Having Houseguests During The Holidays

 

It’s a busy time of year and the holidays are right around the corner. Many people are planning their trips to see family or friends and others are preparing for the influx of guests they are about to receive. If you are the person receiving the guests, here are some tips to get your home ready and to keep everything running smooth.

 

Determine Lengths of Stay Beforehand

This might seem like a no-brainer, but when guests arrive and tell you they will have to stay for longer than anticipated, stress levels can skyrocket. Double-check with guests before their arrival to make sure you are both on the same page with how long they will be staying. If your guests have pets, check with them if they will be bringing their furry friends with them. This way you can make proper accommodations for the animals if needed.

 

Vehicles

If your guests flew in, determine how travels will be made to and from the airport. Also, figure out how they are going to move around when they are at your home. Will they borrow a vehicle of yours? Or will all trips be made together? Set the expectation before they arrive to prevent any awkwardness later on.

 

Make Some Extra Space

Coat closet, shoe racks, and other spaces around the home should be cleared so your guests feel comfortable to leave their belongings there. This will (hopefully) help your guests keep their belongings together rather than scattered throughout your home.

 

Knock Out The Grocery List Early

Plan the meals you are going to make ahead of time. Once you know what you will be served, knock out the grocery list early. If you have time, try to prep some of the meals as much as possible ahead of time. This will allow you to enjoy more time with your guests rather than spending all your time in the kitchen. Also, plan on leaving easy snacks in an easily accessible location for your guests to snack whenever they are hungry.

 

Increase Your Outlets

The majority of your house guests will probably be traveling with several electronic devices. To keep battles over power outlets at a minimum, break out some power strips so everyone can easily power their devices.

 

How do you prepare your home for holiday houseguests? We love to hear tips and tricks!

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

 

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Holiday Party Etiquette

As we move closer to the holidays, there are typically more parties and events to attend. Parties can create stress for not only the host but for people attending the affair as well. There are many questions people typically have regarding proper etiquette. Here are a few answers to some of the most trivial questions and tips for both hosts and guests.

 

Invitations and RSVP’s

Make sure you send out invitations with enough time in advance that people will be able to make necessary arrangements if they want to attend. On the invitation, specify when and how you would like your guests to confirm if they will be attending or not. If you are the person receiving the invitation, it is important to respond in a timely manner.

 

Should you bring anything, and if so, what?

You should bring the host/hostess a gift. However, the gift should not make more work for the host. For example: if you bring fresh flowers, bring them already clipped and in a vase. This makes it easy for the host to place the flowers on a table rather than worrying about finding a vase to put them in.  

 

Should you be fashionably late?

Never show up to the party early, this will add stress to the host to start entertaining before they are ready. Arrive as close to the start time of the part as possible, 10-15 minutes late is perfect.  If you have to show up to a party over 15 minutes late, be sure to let the host know as soon as possible or with your RSVP.

 

When should you leave the party?

Unless you are a close friend of the host of the party, when the party starts winding down it is time to find the host and leave the event. If the invitation specified an end time, keep that in mind as well. Typically when all the food is cleared and plates, glasses, etc. are being put away, it is time to leave the event.

What holiday faux pas are you trying to avoid this year? Share your holidays planning tips and tricks below!

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

Preparing the Home For Holiday Guests

 

Is your home ready for the holidays? If not, they are creeping up fast! Here are our best tips to get the home ready for entertaining guests this year.

 

Clear Clutter

Clean everything and put everything away! You want your guests to have places to put drinks, plates and anything else without having to move clutter in order to do so.

 

The Guest Room

Just like in the bathroom, keep extra toiletries on hand. Make sure the guest room is comfortable and accommodating. It is also helpful to keep extra towels and blankets in the room for them to use if they need them.

 

Bathrooms

Make sure you are well stocked with all your bathroom necessities. Keep extra toiletries in the bathroom to make sure everyone has whatever they might need. This will eliminate any awkward or embarrassing situations for your guests.

 

Bring Out Extra Chairs

The potential influx of people in your home this time of year might also mean you need more seating options. If you have space, consider setting up some extra chairs to offer more places for your guests to sit, relax, and converse.

 

The Coffee Station

To make mornings run smoothly, have the coffee station fully stocked and easy to navigate. This means, have ground coffee, sugar, and mugs all next to the coffee pot. This will allow the early risers to make coffee when they are ready instead of waiting for the host.

 

How do you prepare your home for the holidays? We look forward to reading your comments!

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

Preparing The Kitchen For the Holiday Season

 

The holiday season is right around the corner and for most people, this means there will be an increased amount of traffic through their home. Navigating holiday parties, baking, cooking, and hosting guests means the kitchen is going to be heavily utilized. To get your kitchen prepared, here are our top tips for getting it prepared for the holiday season!

 

Give the Fridge a Thorough Cleaning

Then take everything out of the fridge and wipe out the inside of the fridge with a food-safe cleaning solution. After the fridge is clean, go through all the contents that were in the fridge. Throw away anything that is past its date. Then put everything back into the fridge, organized and clean. You will need to keep the fridge organized to have space for all the holiday cooking and preparations!

 

Clean the Inside of the Microwave

With holiday cooking comes holiday leftovers and with the possibility of having extra guests in your home, having the microwave ready-to-go will streamline some meal preparations. Your guests can heat up a plate of food in the microwave instead of pulling out different pots and pans!

 

Create a Cooking Schedule

If there is anything you can prepare ahead, this would help a lot. Plan out what you will bring to parties or want you will serve in your own home. Chopping vegetables, various sauces, and some baked goods can be prepared a few days in advance to prevent you from having to do everything in one day.

 

Check Appliances

Check all your kitchen appliances before the holidays to make sure everything is still working properly. If they aren’t, it might be time for a replacement. Having an appliance die during the holidays could quickly add stress or work for the chef.

 

How do you prepare your kitchen for the holidays? Share your tips and tricks below!

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

How to Keep Halloween Safe for Your Pets

Halloween is right around the corner and many of us are doing our last minute costume and candy shopping. While we find this a fun holiday, we have to remember that this can be a confusing and scary event for our furry friends. Do not forget to set up some precautions to keep your pets safe and calm this year. Here are our top tips for keeping our pets safe during Halloween.

 

Keep Pets Away From The Door if You are Expecting Trick-Or-Treaters  

Put them in a different room away from the door or set up pet/baby gates to keep them in a specific area. Having a high volume of guests coming to your door can cause your pet’s stress. Keeping them away from the door will keep them from bolting outside when the door opens.

 

Make Sure Your Pet is Wearing ID Tags

If your pet bolts out of the door, having all the proper identification tags on its collar will help it get returned home quickly and safely. These tags should include the pet’s name and the owner’s contact information.

 

Pet Costumes Need to be Comfort-First

If you want to put your pet in a costume, comfort for your pet needs to be the top priority.  Costumes might have wires that poke through or fabrics that irritate your pet’s skin. If your pet is wearing a costume, keep an eye on them. If they show signs of feeling distressed or irritated, remove the costume immediately.

 

Keep Candy Out of Reach

Any Halloween candy can be deadly to your animals. Make sure you keep candy and treats in a safe place that is out of your pets reach. If there are young kids around, share with them the importance of not letting the pets have any candy.

 

Bring Outdoor Pets Inside

If you have any outdoor pets, bring them inside for the night. The increased amount of people outside your home might cause your animal’s stress. The number of pranks pulled on pets also increases this time of year, keeping them inside will prevent them from falling victim to any potential pranks.

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

Simple DIY Projects You Can Knock-Out This Weekend

DIY projects do not have to be extensive or stressful. There are several simple projects you can accomplish over a few hours on a weekend that will keep your home looking new and updated. Making just a couple quick fixes to spruce up the appearance of your home can improve its value. These quick DIY projects are also budget friendly.

 

Update Your Lights

If you haven’t already, switch older style bulbs to energy saving bulbs. As an extra perk, they will help save money on your electric bill. Another project could be updating light fixtures throughout your home to something new or modern. Updating lighting fixtures can immediately make a room look updated. Adding dimmers to your light switches is another easy way to add a more modern touch to the lighting in your home.

Freshen-Up Old Furniture

An extremely simple way to update a piece of furniture that has cabinets or drawers is to change the knobs. This can make an older piece appear more modern. For wood furniture, giving it a nice cleaning and polishing can make it look brand new. Purchase a wood cleaning oil or wax that will rehydrate the wood, making it instantly shine more.

Boost Your Curb Appeal

Give your front door a fresh coat of paint or repaint it in a new color! Having a freshly painted front door instantly makes your home look more appealing and welcoming. If you have outdoor lighting, check that the lights are still working. If you don’t have lights, add lanterns or small welcome lights around the walkway to your front door to make your home entrance more inviting as the evenings are becoming darker earlier.  The front of your home is what gives is what gives the “first impression” to neighbors and passersby, making it a great place for some DIY attention!

 

Do you have any DIY projects planned this weekend? We would love it if you shared your home-improvement tips with us!

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

Setting The Table: Fall Centerpieces

Fall is in the air, and we have decorated the exterior of our homes and now we are moving indoors. One of our favorite places to add fall flair is on our dining tables. Beautiful table centerpieces capture the eye of the person who is entering a room.

Gourds and Pumpkins

Pumpkins and gourds are always a favorite. The mini pumpkin and gourds can be found in various colors and can be scattered or layered on the table for a variety of different looks.

Votive Candle Holders

These small candle holders are the perfect decorating piece because they look just as beautiful when the candles are lit as when they are not. Mix and match different colors or metallics to create a look you love! 

Flowers & Greenery

There are several types of flowers that are in season right now. Use fresh cut flowers in a vase or use a small, potted plant as the focal point of your table. If you choose to use a potted plant, just check that it won’t leak onto the table when it is watered. 

Treats

With Halloween right around the corner, now is the season for treats and sweet eats. Display your Halloween candy in a decorative bowl. This keeps the treats accessible and has them also work as your decor.

Fresh Fruit

Maybe candy isn’t your thing? Fresh fruit is another great, and healthier option. Use baskets or tiered fruit holders to place your fresh apples or other seasonal fruits on the table for a festive and colorful display. 

 

How do you plan on decorating your table this season? We’d love to hear your ideas! Comment and share below!  

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.