into a home.

2. Favorite Local Restaurant

If the recipient of your housewarming gift is from out of town, or they’re moving back to your area after moving away, a gift card to one of your favorite local restaurants is a fantastic gift. You should choose a restaurant that’s totally unique to your area – this will help your friend forget about the stress of moving, and appreciate the local cuisine of their new home.

Restaurant gift cards are also a fantastic choice because moving is incredibly stressful and time-consuming. It can take people weeks (or even months) to get fully unpacked and resume their normal lives. During this time most people don’t really have time to cook, so they’ll probably be eating out quite a bit.

3. “Downtown” Gift Cards From The Chamber Of Commerce

This is one of the more unique choices on our list. Though it won’t be applicable to everyone, many local chambers of commerce have partnered with local businesses to offer “downtown” gift cards that can be spent at any partnered merchant.

These gift cards are meant to help local businesses gain more customers, and allow both locals and out-of-towners to be able to experience the uniqueness of each city easily, with a fun and flexible gift card. Merchant partners usually include local restaurants, pubs, breweries, or even local specialty grocery stores – it all depends on the city issuing the card.

The Cincinnati “Downtown Gift Card” is a good example. These cards can be purchased directly from the city online, and used at over 200 different merchants, retailers, eateries, and entertainment venues.

If your friend or neighbor has moved to a new city, this is a great way to help them get acquainted with recreation options, and explore their new home. So do a little Googling, and see if you can find a “downtown” gift card to buy for a housewarming gift.

4. Movie Theater Gift Cards

Did we mention that moving is stressful? We did? Well, moving is stressful! Most people who move are excited about going to a new place and starting a new home, but the day-to-day effort required to move all of your stuff and set it up in a new apartment or house can be enormous.

Because of this, it’s a great idea to give a housewarming gift that can help the recipient escape the stresses of moving. A gift card to a local movie theater is a fantastic choice. Whether you choose a local, “arty” cinema, or a gift card to a large “cineplex” like AMC or Showcase, a gift to a movie theater will provide a valuable form of stress relief, and let the recipient relax and forget about the stresses of moving.

5. Home Goods Stores  

Moving to a new place means adjusting to a new environment, and a differently-sized and laid-out space. That means that it’s very hard to anticipate what will be needed when moving to a new house or apartment. Are those deck chairs too big for the new balcony? Can that showerhead be replaced? Can that toaster that’s been in use since college be replaced? There’s always going to be some home goods that need to be purchased or replaced.

Because of this, buying a gift card to a home goods store like Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond, or Bath & Bodyworks is a fantastic choice. Whether your gift recipient needs a new set of silverware, bath towels, or any other essentials, they’ll be able to pick up some great new stuff, and have everything they need, to start their life in their new home.

A gift card to one of these stores can also give the recipient an excuse to do a little pampering – buy a new bathrobe, some fancy skincare products, or anything else that will make them feel good about themselves as they de-stress from their move.

6. Craft Stores

Moving to a new home is a great opportunity to truly “make it your own”. If your friend or new neighbor seems crafty, and likes fun DIY projects, you should consider buying them a gift card to a store like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or Jo-Ann Fabrics.

These stores have a huge variety of decorative items, artwork, picture frames, and much more, as well as a selection of great raw materials that can be used to make custom decorations. Check out this section on Pinterest for ideas!

7. IKEA

IKEA gift card

A gift card to IKEA is a fantastic housewarming present if you have a store in your area. Traditional furniture can be extremely expensive, and the recipient of your gift is probably not quite ready to drop thousands of dollars on sofa sets, end tables, and other furniture from a traditional retailer.

So IKEA is a fantastic option! IKEA products probably won’t last a lifetime, but they’re certainly made to high quality standards – even if assembly can be a bit of an issue. And because they’re flat-packed and can be assembled in a new home, it’s much easier to transport them. This is a huge deal – after moving, your friend isn’t going to want to go through the ordeal of fitting a bulky sofa into their car.

And because IKEA products are relatively inexpensive, you can choose a relatively low dollar amount – say, $50 – and still allow your friend to purchase at least one piece of furniture.

If you do choose to give an IKEA gift card, consider offering to hang around and help them pick stuff out for their new place, and volunteer to help them assemble their new furniture. Assembling furniture is always easier with two people.

8. Amazon

Amazon gift cards are always a fantastic choice for a housewarming gift. You can buy just about everything from this gigantic online retailer – from beds and bedframes to furniture, home goods, cleaning supplies, clothing – you get the picture.

Also, given how busy most people are when moving into a new home (especially if they’re starting a new job) it may be difficult to get out to a store to purchase everyday essentials. Amazon gift cards allow them to purchase items and have them sent right to their door – saving them time, money, and headaches.

9. Etsy (Or Local Thrift Stores)

Buying vintage or used items is always a great way to get high-quality goods at lower prices. An Etsy gift card can be a fantastic way to help your friend pick out some vintage furniture, small appliances like lamps, handmade decorations, and more.

The Etsy marketplace is chock-full of awesome home goods at low prices, and is a great place to find totally unique vintage items while still saving money.

Another option would be a gift card to a local thrift store, such as Goodwill. Some people turn their noses up at thrift stores, but they offer a fantastic way to save money on used furniture and home goods. You can often find dish sets, appliances, and used furniture at thrift stores for pennies on the dollar.

Of course, not every item is a great investment at a thrift store. If you’re curious about thrift shopping strategies, check out this guide to shopping at thrift stores by LifeHacker. It’ll help you recognize good deals, and stay away from low-quality items (such as heavily used sofas that may be infested with bedbugs).

10.  Big-Box Retailers

You can never go wrong with a gift card to a big-box retailer like Target, Walmart, or Meijer. There’s almost always a convenient location nearby, and these retailers sell everything that anyone could need after a move.

This includes less-than-glamorous products such as cleaning supplies, toilet plungers, and other daily necessities that may have gone overlooked during a move. And while purchasing those items might not exactly be exciting, they’re still essential.

So if you want to give a gift card that’s always going to be useful, and can be used on just about anything, – from groceries to furniture, home goods, cleaning supplies, and more – buying a gift card to a large retail superstore is a fantastic choice.

Got Gift Cards You Don’t Want? Sell Them Now With EJ Gift Cards!

Whether you’ve recently had a housewarming, or you simply have quite a few extra gift cards lying around, you may want to sell some gift cards that you’re just not that interested in. If that’s the case, visit EJ Gift Cards today!

We make it incredibly simple to sell your unwanted gift cards. Simply enter the card information and get a quote. If you like what you see, enter your information and payment details, and we’ll send you cash through PayPal.

It’s just that simple. So don’t wait around. Turn your unwanted gift cards into cash with EJ Gift Cards.