Holiday Traditions: Start One or Keep It Going


12 Books of Christmas
Buy and wrap 12 short stories or children’s books. Start opening them and read them at bedtime each night leading up to Christmas.

Elf on a Shelf
If you haven’t already heard of this Christmas tradition that has taken the world by storm, you can check out some of these very creative Christmas characters in action by clicking here.

Decorate
from the tree to the stockings, someone has to do it! So, involve the whole family in transforming your home into a Winter Wonderland! Popsugar suggests having a family camp out under the tree after you get it set up.

Volunteering
Whether it is at a local homeless shelter or ringing the bell at a local store, the spirit of giving is what the holidays are all about. Encourage your family to participate in a selfless activity like serving food, collecting clothing or cans, or hanging Christmas lights for someone.

Lights
You can drive around town and check out the light displays, or make an annual visit to an awesome light show. Lights are some of the most magical parts of Christmas. Make it a moment each year that your family can look forward to.

Movie Night
Pick a Christmas classic that your family can watch every year. Extra bonus if you all have matching pj’s or fuzzy holiday themed socks!

Christmas Crafts
From ornaments to Gingerbread houses, there are plenty of Christmas crafts to choose from. Here are some awesome ideas to get you started on this family tradition.

Sing
Whether you are caroling, doing Christmas karaoke, or driving around looking at lights with some of the seasonal hits playing, traditional Christmas songs are must have part of the holiday season.

Giving
If you are in the financial place to help others, adopt a Christmas Angel, fill a shoe box to send overseas, or find a local family in need of extra help during this time. There are many opportunities to give to others.

Santa Claus
You can visit him at the mall, write him a letter, or call his phone number, there are many ways you can get in touch with the Big Guy this Christmas season. Make it a holiday tradition that everyone can look back on with joy.

Everyone celebrates the holidays a little differently, we encourage you to check out holiday traditions from all around the world at this awesome Holiday Traditions website! Let us know your favorite holiday traditions in the comments below!

Holiday Cleaning Checklist


With the holidays upon us, let’s revisit a popular theme for this time of year. Focus areas for cleaning during the holidays. Believe it or not, you can accomplish your house cleaning and organizing needs for a holiday-ready home without much effort.

If you break it down into manageable parts, your holiday cleaning doesn’t have to be overwhelming. House cleaning this way can help keep you focused and calm, allowing you to enjoy a stress-free time with your family and guests this holiday season. If you have already done a thorough job of household cleaning and organizing each quarter (like we highly recommend), you will have less housekeeping to do for the holiday season.

If your whole house is due for a house cleaning overhaul this holiday season, decide which rooms are the most important to have cleaned and start there. If you are not expecting overnight guests, the spare bedroom is probably not a priority.  This will leave you with the option to simply shut the spare bedroom doors.

Common Areas

As always, the main priority is high traffic areas. Guests are likely to be in your kitchen, living room, and bathroom or sitting at your dining room table. Begin your housecleaning routine in the main common areas of your home. If you have extra time, you can focus on organizing the bedrooms or cleaning the office.

Start household cleaning with a top to bottom dusting of walls and ceilings. This cuts down on the dust level in the house throughout the coming year and is a helpful all natural house cleaning method to keeping your home dust free. Dust off and clean your tables, counters, bookshelves, entertainment centers and other surfaces before thoroughly cleaning the hidden areas and nooks. Wipe over all woodwork, doors, windowsills and baseboards. Pull out furniture that has not been cleaned behind recently and clean the surface by hand wiping or vacuuming. Clean the floors in the high traffic areas of your home last, as you want to keep this step as close to the arrival time of your guests as possible. Clean floors make a big impact.

Restrooms

Clean restrooms are a must in order to be ready for visitors. Begin by wiping down the counters and giving a good scrubbing to the toilet and shower. Place out an extra roll of toilet paper so guests won’t have to go hunting for it, refill the hand soap, and putting out fresh hand towels.


Passageways

Organize the hallways and staircases, areas that tend to gather clutter as family members drop and disperse their belongings from one room to the next. Sweep or vacuum up any debris in this area before company comes. If there are any side rooms or closets that you don’t have time to clean, walk through your clean home just prior to your guests arrival and make sure the doors to these areas are closed.

Kitchen

Enjoy your clean home and start the holidays with a clean kitchen. Guests are likely to enter your kitchen, whether to gather and help you prepare the meal or to help set the table. Clean the counters and appliances by wiping them down, then mop and clean the floors before guests arrive. Make sure you have an empty dishwasher on the day of the event so you can quickly and easily place dirty dishes away, keeping them out of sight as soon as they accumulate. With any extra time, hose down your trash can and use a pleasant scented garbage bag so the trash won’t add any unwelcome odors to the day’s festivities.


We know you can manage cleaning your home this holiday season, but if you would rather let us do it for you, call us today at 541-601-6236 for a quote or a gift certificate.

Is Your Porch a Trick or a Treat?


Decorating a home for Halloween is a difficult task. Some take it overboard with incredibly scary decorations and haunted-house-like thrills while others opt to skip the holiday and just freshen up the porch with some generic decor for the fall season. Here are a few tips you can use to tastefully decorate your home for Halloween with both tricks and treats!

Pumpkins

You can skip the traditional jack-o-lanterns, but still spruce up your fall pumpkins a bit. Covering the pumpkins with masks or painting them with a striped or checkered pattern is a stylish alternative to carving. Another way to give a vintage look to your porch is to set out a pumpkin covered with lace or feathers. Scoop Charlotte has some great examples of no-carve pumpkins.

Black and White

Nothing is more classy than black and white. It also happens to make for some really dramatic decorations. Whether you are making a wreath or hanging temporary decor, sticking to a black and white color scheme makes for very a elegant and sophisticated look. It might be black and white painted pumpkins on the porch or a striped cushion on your rocking chair. However you use this color palet–or lack thereof–it can have a major impact.

Graphic Words

Words are everywhere right now. From t-shirts to water bottles, graphics and words are in style. Use this to your advantage. Something as simple as this “boo” picture frame from Jenny Collier is a super cute way to decorate for the occasion. Eeeek…Just think of all the crazy sounds we hear at the holiday and have some fun decorating with them!

If you enjoy decorating for special occasions, but aren’t sure how to keep Halloween decor classy, these are some easy solutions. As with most things, less is more and vintage is best. Follow our advice and you’re sure to have the sweetest house on the block!