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. 

How to Get Ready for Fall

Making a Fall Checklist

The cooler temperatures are already making their way into the Midwest. Soon the leaves will start changing colors, and as with any season change it’s a good time to do some home maintenance and organization. Here’s our quick list of Fall prep ideas.

5 Things to do to Get Ready for Fall

1) Gutter Cleaning Service

This one is a no-brainer when it comes to prepping for the fall and winter. Clogged gutters can prevent proper draining, allowing standing water to seep into your home and cause wall and ceiling damage. Improper gutter drainage can also lead to overflowing gutters that pour water onto your landscaping as opposed to out the downspouts. 

Companies like Agent Clean can clean out the gutters to remove leaves, debris and silt, and perform a water test on the downspouts to ensure that they are draining properly. We recommend a gutter cleaning service at the beginning of fall and at the beginning of winter.

2) Clean out Chimney

If you’re a homeowner and have a fireplace, the beginning of fall is the best time to check that your chimney is ready for use. Small critters and birds can make nests in chimneys which become a fire hazard. Leaves can also get stuck in the chimney. You can sometimes clean out the top part yourself, but it’s a good idea to have someone inspect it prior to lighting a fire in the fireplace.

3) Furnace check up

With colder temperatures inbound, the change of the season is a good time to check your furnace filter and have your furnace checked over by a professional. They can make sure that the wiring is working, and that the overall condition of your heater is up to par.

4) Pressure Washing Service for Concrete

Fall is the perfect time to have your concrete patio and driveway cleaned and sealed. Did you know that cracks in the concrete are generally caused by water seeping into the pores, then freezing? It is the expansion of the water that causes concrete to crack. By cleaning and sealing the concrete, the pores are filled and water is unable to seep into the surface. 

5) Plan a Fall Party

Fall is a beautiful season, and for most areas the weather is gorgeous. Why not plan a fall get together? Break out the chili pot, have a bonfire, and enjoy the company of friends and family. Fall party activities are fun for the whole family. Pumpkin carving, leaf piles, s'mores, and yard games are great options for entertainment.