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Tips for Throwing a Goodbye Party


So you’re ready to start a new chapter in your life. Maybe you are going off to college or there’s an exciting new job waiting for your somewhere else. Or maybe you just need a fresh start. Either way, you’ve found a new place, hired good and reliable Brooklyn movers and even packed your things. But now it’s time to part ways with your old place. Regardless of why you’re moving or how excited about the new start you are, this can be hard. Saying goodbye to a place you’ve called home thus far, the routine you’re used to and most of all your friends and family is after all always tough. But throwing a goodbye party may just make the transition a little bit easier. It is a way to find closure while having fun and celebrating the good times.

Take it easy – no stress allowed!

Everyone knows moving is stressful. There are so many things to do from calculating moving costs NYC to packing to negotiating your rent. It’s easy to get overwhelmed.

So when throwing a goodbye party, try to take it easy. You will almost certainly feel the pressure to make it extra special. It’s probably the last time you’re spending time with all the people you’re close to together in a while and that can make you feel like everything has to be over the top, memorable and perfect. But try not to think of it that way. Your going-away party should be about having fun and celebrating the next step you’re about to take. So don’t pile on unnecessary stress and take it easy!

Ask for help if you need it

There’s no shame in admitting you can’t do it alone especially if you’re already going through a tough time. If you are already busy with preparing for the move, you may find it hard to organize a goodbye party on your own especially if you’ll be having it at your place. So ask for help! Delegate some of the responsibilities to your family, friends or roommates. Have someone else decorate, hire caterers or ask people to bring their own drinks – any little bit helps!

Party supplies on a table, surrounding a cup of black coffee.
Throwing a goodbye party should be about having fun.

When and where?

When deciding on a date for throwing a goodbye party there are two major factors to consider: you and your guests. You should schedule your party at a time when most of your guests can attend. Weekends are the more popular choice but weekday evenings after work hours can be a good alternative. It’s important to pick a date that suits your personal plans. You will probably want your last hurrah to happen as close to your moving date as possible. At the same time, try not to make your schedule too crowded or you’ll just end up too stressed over the last-minute preparations for your upcoming move to enjoy yourself. This is especially true if you’re moving on short notice. A good rule of thumb is to leave the last weekend before the move free so aim to have your party before that.

You may be tempted to hold your going-away party somewhere public like a restaurant or a bar. That way you won’t have to decorate, prepare food and drinks or clean up. But make sure to book the place in advance, especially for a larger party. While this will save you effort and ensure your guests are not surrounded by moving boxes, it may require you to reorganize your budget a bit. It will also lack the nostalgia of having one last get-together with your loved ones in your old place.

Who? Make a guest list!

Arguably the most important part of any party is who attends it. Are you only having a few people over or is it going to be a crowded extravaganza? Whichever you choose, making a guest list when throwing a goodbye party will be of great help. Organize it by category (family/friends/neighbors) to make sure you don’t forget anyone. You can then use it as an RSVP checklist. Invite people one by one in person, en mass with an e-invite or go old-school and send an invite via post. Mark everyone on your list when they confirm they’re coming. This will give you an idea of how big the party will be and help you plan and budget for it.

Group of people clinking wine glasses at a party.
Remember: there is no party without guests.

Preparations: food, drink, and decorations

If you’re throwing a goodbye party outside of your own home, odds are this will be somebody else’s worry. But if you’re hosting your going away party at home, you should provide the food and drinks and decorate a bit. Always have more food and drinks than you expect to need. You can always finish off the leftovers later. But you won’t find it as easy to provide extras on short notice.

Try to have a variety in what you’re preparing. Some of your guests may be vegetarian or have allergies and some may not drink alcohol. Keep this in mind when choosing recipes and buying drinks. Serve everything up buffet style to add to the casual atmosphere and use disposable dishware and utensils to make clean-up easier!

The benefits of having a theme

While nobody is expecting you to go all out with the decor for a goodbye party, it’s nice to have some decorations here and there. This is where a theme comes in handy. It’s quite easy to choose – have a tropical party for a Hawaiian move, with some Hawaii-inspired food and snacks, or hang up maple leaves if you’re headed across the northern border for example. Just a small number of thematically connected decorations will be enough to convey the thought and effort that you put in. Pair it up with food and drinks inspired by your theme for the best effect!

Three pineapples with glasses and party hats surrounded by confetti and balloons.
Pick a fun theme that reflects your move.

Throwing a goodbye party to remember: have fun!

When the day finally comes, set up your playlist, greet your guests and mingle to your heart’s content. Tune out all the worries you still have about the move for one night and dedicate yourself to your friends and family who are all gathered there for you to celebrate the fact that you are ready for moving on and starting your life somewhere else. Do your best to spend some time with each of your guests. Even just a couple of minutes can be enough if you make them count!

In the end what you will remember most about throwing a goodbye party is not the time it takes to organize, the decorations you put up or the food you eat. It’s what you do with the people you love. So just remember to have fun!

These guys are TRUE PROFESSIONALS! We've now moved with them twice (once in 2017 and then again this week) and we really can't say enough good things about them. Simi is incredibly easy to work with for scheduling and quotes, and the crews - John, Super Mario, and everyone - are just awesome. They're quick, incredibly careful and conscientious, and super friendly. If we ever move again (and god I hope we don't have to) we're absolutely calling them.

Allison "Elnoods" N.

From Brooklyn, NY

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