One of my coworkers is moving out of their parents' house this weekend to get an apartment of their own. I think it would be a nice gesture to get a small "move-in present."

I'm on friendly terms with them, but I only started working here 4 months ago and see the coworker maybe four or five times a week. Since I haven't known the coworker that long, I was thinking something cheap and small, but definitely useful—more giving a gift for the gesture than the actual gift (maybe a box of tissues, or a some dish soap).

Is this a good idea? Would it be weird to receive a gift like this from someone you haven't known that long or that well? If so, what type of gift would you suggest?

  • 1
    Any possibility you can gang up with other co-workers on this? Is the co-worker giving a housewarming party? Are you the only one invited or is everybody else as well? Have you actually asked what other co-workers think about your gift idea?
    – Tinkeringbell
    Nov 9, 2017 at 19:26
  • 1
    @Tinkeringbell the coworker is moving into a small condo with a friend from out of work. They're also very much a homebody, so the likelihood of a house warming party is extremely low. As far as I know, they've not told anyone else at work that they're moving. While I've only been with the company for 4 months, they've only been here for 6.
    – chumpbot
    Nov 9, 2017 at 19:29
  • Okay, then my 'answer' won't apply ;-) good luck finding a solution!
    – Tinkeringbell
    Nov 9, 2017 at 20:01

3 Answers 3


Four months is not so soon as to be inappropriate to give a gift nor so long as to make the lack of one a faux pas.

A small card and a gift appropriate for a house, such as a gift card to a store that has housewares that they may need is more than adequate. Just keep the amount spent to a humble amount, lest they feel obligated to reciprocate.


My first impulse is that four months is a bit soon to do a housewarming gift for someone you've only known for a few months. This goes double if they're the opposite sex.

But,if you want to get your coworker something small to mark their moving (and IF you are very sure it won't come across as hitting on them), maybe get them a gift card for a small denomination (~$10-$25 or so) to a home supply store. A gift card is perfect for this - it's useful but also a bit more impersonal, so it's less loaded than trying to come up with a housewarming gift.

  • I would argue that it very much depends on how closely they interact, even if it's limited to 4 or 5 times a week. Some people will only have a professional relationship, others may have already socially clicked to the point of them being work friends. If the OP knows that this person is moving out of their parents' house, that would generally indicate that they are friends, not just coworkers.
    – Flater
    Nov 10, 2017 at 11:40

You've got a couple of factors to consider here. First of all, this is someone you've known for 4 months. Secondly, and I don't see the answer here, is a gender issue.

Unless you've really become good friends, I'd suggest that giving a move-in gift to someone you've known for a short time would be premature. Secondly, at this stage and if you and the recipient are of differing genders, that could be misinterpreted very badly.

At this point, I think it's not a good idea and I'd suggest holding off. Get to know them better, and then give a delayed housewarming gift. I think that the last thing you'd want when you're new at a job is to be thought of as creepy or hitting on a co-worker. @Tinkerinbell has an excellent idea of a group gift - if someone's doing that, it would be a nice gesture.

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