The holidays are when you gather with your family, friends, and neighbors to celebrate the season. Not everyone likes the planning that usually comes with this time of the year, though. But, with the proper preparations, HOA holiday planning can be easy as pie.
A Guide to HOA Holiday Planning for Homeowners
Many people enjoy the holidays because it means attending parties and throwing ones of your own. If you plan to welcome guests into your home this year, there are some key points you should not look over. Here is your guide to holiday planning for homeowners.
1. Let Your HOA Know
If you live in an HOA community, there is a good chance you will need to inform your association of your intention to throw a party. Homeowners associations typically have strict rules when it comes to occupancy limits or guests, noise, and parking. When you have people over, it automatically increases the likelihood of parking congestion and loud noises at night.
Inform your HOA board in advance that you plan to host a party. You may need to fill out a form consisting of the details of the party, such as the time, expected number of guests, etc.
2. Follow the Community’s Rules
Again, this applies to homeowners who live in an HOA community. Your association will definitely have rules concerning parking, noise, and indecent behavior.
If your neighborhood does not have enough parking space for guests, ask them to carpool instead. Your neighbor may also be able to lend you a parking space or two. Noise rules also likely exist in your community. This usually means no loud noises beyond a certain time, so keep the laughter and holiday music on low volume.
Make sure to sort out these issues ahead of time so that you don’t feel rushed when the date nears. Educate yourself on the community’s rules, and do your best to adhere to them. This way, you can avoid violations, which can come with hefty fines. You should also let guests know of these rules and ask them to follow them, too.
3. Clean Up
If you are throwing a holiday party at your house, you will want to make it look presentable. That means cleaning up toys, laundry, and any other knick-knacks that are lying on the ground. It is also a good idea to give your bathroom a quick wash so that it is ready for heavy use, especially if you are having a lot of guests over.
Put away anything that might limit your guests’ walkways. There should be a clear path from your front door and inside your home. This way, guests can move around freely. Don’t crowd the couch or seating area with your belongings, too. You want to make sure your guests have somewhere to sit.
4. Prioritize Kitchen Safety
The kitchen is where most of the preparation takes place when you throw a holiday party. If you are cooking a holiday feast at home, kitchen safety should come as a priority.
When cooking multiple dishes, you should stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Make sure no pot boils over and no pans burn. Keep anything flammable away from sources of fire. While Thanksgiving takes the cake for the single day when most home cooking fires occur, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve are close seconds.
Holiday dinners also usually involve the use of knives and other sharp utensils. Keep these things away from children or the inexperienced. Only those who know how to handle knives should be allowed to use them.
5. Don’t Over Serve Alcohol
Most holiday parties serve alcohol, but it is important not to serve too much. Unless you are having your guests sleep over, you should keep the alcohol to a minimum. Remember that you are not the only resident in your neighborhood. Intoxicated guests may become a nuisance to your neighbors and the association. Designated drivers should not drink either.
6. Going Out of Town? Secure Your Home
Home burglaries increase during this time of the year, as more people leave their homes to go on vacations. If you have plans outside of your home this holiday season, here are some tips to prevent break-ins:
- Leave a light on inside to give the illusion of someone at home. To save on energy, install timers that turn on your lights at specific hours.
- If you have an extra car, leave it parked in your driveway. You can also ask a neighbor to park their vehicle there instead.
- Request a neighbor to check on your house every now and then.
- Invest in security cameras or a home security system (or both).
- Hire someone to house-sit.
How to Plan HOA Holiday Events for the Community
Many homeowners associations host community-wide holiday events. These events help bring neighbors closer and encourage new connections to form. If your HOA board wants to throw a holiday event or two this year, follow the steps below.
1. Gauge Interest
When it comes to HOA holiday planning, the first thing you should do is gauge interest. If no one in your community wants to attend the event, then there is no use planning it.
2. Start Early and Advertise
Once you know that people are interested in attending an HOA holiday event, you should get to work immediately. Give your board or committee enough time to plan the event. You should also start promoting the event ahead of time. This way, residents can block out their schedule early on.
3. Decide on Details
When planning a holiday event, you will need to work out the details. Decide on the date and time, the venue, and the theme (if necessary). Don’t schedule the event on a day when you know most people will be busy. This includes Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
As for the time, it will depend on the type of event you plan. Holiday parties usually happen at night, though you can schedule them earlier if you plan to invite kids. Larger events, such as carnivals, typically take place over a multi-day period. For your venue, you can hold it at your community clubhouse or open space.
4. Work Out Parking
If the venue is located far from residents’ houses, you will need to organize a parking scheme that can accommodate everyone attending. Make sure to account for extra traffic, too. On the other hand, if the venue is near, people can simply walk there.
5. Plan for Food
Most holiday events involve food. There is simply nothing like breaking bread with your neighbors to bring the community together. For holiday parties, decide whether your HOA will organize catering or have people bring food over like a potluck. If you plan to hold a holiday carnival, you can partner with local restaurants and have them set up food booths.
6. Prepare Activities and Games
Having fun is a can’t-miss part of the equation for holiday events. For holiday parties or dinners, hold a White Elephant gift exchange. You can also organize fun games for all ages. Carnivals, on the other hand, will need larger forms of entertainment such as balloon houses and activity booths.
Balancing Holiday Planning With Community Management
When done right, HOA holiday planning can be a fun and festive time for homeowners and HOAs alike. Most associations, though, face difficulty juggling community events with other aspects of HOA management. This is where Condo Manager comes in.
Our software makes HOA management easier by automating most tasks and letting you keep up with your social calendar simultaneously. Give us a call today at (800) 626-1267 or contact us online for a free demo.
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