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    20 ways to have a sustainable holiday season.

    December 10, 2019 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, December 10, 2019

    Sustainable holiday ideas | Schlage

    Whether you’ve been working toward reducing waste for years or are starting to teach the little ones about keeping the environment healthy, here are Schlage’s sustainability tips for the winter holidays.

     

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    Holidays are often a time of indulgence, sometimes to the extreme. Sweet treats, spending and even trash can quickly become overwhelming. In fact, the EPA reported in 2015 that Americans create 25 percent more household waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Whether you’ve been working toward reducing waste for years or are starting to teach the little ones about keeping the environment healthy, here are Schlage’s sustainability tips for the winter holidays.
    Chalkboard with words Zero Waste Christmas.

    Green gifting

    • Countless greeting cards are thrown away every year. Keep sending them if you want, but do be conscious about what you’re sending. Choose cards made from recycled or recyclable paper, or consider an e-card for zero waste.

    • Buy greeting cards that make an impact on more than just the recipient’s heart. Good Cause Greetings helps raise awareness and support for a number of charities, including the Environmental Defense Fund.

    • Be thoughtful when giving gifts. First, don’t panic buy. Take time to get them something they’ll really love so they don’t end up just tossing it aside, a sure way to create waste and clutter. Second, focus on quality gifts. One long-lasting impactful present will mean more to the recipient and the environment than several disposable ones. Finally, consider the source. When you handmake gifts, you know where they came from and what materials were used. Shopping local or choosing fair trade gifts can also result in gifts with a smaller carbon footprint.

    • Go ahead and re-gift. We give you permission. Some items, like a favorite book you know your daughter will also love or that vase your friend can’t stop raving about, even ask to be re-gifted.

    • You always remember your reusable grocery bags, so why not use them when holiday shopping, too?

    • Gift an experience – concert tickets or a fancy dinner at that new restaurant – or donate to a cause in your loved one’s name instead of giving stuff. Choosing something especially meaningful to the recipient. Schlage employees have donated to first responders’ emergency funds for firefighter friends or literacy programs for family members who are teachers.

    • Use less gift wrap or choose alternative materials. Instead of the glittery rolls, use fabric, old maps, recycled burlap and even cereal boxes. For step-by-step instructions on how to wrap a present in a scarf, check out these 13 tutorials from Fab Art DIY.
    Furoshiki wrapped gift with beige towel and dried oranges.

    Good-good décor

    • If you love holiday candles with their festive glow and seasonal scents, choose those made of beeswax, soy or vegetable wax rather than paraffin, which doesn’t burn as clean.

    • When replacing your Christmas lights, choose LEDs. They consume less energy and last longer, which results in less waste over the years. You might also consider reducing the size of your light display.

    • Chances are, the only one who will notice you’re using fewer bulbs is Mother Nature.

    • Set holiday lights on a timer so you don’t forget to turn them off before you go to bed or if you’re away overnight.

    • At first glance, an artificial Christmas tree might seem like the environmentally friendly route. However, even though you can use them year after year, you can’t recycle them. A living tree is actually more eco-friendly. Just be sure to purchase from a sustainable tree farm. You can also look for potted trees, which will live year-round. Some farms will even rent trees.

    • Instead of buying new tree ornaments, craft your own. Bonus points for using recycled materials or items you would have tossed in the landfill otherwise. It’s a great crafting project to keep the kids busy when they’re on break from school. Get started with some of these DIY ornament ideas for kids or learn how to make ornaments using house keys, perfect for those first-time homebuyers on your list.
    Real Christmas tree.

    Eco-friendly entertaining

    • We know the convenience of paper plates and plastic forks is temping when hosting large parties, but resist the urge for a green Christmas. You’ll put less in the landfill.

    • What you cook is just as important as the platter you put it on at the end. Not all foods are created equal when it comes to sustainability. If you’re not interested in going vegetarian – plant-based dishes put less strain on the environment during production – look for meats, like poultry, with a smaller carbon footprint.

    • Food waste is an issue year-round, but the indulgence of holidays can make it even more so. Be realistic about how much people will eat, stick to your grocery shopping list and skip the dishes no one really wants to eat anyway. We’re looking at you, fruitcake.

    • Cleaning the house before holiday guests arrive? Choose non-toxic, natural and environmentally friendly cleaning supplies.

    Responsible rambling

    • Unplug unnecessary electronics when you travel whether it’s for a single night or a full week of festivities at Grandma’s. This includes lights, those inflatable lawn decorations, computers and televisions. If you want to make sure your home looks lived in when you’re away and improve your holiday security, set lights on a timer or connect electronics to a smart plug you can control from your smartphone, no matter where you are.

    • When holiday schedules get crazy, it can be easy to let your green efforts slip. Set up smart home routines to help. A “Leaving” routine through your home automation system can trigger a series of events that turns off lights, locks your door and adjusts the thermostat with the single push of a button. You could set up a similar “Vacation” or “Goodnight” routine.

    • Americans often default to their personal car when it comes to transportation. Consider carpooling to parties – also a great option when you need a designated driver – taking public transportation or walking when possible.

    • If you don’t have to travel, don’t. Unwind at home and enjoy quality time with your immediate family. You might just make some great holiday memories over hot cocoa and a board game.

    Looking for tips on going green year-round? Try these eight environmentally friendly home improvement tips that can also save your style and money or learn five ways getting smart can save energy for you and your home. If it’s holiday décor inspiration you’re after, find us on Pinterest.

     

    How to keep pets safe this holiday season.

    December 9, 2019 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Monday, December 9, 2019

    Holiday pet safety | Schlage

    Whether you’re trying to protect your furry friends or your cherished décor, here are some tips to make sure everyone has a happy holiday.

     

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    We’ve all seen the pictures of Christmas trees hung from the ceiling to safeguard them from a climbing cat. Of course it’s funny, but keeping pets healthy during the holidays is no laughing matter. Whether you’re trying to protect your furry friends or your cherished décor, here are some tips to make sure everyone has a happy holiday.
    Cat sitting in Christmas tree.

    Holiday pet safety tips

    Start the visit on the right foot by paying attention to details that make people feel at home.

     

    1. Don’t feed table scraps to your pets and ask guests to follow the rule as well. Many human foods are unhealthy for four-legged family members.

     

    2. Keep an eye on pets around buffet tables, countertops and other areas where they might help themselves. This is especially true if you’re serving chocolate, foods with grapes or raisins, and foods with xylitol, all of which can be toxic to animals. The American Veterinary Medical Association even warns against feeding them turkey and turkey skin.

     

    3. Supervise your pets around lit candles on the mantel where a ledge-walking cat could knock them off or menorahs where a wagging tail could spell disaster. Consider battery-operated candles instead.

     

    4. Poinsettias thankfully they aren’t as poisonous to pets as you might think. Mistletoe, holly and certain varieties of lilies can be very dangerous to your cats and dogs, however. Choose flowers wisely or, better yet, go with artificial bouquets. PetMed has an extensive list of dangerous holiday plants.

     

    5. If you decorate a tree, be strategic with the ornaments. Tinsel is a magnet for cats and popcorn garland is just too tempting for dogs. Hang more delicate or precious ornaments high on the tree as well if you think they’ll be safer.

    Cat looking at Christmas tree.

    6. Think twice about using additives that keep live trees greener longer. You don’t want your curious pet drinking the water and inadvertently consuming the chemicals.

     

    7. Artificial Christmas trees can be better for pet-friendly homes than live trees. You might also get creative with these DIY alternatives from Best Life or find safer places to display your tree, even if it isn’t as extreme as from the ceiling.

     

    8. Take care of electrical cords for holiday lights, train sets and other décor. If you have a chewer, you know about his shocking danger.

     

    9. Reconsider putting presents under the tree before Santa comes. Glittery paper and shiny ribbon can be super enticing to pets. You don’t want them to harm themselves on whatever’s in the package, and we’re sure you don’t want them to destroy the present anyway.

     

    10. Tell guests ahead of time that you have pets so they can prepare if they have allergies or children who might be frightened of the pet. If guests ask to bring their own critter to your home, consider how they might interact with your family. If you aren’t sure your dogs will get along, politely ask them to leave Fido at home.

    Dogs sitting in front of Christmas tree.

    11. Keep an eye on entryways when guests are coming and going. Santa probably won’t let your fur baby escape, but you don’t want Aunt Mildred to unintentionally let your pet out the front door.

     

    12. Give pets an escape room if they get nervous around visitors, especially when you’re hosting holiday parties. A crate or separate room is usually enough if you give them a comfy bed and their favorite toys to keep them occupied.

     

    13. Make sure pets are well cared for even if you’re traveling for the holiday. It’s easy to ask neighbors to check on the cat or have the dog walker take Spot out when they have simple, secure access to your home. With a Schlage smart lock, you can assign a unique access code to trusted humans knowing they’ll take care of your furry friends.

     

    14. Ask your vet what their holiday hours will be and if they have recommendations for where you should go in an emergency if they’ll be closed. Hopefully you won’t need that information, but it’s good to be prepared.

     

    Holidays are meant to be shared with family members, even those with fur, fins and feathers. Get some gift ideas for pets and their owners with our new gift guide. We would also love to see your holiday photos with pets, so share with us on Facebook or Instagram. Seriously. We really want to see them.

    Holiday pet safety tips.

     

    Give guests the perfect stay with this holiday hosting checklist.

    December 5, 2019 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, December 5, 2019

    Holiday hosting checklist | Schlage

    Make holiday hosting stress-free and give your guests exactly what they want and need by following this checklist.

     

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    ‘Tis the season of giving … and hosting family and friends … and maybe feeling overwhelmed by all the planning and festivities. Don’t fret about forgetting something amid all the chaos. Make holiday hosting stress-free and give your guests exactly what they want and need by following this checklist.
    Entryway decorated for Christmas.

    Give them a warm welcome

    Start the visit on the right foot by paying attention to details that make people feel at home.

     

    checkbox Style your front door décor with a gorgeous wreath or green garland for porch railings

     

    checkbox Repair, clear and de-ice walkways, driveways, porch steps and railings

     

    checkbox Prepare a mudroom to receive guests, hang coats and stow shoes and boots

     

    checkbox Light a fire and stock the hearth with extra wood

     

    checkbox Offer cozy blankets for evening hangouts

    Give them their privacy

    Especially if you have overnight guests, give them some room to unwind by themselves and feel at home. It will give you the privacy to unwind in your own space as well.

     

    checkbox Prepare the guest room with fresh linens and plenty of cozy touches, or convert another room just for visitors

     

    checkbox Clean out a drawer, closet space and bathroom shelf for guests’ belongings during a long stay

     

    checkbox Update door knobs and levers with Schlage Custom™ Combined Interior Door Hardware so guests can lock their door if they need additional privacy

     

    checkbox Hang blackout drapes for privacy from the neighbors and the sun when sleeping in

    Give them access

    A study by OnePoll found that having the ability to come and go with ease was one of the leading ways to make guests feel at home.

     

    checkbox Give guests their own Schlage smart lock access code. Send it before their arrival so they won’t be locked out, even if you aren’t home yet

     

    checkbox Provide the WiFi password

     

    checkbox Offer a cheat sheet with tips for using your smart home devices like lamps or speakers

    Give them some refreshments

    Holiday calories do count unfortunately, so the least you can do is make them worth it.

     

    checkbox Set up a self-serve drink station or bar cart with fixings for delicious coffee, hot chocolate or cocktails

     

    checkbox Provide simple grab-and-go snacks and quick breakfast items like bagels and fruit

     

    checkbox Place a tray with bottled water and your guests’ favorite treats in the guest room before arrival

    Give them some entertainment

    Whether going out or staying in, make it easy to enjoy each other’s company.

     

    checkbox Set out a selection of board games

     

    checkbox Pull out your favorite holiday movies or add some to your Netflix queue for easy searching

     

    checkbox Share a list of local attractions, shops and restaurants to explore

     

    checkbox Provide books and magazines for guests who want a quiet night in

    Give them a gift

    Homemade and heartfelt, a gift for the holiday or as a party favor can show how much you care.

     

    checkbox Visit the new Schlage gift giving guides for inspiration, no matter who you’re shopping for

    Every family’s traditions are different, but you can’t go wrong by following this simple holiday hosting checklist. Make guests feel welcome while giving yourself the chance to enjoy the season as well.

     

    Need more hacks for getting your home ready to host for the holidays? Check out our blog archive for simple updates you can tackle when you’re in a holiday hurry, tips for decorating your front porch and ways to improve your security for the holiday season.

    Holiday hosting checklist.

     

    5 ways to heat up your outdoor winter party.

    December 3, 2019 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, December 3, 2019

    Winter party ideas | Schlage

    You don’t have to quit having backyard parties and outdoor dinners just because the temperatures drop.

     

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    Summer is over, so it’s time to pack up the grill, stow away the patio furniture and bid farewell to outdoor fun for the next few months. Or is it? You don’t have to quit having backyard parties and outdoor dinners just because the temperatures drop. Keep the outdoor entertaining hot with these five tips.
    Outdoor winter party ideas

    1. Set the stage for a grand soiree.

    Get your deck or patio ready for winter by fixing any protruding nails and lose boards. You can also weather-seal your deck to protect it from impending snow and rain.

    Once you’re structurally sound, get the décor in order. Potted plants like evergreens or winter rose that do well in low temperatures, holiday garland and haybales that double as seating are just a few outdoor party decoration ideas. And consider updating your door hardware while you’re at it to spruce up the entryway, even if it’s for the back deck.

    2. Warm your guests from the outside-in...

    If you can safely install a firepit in your yard, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. Not only will it help keep guests warm, but you have the perfect opportunity to roast hotdogs or make s’mores for warm eats. Few things are more welcoming than a toasty roundup of your closest friends around the fire.

    If a firepit isn’t in your future, investigate outdoor space heaters like you often see on restaurant patios.

    3. … and the inside-out.

    If you can safely install a firepit in your yard, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. Not only will it help keep guests warm, but you have the perfect opportunity to roast hotdogs or make s’mores for warm eats. Few things are more welcoming than a toasty roundup of your closest friends around the fire.

     

    • Be prepared to use extra fuel. Your grill will use more in cold temperatures, regardless of whether it’s charcoal or gas.

    • Keep the grill lid closed or prepare to wait a very long time to eat. Get a meat thermometer that you can run from inside the grill to where you can see it without letting heat escape.

    • Tuck scarves inside your coat so the ends don’t get caught in the flame. And use grilling gloves instead of fuzzy mittens for safety.
    Help guests wet their whistle with some warm drinks as well. Hot chocolate, warm ciders or mulled wines are always popular. You can always create a self-service bar for partygoers to mix their own concoction, much the way you would lemonade and cocktails in the summer.

    4. Set a moonlit mood

    Because it gets darker earlier, winter backyard parties are perfect for playing with dramatic lighting. Twinkle or string lights are always gorgeous mood-setters as are candles. For something a little different and perfect for the season, try a DIY ice lantern.

    5. Snuggle up

    Take a cue from those carriage rides and provide your guests with plenty of warm, snuggle-worthy blankets. HGTV.com also suggests layered rugs to protect feet from the cold seeping up from the ground. And if you want to go a step further, combine cozy with generous by gifting guests with slippers, mittens or handwarmers they can use at the party and take home as a party favor.

    Want more? Find backyard entertaining ideas based on your party style on our blog. Then share your winter partyscapes with us on Instagram.

     

    Unwrap a new idea with this gift guide for a simple holiday.

    November 26, 2019 10:01 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, November 26, 2019

    Holiday gift guide | Schlage

    These 11 gift ideas will help you choose the perfect present for the special people in your life.

     

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    Red presents wrapped with green ribbon with gold ornaments and greenery.
    Lucky are the people whose love language is gift giving. They always know exactly what to get others for the holidays, birthdays or “just because.” For the rest of us, here’s a guide to help choose the perfect present for the special people in your life. For more ideas, check out our complete gift giving guide at Schlage.com.

    Smart lock bundle

    Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt + Brilliant

    Schlage’s latest integration pairs our only lock featuring built-in WiFi with Brilliant Smart Home Control. The wall-mounted control from Brilliant allows your loved one to control their lock, lights, music and more from one spot. There’s also a Brilliant app so they can manage those remotely for the ideal bundle of convenience and peace of mind. Perfect for those early adopters who like to try the newest tech as it comes out and anyone building a smart home.

    Technology

    Bluetooth shower mirror and speaker

    The obvious solution when trying to get ready in a hurry in the morning, this Bluetooth speaker lets your loved one answer a phone call even when they’re still soapy. But think about the spa-like treatment that also comes with hours of music in a fog-free, water-resistant device like this one. Perfect for multitaskers and those who sing in the shower.

    Tools

    Screwdriver

    Your favorite DIYer needs a lot of tools. We recommend a good screwdriver, and not just because that’s the only thing they’ll need to install Schlage door hardware. This Klein Tools Stubby Screwdriver and Nut Driver includes multiple tips to tackle different jobs, and its short length will help them work in tight spaces. Perfect for do-it-yourselfers, handymen and -women, and new homeowners.

    Curb Appeal

    Schlage Handlesets

    A front entry handleset is one way you can help your friend or family member smarten up their porch. Schlage offers handlesets in a variety of styles and finishes to match their home’s architectural style or existing lighting, house numbers or other accessories. Perfect for homeowners who want to make a welcoming statement without a major remodel or who enjoy the combination of superior style and security.

    Outdoors

    Bike Lift Hoist

    They love to bike and you wish you had more room to park your car in the garage. Make everyone happy with this lift hoist that lets you store the bike on the ceiling. Perfect for cyclists and those who need better garage storage.

    For the family

    Echo Dot Kids

    Maybe your own little one is asking for a smart device. Maybe your friends have adopted an older child and you want to welcome them to the family. This Echo Dot is designed specifically for kids so they can still ask Alexa to play music, call approved family and friends, and have fun with select skills. And parents have peace of mind with additional privacy protection and controls. Perfect for pint-sized techies.

    Housewarming

    Personalized Memento

    Whether your loved one has moved into their first home or upsized to accommodate their growing family, they might appreciate personalized décor like a framed map of their old neighborhood or a cutting board in the shape of their home state. Perfect for new homeowners or those who have relocated long distances.

    Travel

    Kinetic Power Bank

    Charging a phone is tough when you’re always on the move. Your loved one can use their own body energy to keep their devices powered up with this wearable motion charger. Perfect for backpackers or city explorers, cyclists and runners.

    Pets

    Stylish Bed

    Everyone will look good when you gift a stylish pet bed for Fido and Fluffy to sleep on. Try something like this Mid-Century Modern-inspired furniture for canine companions or this cave for feline friends. Perfect for sleepy pets and style-conscious humans.

    Budget (under $30)

    Home Spa

    Not everyone can afford a day at the spa or even a gift card to help them get there. If that’s the case, try creating an at-home spa basket with bath oils, bubbles and a candle in their favorite relaxing scent. Perfect for overworked parents, new homeowners with sore “box-lifting” muscles and the luxury-on-a-dime set.

    Just for Fun

    Silicone Wedding Ring

    DIY projects, remodeling, car repair and gardening can be rough on the hands (and sometimes a marriage). Silicone wedding bands won’t bend, break or scratch, no matter how rugged the task. Perfect for married couples who like to get their hands dirty.

    Need more holiday inspiration? Find all our best ideas for gifts and décor at Pinterest.

    11 Holiday gift ideas.

     

    How to make your overnight holiday guests feel right at home.

    November 25, 2019 10:01 AM by emily.bailey

    Monday, November 25, 2019

    How to Make Your Overnight Holiday Guests Feel Right at Home

    Take hosting overnight guests off your list of stressful items this holiday season. Follow our tips to make your overnight guests feel right at home.

     

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    The holidays are upon us and you may be one of many homeowners anxiously awaiting the arrival of out-of-town loved ones. Make your overnight guests feel comfortable and right at home with a few of our favorite tips.

    1. Provide the essentials

    The first step to making sure your guests feel comfortable is supplying them with essential items like fresh sheets, towels and plenty of toiletries. If you have available space, clear off a closet shelf or a couple of drawers so they can stow their belongings. They'll likely need to charge cell phones and other devices, so make sure there is an outlet or power strip available.

     

    Bonus: You can even supply them with books and magazines for some relaxing entertainment. A take-home postcard would also add a nice touch to help them remember their trip.

    2. Give them privacy

    Sleeping in a new environment is hard enough for some people, so make sure your guests have adequate privacy to allow them to relax. Add a few window coverings and check that bedrooms and baths are equipped with locking knobs or levers. With Schlage Custom™ Combined Interior, you can easily switch between locking and non-locking functions on any door depending on whether you have guests staying with you.

    3. Make them feel at home

    Show your guests where they can find all items they may need like food, drinks, tea and coffee. There's nothing more uncomfortable for a guest than to have to ask every time they need a glass of water. Also make sure there are a few simple snacks for when hunger strikes. Keep things easy for yourself by providing grab-and-go breakfast items like bagels, fruit and granola bars. When it comes time for dinner, let your guests help you with food prep. This is a great time for conversation and makes them feel comfortable and useful rather than like a burden.

    4. Make it easy to come and go

    Unless you plan on spending every minute with your guests, it's a good idea to make sure they have access to come and go from your home. Either provide a spare key or consider a keyless solution. With a smart lock, you can create a unique access code for each of your guests and not worry about them waiting in the driveway if they arrive before you get home from work, losing a spare key or getting locked out. At the end of their visit, simply delete the code. Try our Get Help Deciding tool to find out which of our smart locks is right for you.

    5. Give “Santa” secure storage

    This tip is based on a true story from one of our employees. If your guests or Santa need to hide presents, you may actually want to consider a smart lock for an interior door. It might sound extravagant or overkill, but a lock like the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt or the electronic keypad lever work great for interior rooms that need extra security like a home office, wine closet or basement where you might also store paint or toxic materials within reach of curious kids and pets.

    6. Leave a list of best local spots

    If you're not able to give your guests the local tour, provide a list of your favorite spots for various activities, stores and restaurants. This gesture is thoughtful and will help make sure they're having a great time in your city.

    7. Provide important numbers and WiFi password

    You may find yourself needing to head in to the office or can't always be around to help your guests. Leave a handy list of numbers should they need to reach you along with any other information like WiFi or device passwords.

    What are some of your must-have items or tips for hosting overnight guests? Share with us on Facebook or Twitter.

    How to make your overnight guests feel at home.

     

    Impress your guests with quick and easy holiday curb appeal.

    November 22, 2019 11:51 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, November 22, 2019

    Quick holiday curb appeal | Schlage

    With these quick, easy holiday curb appeal ideas, your home will be holiday ready in no time

     

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    Holiday surprises are usually great. Unless they’re surprise guests. What do you do when you have limited time but need to get the house ready for unexpected holiday visitors? First, don’t panic. Then, quickly make these nine curb appeal updates. We bet you’ll still have time for these simple interior updates for when you’re in a holiday hurry.
    Quick holiday curb appeal projects

    Safety

    • Yardwork often goes by the wayside in colder weather, so use your unexpected guests as an excuse to trim evergreen bushes and trees. The last thing you want is a wayward branch hitting someone as they walk into the house or falling on a car parked in the drive.

    • Tighten handrails and banisters. This is another great way to reduce falling hazards if screws have worked their way loose. In most basic cases, all you need is a screwdriver.

    • Keep Great-Aunt Gertrude from taking a fall by making sure your driveway, patio and stairs are free of snow and ice. If you live in a warmer climate without the white stuff, break out the broom and clear away leaves, mulch and other debris. If nothing else, it’ll give your curb appeal a little boost.
       

    Style

    • Few things say “winter holiday” better than garland, and you have so many options. Choose evergreen foliage or fall leaves as your base. Then embellish with berries, small pumpkins and other seasonal décor to give it your own unique twist. Depending on your entryway and personal taste, you can then wrap the garland around porch railings, drape it over doors or string it under windows.

    • Potted plants can instantly liven up a porch, no matter how big or small it is. If you’re in a real rush, most home improvement stores sell evergreens and other hearty plants already arranged in gorgeous containers. Fake plants and branches are good-looking options if you lack a green thumb.

    • Lighting is the perfect opportunity to get both security and style. Your guests will be able to see when they arrive in the evening, and it can really set the mood. Twinkle or string lights are an attractive alternative to a standard porch light.
       

    Simplicity

    • If you’re in a real time crunch, find items in the house that can be repurposed or loaned to the front porch. A plush throw blanket from the couch draped on patio seating is an instant seasonal update. A lantern from the fireplace mantel quickly becomes festive porch lighting.

    • Your exterior door locks are obviously important to security. But did you know they also make hosting guests simpler? A smart lock like the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt offers convenient options for granting and managing access to your home. For example, if those guests plan to stay overnight, create a unique access code for them so that they can come and go as they please without needing a spare key.
       
    • Install new house numbers for a double-dose of simplicity. These are typically easy to install, partly because they can be placed in a variety of places – on the house façade, a porch pillar or a large planter. It also makes it much easier for visitors unfamiliar with the area to find your home.
       

    Hosting for the holidays doesn’t have to be a hassle. Get more entertaining tips and décor inspiration at the Schlage blog or on Pinterest.

     

    10 ways to “make” hosting your first Thanksgiving a hit.

    November 20, 2019 11:51 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, November 20, 2019

    Tips for hosting first Thanksgiving | Schlage

    These 10 tips, including some of our favorite hacks and “side dishes,” will help you make it a holiday to remember.

     

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    The scale of a Thanksgiving dinner can make even Grandma sweat a little, so you might be questioning why you agreed to host the big meal for the first time. These 10 tips, including some of our favorite hacks and “side dishes,” will help you make it a holiday to remember.
    Thanksgiving table with pumpkin pie and drinks.

    1. Make a plan

    This is not a dinner you want to wing and hope for the best. Create a plan – who are you going to invite and will that include children, how many and which dishes will you make, will you prepare everything yourself or delegate some duties? You’ll need some lists to stay organized, too. This includes the grocery list as well as a rundown of other tasks like cleaning the house, preparing the guest room and getting the dog groomed. Once you know what you need, plan out your time, for both the weeks and days leading up in addition to when dishes need to go in and out of the oven.

     

    Side dish: Put personal prep on your timeline. You’ll want to shower before receiving guests.

    2. Make sure you have the right equipment

    Just as with DIY projects, the right tools make all the difference. Buzzfeed has a helpful Thanksgiving equipment checklist for what you’ll need while cooking. But don’t overlook your table setting. Count your silverware, plates and glasses to make sure you have enough for all your guests. Inventory your serving dishes and spoons. Items our own staff said they didn’t realize they were missing until it was too late were a rolling pin, carving fork and ice. We also like the tip from Allrecipes that says to make sure you have enough chairs.

     

    Side dish: Spices count as a tool. This is a good time to get the essentials like kosher salt, pepper and cinnamon.

    Thanksgiving turkey in a roasting pan.

    3. Make it a group effort

    There’s no rule that says you have to do everything yourself. Thanksgiving is a time for gathering, so it’s the perfect opportunity to accept help from friends, family and even the baker down the street. Let them contribute potluck-style, have them chop some vegetables or arrange for them to make the dessert for you.

     

    Side dish: Don’t be shy about making specific requests of your guests. Assign the pie to Aunt Barbara and the stuffing to Great-Grandpa Albert.

    4. Make only the tried and true

    This is not the time to experiment with a brand new recipe, now matter how amazing it looks on Pinterest. Stick to things you know how to make (or that Mom can talk you through over the phone). If you really want a signature dish, make it a unique cocktail instead of a classic like the gravy.

     

    Side dish: If you’re especially nervous about a certain dish or dishes, do a trial run. Make adjustments when necessary and use it as an opportunity to test wine pairings while you’re at it.

    Black pug staring at pie.

    5. Make the drinks

    Sometimes we get so focused on the food, we forget the beverages. A pitcher of sangria, a cooler full of your family’s favorite sodas or chilled wine all contribute to the overall festive feeling. Many of these can be done in advance too, just like the rest of the food.

     

    Side dish: A self-serve buffet table or well-stocked bar cart is a good way to provide drinks without adding more work to your already full plate.

    6. Make some of the food ahead of time

    There’s plenty of food prep – clean and cut vegetables, assemble stuffing but don’t bake it – and actual cooking you can do before the big day. You might be able to make your rolls in advance. Appetizers like roasted nuts or cheese spreads can be done a few days early.

     

    Side dish: Get a store-bought dessert in advance and add your own personal touch later. Dust the baker’s pie with powdered sugar or make your own berry compote for a store-bought pound cake.

    7. Make your home welcoming

    Whether your guests are coming for the afternoon or staying overnight, make sure your home is ready for company. Clean the kitchen, and empty the dishwasher and trash. If you have rambunctious youngsters visiting, move breakables out of harm’s way.

     

    If your holiday guests are staying the night or through the weekend, stock the guest bedroom and bath with essentials like fresh bedding, towels and toiletries. Clear out a shelf in the closet or a dresser drawer so they have some room to stow their belongings. And make sure they have the WiFi password and a place to charge their phone overnight. Find more tips for hosting overnight holiday guests on the Schlage blog.

     

    Side dish: Set the tone for your gathering before guests even cross the threshold. Try these tips for decorating your front porch for Thanksgiving.

    Brown duffel bag, boots and jacket on fall porch.

    8. Make the meal

    It can’t be said enough: Thaw the turkey and start days in advance, especially if you got a big bird. Consult your timeline early and often so that you don’t accidentally put the sweet potato casserole in too late or forget the rolls entirely.

     

    Side dish: Don’t feel guilted into making a dish nobody likes just because it’s “tradition.” If no one eats the cranberry sauce anyway, why spend time on it?

    9. Make merry

    Enjoy yourself. Holidays are about making memories and you want those of your first Thanksgiving to be good ones. Your guests will enjoy themselves more too if you aren’t running around like a turkey with its head cut off.

     

    Side dish: Make a Thanksgiving playlist to help set the mood before and during dinner. Pumpkin Spice State of Mind, anyone?

    10. Make it easy

    Sometimes you need some helpful hacks to make family gatherings run even more smoothly. Here are some of our favorite tips.

     

    • Divide your grocery list into perishables and non-perishables for easier shopping and storage.

    • Store food creatively like in the microwave (it’s insulated and will help keep food warm), a thermos (perfect for gravy) or a crockpot (to keep the mashed potatoes ready to eat and serve).

    • Consider these seating arrangements when you set the table. Place yourself nearest the kitchen rather than at the head of the table, seat kids in between their parents and put lefties at the corners where they won’t start an elbow war.

    • Double-bag the trash can. When one gets full, you can pull it and instantly have a fresh bag ready.

    • If you’re putting people’s coats on the guest bed, cover it with a spare sheet to protect the comforter from any dripping rain or snow.

    Thanksgiving might be a big deal, especially if it’s your first time hosting, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. We’d love to hear from you. Find us on Facebook or Instagram and share your holiday traditions, hosting stories and tips with us.

    Thankgiving hosting tips

     

    10+ ways to get your vacation rental ready for the holidays.

    November 13, 2019 11:51 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, November 13, 2019

    Holiday vacation rental | Schlage

    Take care of these details to have a major impact when accepting bookings for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

     

    READ MORE

    Is your vacation rental ready for the holidays? It’s easy to imagine what your guests might need for a summer getaway, but as a property manager, making this festive time of year special for them can pay off big for you, too. Take care of these details to have a major impact when accepting bookings for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

    Deck the halls … or not

    If you know your guests are staying with you to celebrate their holiday, there’s no reason you can’t deck the halls. Some will appreciate being able to enjoy a Christmas getaway without missing out on their favorite traditions.

     

    But when you have multiple bookings coming and going, or if you aren’t sure why someone is staying with you, it can be a good idea to keep your décor more neutral. Instead of a giant Christmas tree or a menorah, for example, try a simple wreath on the door, garland around a fireplace, candles with holiday scents or snowmen.

    Give a welcoming gift

    No one will turn down a thoughtful gift. A welcome basket is a good idea for any time of year, but you can tailor it for holiday time. Lodgify suggests a basket of hot chocolate or cider mixes. If you’re local to your vacation rental, you could offer a plate of fresh, homemade cookies.

    Offer the ultimate package

    Try promoting a holiday package to potential guests. As part of their booking, offer a wine or Champaign basket, reservations to a nice restaurant for a holiday meal or tickets to a local theater production. Guests will appreciate your inside knowledge and ability to arrange the details so they don’t have to.

    Provide in-home entertainment

    Even if guests plan to get out of the house during the holidays, there might be some stretches where there just isn’t anywhere to go. When restaurants, museums and stores are closed for the holiday, give guests something to keep them busy. Board games, movies and books or magazines are a good start. Families might appreciate this as well as it gives them more opportunity to have fun quality time together.

    Stock up with holiday supplies

    Just as you might supply sunscreen and beach towels for summer guests, think about the things people need at holiday time. Maybe it’s gift wrap and extra tape. Maybe it’s extra cooking supplies like sugar, flour, roasting pans and measuring cups.

    Accommodate the whole family

    Holiday travelers come in all shapes. You’re likely dealing with entire families booking your rental at this time of year, so consider supplying kid-friendly accommodations like a portable crib and high chair. Use these child proofing tips while you’re at it. If you’re rental is pet-friendly, be sure to make that clear to potential guests so they know they can bring Fido instead of paying for a kennel.

    Get the word out

    If your holiday bookings are lagging, consider sending a newsletter to past guests letting them know that you are accepting Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s reservations. Make it extra enticing by reminding them of the fun things there are to do around town, especially if they’re holiday-specific, and include festive photography.

    Take seasonal photos

    Whether it’s for a newsletter or your booking site, show off the holiday ambience through photography. Stage your vacation home with festive décor, highlight an accommodating kitchen that will cater to family gatherings or capture snow-covered views. Make it easy for people to imagine themselves being cozy and spending quality time with loved ones at your vacation rental.

    Help them shop

    There’s always someone you never know how to shop for. Promote your rental as the perfect gift. Lodgify recommends special discounts or gift certificates for bookings to attract gift-givers.

    Set a minimum stay

    A three-night minimum stay is a good rule of thumb, whether you’re managing a property during less-popular holidays or during peak season. According to Rented.com, this can deter people looking to check in or out on The Day, making it harder for you to enjoy your own holiday with family.

    Price appropriately

    Figuring out what to charge for your vacation rental is often a tricky endeavor and the holidays are no different. If you’re in a location that caters more to the holiday crowd, you can afford to upcharge visitors a bit. Just don’t be too ambitious or they’ll look elsewhere. If Christmas or New Year’s is down-season for you, consider lowering your rates.

     

    Managing a rental property successfully means taking care of all the details so that others enjoy their stay, return for a repeat visit and continue supporting your business. Visit the Schlage blog for more tips on managing a vacation home, including how to use smart locks to simplify home sharing and how a strong welcoming statement makes for better business.

     

    Holiday vacation rental tips.

     

    7 must-follow rules for a welcoming entryway.

    November 8, 2019 11:51 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, November 8, 2019

    7 Must-Follow Rules for a Welcoming Entryway | Schlage

    Whether you have a grand foyer or have to fake an entry, here are seven rules you should consider to create a welcoming entryway.

     

     

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    After a long, hectic day away from home, there's nothing better than a beautiful and clean entryway to help you unwind. Whether you have a grand foyer or need to improvise one, here are seven rules you should consider to make this space work time after time.
    Collage of entryway images with blog post title Rules for welcoming entryway.

    1. Prepare for landing

    Think of all the items you walk in the door with: keys, phone, mail. A landing strip – usually a small table or narrow shelf – provides an organized space where you can set those items down and keep your foyer looking gorgeous. You might also have room for a bit of decoration to put a smile on your face when you come home.

    2. Get organized

    Once you've made it through the front door, you need a designated place for every day items. This will help you avoid leaving them cluttered all over a chair or kitchen table. Have hooks ready for jackets, coats, dog leashes, umbrellas and purses. Keep an organizer for important mail you need to follow up with and a wastebasket to recycle junk mail. A boot tray or bench can keep shoes out of the flow of traffic and puddles off the floor.

    3. Clear the floor.

    As you and your guests enter your home, it's important to have a clear path, especially in small entryways. This will help the entryway to appear larger and more polished, not to mention reduce annoying tripping hazards.

    4. Accessorize

    Don't be afraid to welcome your guests with your personal style up front. You'll also give yourself a mood boost each time you walk in the door to find your favorite flowers, rug or mirror. For more tips on styling your entryway, check out our six must-have elements to unlock your foyer’s décor potential.

    5. Direct traffic

    Sometimes you need to create your own entryway, like when your door opens to the entire home. Place a large plant or piece of furniture to divide this space from the rest of the space. This will help guests move through your home in a way that is welcoming and natural. Will they have to pass in front of a TV while friends are watching a big game? You may want to rethink the flow of traffic so everyone feels right at home.

    6. Have a welcoming scent.

    Smell is a powerful sense. Use candles, fresh flowers or a plug-in scent to create the perfect ambience for you and your guests. Try citrus scents to feel clean and invigorated, baked goods-inspired candles for something homey or cinnamon, which is thought to fight mental fatigue and improve concentration.

    7. Update for the seasons

    There's a big difference between storing flip flops and snow boots! Make sure your entryway is ready to change with the seasons so you don't miss a moment of family fun.

    What rules do you follow in your entryway? Share your ideas with us on Instagram and Twitter.

     

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