18 Clever Items To Use When Having Friends Over

I have a friend who just loves to have people over. Seriously, she would entertain friends forever, if she could. She has a collection of items she always uses when guests are over, and they're the type of functional gadgets and accessories that you get real use out of, aka: the housewarming gifts people actually want and will appreciate having.

It seems like everyone I know is either buying their first home right now or moving into a great apartment. While I'm on the road a lot myself, I've learned what housewarming gifts essentials are actual necessities in every kitchen, living room, and entryway. When you’re having a party (or even just having a few friends over), certain crafty kitchen tools will help make things easier for you. It could be a great cheeseboard that could double as a serving platter. Or, it could be a fun game to keep everyone entertained in between courses.

So whether you’re buying someone a housewarming gift or you’re the one who’s doing the entertaining, there are so many great and clever items that make being the host so much more fun and a whole lot easier. Ahead, 18 items you'll want to have on hand for future get-togethers, and for last-minute housewarming gifts your friends will actually want.

1. A Chalk Board Table Runner

Reusable Chalk Board Table Runner, $37, Amazon

Create place settings or give your guests something to do with this awesome chalk board table runner — it's not just for the kid's table.

2. Self-Chilling Stemless Wine Glasses

Stemless Self-Chilling Wine Glasses, $50, Amazon

This set of two stemless wine glasses keep your rosé cold with a freezable dimple that seamlessly connects to the bottom. Now you don't have to wait for that bottle of wine to chill in the fridge before you serve it.

3. Decorative Slate Drink Coasters

Silver Slate Coasters (Set of four) , $32, Amazon

These make a wonderful housewarming gift, plus, they can be used for all the parties you throw in your home.

4. A Personable Corkscrew

A di Alessi Anna G. Corkscrew, $57, Amazon

Make opening a bottle of wine a bit more fun with this corkscrew that's designed after the artist's girlfriend. It's a wonderful conversation piece.

5. A Salt Stone For Extra Flavoring

Himalayan Salt Stone and Holder, $32, Amazon

The next time you heat up your grill, use this Himalayan Salt stone as a cooking surface to add some natural flavor to your steaks.

6. Monkey Bar Tool Set

Godinger Silver Art Monkey Bar Tool Set (6 Piece), $84, Amazon

Say goodbye to boring bar tools with this great hanging tool set. The handles of each tool are monkeys, and they effortlessly hang from the stand, creating a great piece for your bar.

7. Transforming Bamboo Cheese Board

Picnic at Ascot Vienna Transforming Bamboo Cheese Board, $65, Amazon

This foldable cheese board is great for entertaining no matter how many guests there are. If you're squad is a bit smaller that day, use only half the board. If you've got everyone there, use the whole thing.

8. Save Fridge Room With Magnetic Bottle Holders

BottleLoft by Strong Like Bull Magnets, $30, Amazon

Save room in your fridge with this magnetic space saver that you can attach to your kitchen shelf. Hang bottles and store other items underneath.

9. Top That Toast Party Card Game

Top That Toast Party Card Game, $25, Amazon

Play it as a drinking game, play it with family, play it with friends. Each time you draw a card, a different toast has to be made. See just how well people can toast or roast their friends and family.

10. Create A Classy Wine Nook

Wine Nook (American Black Walnut, $99, Amazon

If you're a fan of boxed wine but would prefer to keep it classy instead of feeling like you're back in college playing slap the bag, then this bagged wine dispenser is perfect for your next get-together. Glasses fit right under the nozzle, so no more having to pull a box over the edge of the counter.

11. Molecular Precision Kitchen Tools

Molecular R-EVOLUTION Precision Kitchen Tool Set, $107, Amazon

Learn how to cook like a molecular pro and wow everyone at your next dinner party. The kit comes with helpful DVD recipes and all the tools you'll need to become an amateur molecular chef.

12. Whiskey Chilling Stones

Granite Whiskey Chilling Stones, Tumblers, and Storage Tray, $35, Amazon

Perfectly chill fine spirits without worrying about watering them down. On the rocks becomes literal.

13. DIY BBQ Sauce Kit

Artisan DIY BBQ Sauce Making Kit, $40, Amazon

A wonderful housewarming gift that the host can share with you the next time you come over. This kit includes everything you need to make your own trio of BBQ sauces (just grab a tomato sauce from the grocery store) that everyone can enjoy at your next get-together.

14. Silverware That Opens Bottles

Brew Cutlery, Stainless Steel Bottle Opening Silverware, $61, Amazon

Never be left without a bottle opener again. They're great to have on hand at a BBQ and a clever gift for anyone moving away from home or moving into a new one.

15. Wine Glass Markers, So You Never Misplace Your Glass

Fred & Friends Party Plungers, $18, Amazon

Don't even think about having people over until you've got a classy way to ensure no wine glasses are swapped. These party plungers simply attach to the side or base of a wine glass, so you can call the red plunger and know the merlot is yours.

16. Mixology Dice For More Creative Recipes

Mixology Dice, $34, Amazon

There are over 1.5 million combos of drinks that you can make with these dice. The fun dice game is awesome for learning how to make cocktails and comes with a recipe booklet to make sure you get it just right.

17. BBQ Tools Briefcase

20-Piece Stainless-Steel BBQ Tool Set and Briefcase, $32, Amazon

If you love to grill out for your friends, this is the toolset for you. You'll never miss a beat because it comes with any cooking tool you could need.

18. Stainless Steel French Press

SterlingPro Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press (1L-2L), $40-$70, Amazon

A dinner party isn't complete without a cup of deliciously brewed coffee. And there just isn't anything like a cup of french pressed coffee. It's perfect for entertaining because of its large capacity. You'll only have to make coffee once.

Images: Pexels (1); Amazon (18)

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