Picking the Best Christmas Tree

Thanksgiving is past and for many, this is the time to set up, find Christmas ornaments, and decorate their Christmas tree. Picking a Christmas tree is a tradition for many, but the convenience and safety of an artificial tree is something to consider. Here are a few tips for choosing the best Christmas tree this Holiday Season.

How to Pick a Christmas Tree

The first thing to figure out is whether or not you want a live tree or an artificial tree. There are pros and cons to both!

How to pick a live Christmas Tree

Picking out a live Christmas tree is a fun experience for the whole family. Load up the car and head to a local tree farm to look at a selection of trees. Here are a few things to consider when buying a Christmas Tree:

1) Size.

Try to have an idea of what size tree you are able to fit in your home. Nothing is more frustrating than getting a tree and finding you must trim the edges and top to make it fit in your home. Measure the space top to bottom for height, and across the space for an approximate diameter. When you find a potential tree, do a quick check to ensure it will fit your space!

2) Health.

Trees, like any plant, are susceptible to disease and damage. While most tree farms make an effort to prune and care for damaged or sick trees, it’s still a good idea to carefully inspect the tree before cutting it. Look for excessive brown pine needles, discolored branches or needles or other signs of an unhealthy tree. 

3) Shape.

The last thing to check for is the shape of the tree. Trees are pruned to have pleasant geometry, but gaps, wider bases or more uniform length of branches all exist. Pick a tree that is pleasing to your family. If the tree does have a gap btu everything else is perfect, it’s okay! Simply orient that part of the tree to the wall or corner.

Live trees are fun to pick! Load it up and take it home. Don’t forget to have a tree stand ready! 

How to Get Ready for Thanksgiving

With Halloween in the rearview mirror, Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for the gathering of friends and family to celebrate life and blessings. One of the first things to do is -- don't wait! It's already November, and planning for a large party of family members to come over is time consuming. Waiting until last minute increases the odds that things don't go according to plan. So to get started, make a to do list! This can include getting a guest list, making a menu, and planning any decorations or cleaning that you need to do.

Here's a few tips to get ready to host Thanksgiving dinner at your home.

Five Tips to Get ready for Thanksgiving

1) Make a Guest List

One of the first things you should do is make a guest list. Sure, you probably have a small group of people that come to every Thanksgiving, but it's a good idea to confirm your guests considering the travel restrictions in place around the country. You also may have consider having a bigger gathering with friends and family, or some people who might show up for only dessert. Either way, it's a good idea to have a guest list ready so that you know what to expect.

2) Make a Menu and a Shopping List

Food is a priority at Thanksgiving gatherings, so make it one of your top priorities on your list of to dos. Since you've already got an idea of how many people are coming for Thanksgiving dinner, you can reliably plan your main courses and side dishes. Write the menu then hit the road and go to the grocery store. Shop early and thoroughly, and get the ingredients you need so that you can prep without missing any.

3) Clean Up the House

As with any gathering at your home, it's a good idea to clean up the space. Dust and vacuum the living room, hallways, and kitchen, and clean up the guest bathrooms. If you have front and back entryways that are dirty, you can hire a company to soft wash or pressure wash the exterior of your home and clean up the curb appeal. If your lawn is in bad shape, it might also be a good idea to mow and trim any brush that is over grown.

4) Set Up Thanksgiving Decorations

If you haven't already, it's a great time to set up your Fall decorations. Fall wreaths, pumpkins, lighting, any of your fall decor, now is the time. Set up beautiful entryways into your home, with scented candles in the house to make your guests feel great about Autumn. Might be a tad too early for Christmas decorations, but a few wouldn't hurt if you're the type to start setting up Christmas before Thanksgiving.

5) Prepare for Overnight Guests

If you have family coming in from out of town, you might be hosting guests for the night after Thanksgiving. Now is a good time to clean up and clean out the guest bedroom and closet. Wash the linens, vacuum, and ensure that everything is ready for your guests so that you don't have to stress about it after everyone arrives.

Tips for Throwing a Halloween Party

Hosting an Epic Halloween Party

Fall weather is already here and finding an excuse to throw an epic party isn’t hard. Beautiful weather and the perfect excuse - Halloween - means a party is all but guaranteed to be a hit. Here are a few tips from Agent Clean to throw a memorable and exciting Halloween Party.

3 Things to do to Throw a Halloween Party

1) Decorate for the Theme

A fun element to bring to any party is a theme for your decorations. While Halloween is a theme, you can be more specific and make it a fun adventure for those who attend. Try decorating and suggesting costumes based on a time period, movie, or style. How about a Hogwarts themed party? Maybe a video game themed party? Or have a medieval, renaissance, fantasy, or other time period theme.  

Even if you don’t want to have an official theme, having some party decorations can provide a nice ambience to the event, especially in the evening times. Consider putting up outdoor string lights around the patio or in the trees, some backyard torches to light the walkway, or led water lighting if you have a fountain or pond. You can also use the classic pumpkin decorations or skulls and headstones to add a spooky vibe to your theme.

2) Clean It Up

Once you decide to throw a party, it’s time to get your home and patio into top shape. 

If you want to make your house shine, have a cleaning service company soft wash your house and deck and pressure wash your patio and sidewalk. Soft washing is a low-pressure cleaning method that removes mold, mildew, and algae from surfaces without the risk of damage from high pressure. Power washing your patio and sidewalk will remove dirt and mold from the surface and make it look bright and clean for your guests.

The prep work is usually what makes or breaks a good party.

3) Get the Food

Let’s be honest, food is a huge part of throwing a party. You don’t want to have too much or too little, and you want to accommodate your guests’ tastes. The first key to getting the food organized is a proper head count. 

If you’re throwing a small party just for close friends and family, start a list of the likely attendees to get an idea of how much food you’ll need. If you’re having a more informal party, social media is a great way to get a quick RSVP from potential guests. Set up your event on Facebook and send invites with a request for RSVP before the date of the party. This gives you time to prepare the food. 

When it comes to the type of food to have, try to offer a variety of options that are easy to grab and carry around. If you’re doing anything bigger than a dinner party, you’ll want to forgo things like casseroles, roasts, and other formal dinner options as most informal backyard parties involve standing and mingling. Try to present a spread of finger foods such as little sausages, cocktail sandwiches, chips, and veggies and dip. Provide paper plates and plastic utensils for easy clean up, and have large receptacles nearby for guests to deposit their trash. 

Throwing a Halloween party can be exciting, fun, and rewarding. It can also be a nightmare with poor prep. The key is to plan the event carefully so that you can let loose and have a great time with friends and family.