Tips on How To Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

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By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon *Published: November 14, 2011

Is your home ready for holiday visits from friends and family? Here’s how to prepare for the invasion.

I’m lucky and have a guest suite always ready for holiday guests. But even with a dedicated space, preparing my home for the annual onslaught of friends and family takes time and forethought.

Some preparations for holiday guests take only a few minutes; some take a lot longer. My advice: Start preparing your home for the holidays now.

Prioritize

The day before guests arrive is no time to pull apart junk drawers and clean out linen closets. Declutter guest rooms and public areas — foyer, kitchen, living room, den, and dining room. Remove anything unnecessary from countertops, coffee tables, and ottomans; if it’s out of sight, keep it out of mind, for now.

If you run short of time, bag up the clutter and store it in car trunks, basements, and out-of-the-way closets. Sort and arrange after your guests depart.

Safety

Light the way: Even though you can navigate your home blindfolded, your guests can’t. Make sure outside lights are working so they don’t trip on the way to your door. Put motion-activated night lights in hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms to ensure safe passage after the sun sets.

Child proofing: Ask parents to bring hardware that keeps their small ones safe, such as baby gates and cabinet locks. Transfer toxic cleaners and medicines from base to wall cabinets. Hide matches and lighters.

Fire prevention: If you didn’t freshen smoke detector batteries when you switched the clocks to Daylight Savings Time, change them now. After your guests arrive, run a quick fire drill: Make sure they can locate exits and fire extinguishers, and that they know how to open windows and doors.

Entryway upgrades

Your home’s foyer is the first place guests see, so make a good first impression.

  • Upgrade exterior entry doors or give old doors a new coat of paint. Polish and tighten door hardware, and oil hinges to prevent squeaks.
  • Remove scratches from hardwood floors, stairs, and wood railings. Place a small rug or welcome mat at the entrance to protect floors from mud and snow. 
  • Clear out shoes, umbrellas, and other clutter.
  • Add extra hooks to walls so guests can hang coats and hats.
  • Add a storage bench where guests can remove boots and shoes.

Kitchen prep

Your kitchen is command central during the holidays, so make sure it’s ready for guests and extra helpers.

  • To increase storage, install a pot rack to clear cooking items off countertops and ranges.
  • Move your coffee station into a family room so guests don’t crowd the kitchen when you’re trying to fix meals.
  • If you like to visit while you’re cooking, place extra stools and chairs around the perimeter of your kitchen so guests can set a spell.

Sleeping arrangements

If you’ve got a guest room, replace the ceiling fixture with a ceiling fan and light combo, which helps guests customize their room temperature without fiddling with the thermostat for the entire house. 

To carve sleeping space out of public areas, buy a folding screen or rolling bookcase, which will provide privacy for sleepers. Fold or roll it away in the morning.

Bathroom storage

Bring toilet paper, towels, and toiletries out of hiding, and place them on open shelves so guests can find them easily.

If you don’t have enough wall space for shelves, place these items in open baskets around the bathroom.

Also, outfit each tub with a bath mat (to avoid falls) and each toilet with a plunger (to avoid embarrassment).

What tips do you have for getting ready for guests this holiday season?

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Beautiful Patio Tile Work

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I can just see myself sitting on the patio

with a nice cup of tea with a warm blanket!

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Larchmont Living – My Favorite Pizza – Village Pizzeria

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Village Pizza

One of my very favorite things to do is to go to Larchmont Village and enjoy people watching. While I am there I have my spots I love to hit. Of course I love grabbing a coffee at one of many little shops up and down the strip, but every so often, when my diet permits I must simply have my slice of Clam & Garlic pizza! HEAVEN, HEAVEN, HEAVEN!

Village Pizzeria is a simple little place, yet it is always busy! They have seating inside and outside. The menu is simple with a splash of uniqueness. I am always treated nicely and enjoy the atmosphere.

The no-nonsense way of ordering is perfect. If you are in a rush, simply don’t come because they are not a microwave place. You get fresh food for a very decent price.

I love taking my friends and family here when they come to town. It has won my heart for pizza!

Although the Clam & Garlic pizza is my favorite splurge, I have not had a bad item on the menu!

Village Pizzeria is located at 131 N. Larchmont Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90004. They also offer delivery with a $20 minimum however I just love going and eating outside so I can people watch!

Visit their website: www.villagepizzeria.net

Are you looking for a neighborhood like this one that feels more like a village?  Start your search today at www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

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San Pedro Home for Sale – $579,600 2 Bed 2 Bath Garage

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Los Angeles 2 Bed 1 Bath Attached Garage!

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HUD Home! California is exploding in real estate again, buy now before it's too late!

HUD Home!
California is exploding in real estate again, buy now before it’s too late!

Tree Falls Over Property Line: Who Pays? Who Picks Up the Pieces?

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Tree Falls Over Property Line: Who Pays? Who Picks Up the Pieces?

By: Ann Cochran

Published: March 23, 2011

If a neighbor’s tree falls over your property line, file an insurance claim for repairs and cleanup. No house damage? Check if chopping and hauling debris is covered.

When a neighbor’s tree falls over your property line, yell TIMBER, then call your insurance company. Home owners policies cover tree damage caused by perils like wind and winter storms. Most policies cover hauling away tree debris if the mess is associated with house damage; some will cover cleanup even if no structures were harmed.

When a Tree Falls

Your neighbor is responsible when a tree falls over your shared property line only if you can prove he was aware that his tree was a hazard and refused to remedy the problem. Regardless, your insurance company restores your property first, and later decides whether or not to pursue reimbursement from the neighbor or his insurer if the neighbor was negligent in maintaining the tree.

Before a Tree Falls

Write a letter to your neighbor before his dead, diseased or listing tree falls through your roof or over your property line.

The letter should include:

  • Description of the problem
  • Photographs
  • Request for action
  • Attorney letterhead–not necessary but indicates you mean business.

Trim Their Trees

If the limbs of a tree hang over your property line, you may trim the branches up to the property line, but not cut down the entire tree. If a tree dies after your little pruning, the neighbor can pursue a claim against you in civil or small claims court. Depending on the laws of your state, your neighbor may have to prove the damage was deliberate or caused by negligence, but may also be able to recover up to three times the value of the tree.

Before you cut, tell your neighbors what you intend to do to protect your property. They may offer to trim the whole tree instead of risking your half-oaked job.

Your Tree Falls

It’s always a good idea to take care of your big and beautiful trees, and keep receipts for trimmings and other care.

But if your tree falls over a neighbor’s property line, do nothing until their insurance company contacts you. You may not be liable unless you knew or should have known the tree was in a dangerous condition.  If you pruned a tree or shored up trunks to prevent problems, gather your receipts to prove your diligence.


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