Prepping your home for holiday guests

The holidays can be a stressful time as you gear up to entertain guests in effort to bring loved ones together. That’s why we have some simple tips that are sure to help you be ready for them--even if you are preparing for what can only be described as a Griswold Family Christmas!

Declutter and purge

If you don’t already do this with each season change, you may find that you accumulate clutter faster than you realize. We all have different hiding spots for our clutter but a good place to start is places like under the bathroom sink, the linen closet, your kitchen pantry, the garage or basement, and your at-home office or den. Get rid of those clothes you have had for years that are waiting for you to fit back into, or the toys the kids haven’t touched in months that may even be broken. Entertaining guests is a great excuse to make this a priority.

Clean your entryway

Entryways can often be the place where everyone likes to drop all their belongings when they come in the house, and if you’re lucky, they will make it as far as the coat closet. Before having guests over, clear the entryways of anything that isn’t essential and remove all shoes, jackets, umbrellas, hats, etc. from the coat closet and take them to your bedroom closets. This allows your guests to have exclusive use of your front closet and gives an appearance of an organized home.

Review your seating capacity

It is pretty common to check your dining room seating capacity when planning a dinner party, but you may forget to think about how many people can comfortably watch tv in your living room when you are entertaining guests from out of town. A few inexpensive options to add soft seating is by adding some large pillows, poufs, beanbags chairs, or even an exercise ball.

Prepare the guest room

Many of us tend to use the guest room for additional storage throughout the year; this is a great place to purge first and make the room feel like it is just for your guests. When preparing the guest room, do something extra special for them like having a water carafe in their room for them to use, adding a nightlight to their ensuite or the guest bathroom, and purchasing new linens for them to use. If your guests like essential oils or greenery, add a diffuser or a plant to the room. Also make sure to have additional blankets available and different types of pillows for your guests to choose from.

Provide the essentials

You may have an exclusive bathroom for your guests to use or they may be sharing one with you. Either way, ensure you create a spot that is specifically for them. You can also have a basket waiting for them in the bathroom or guest room that contains basic toiletries, additional toilet paper, face clothes, and fresh towels. It may not be the caliber of a hotel, but that extra thoughtfulness goes a long way.

Prepare for dietary restrictions or preferences

Whether you are entertaining guests for the evening or for the week, it shows you are a thoughtful host when you check on dietary restrictions and preferences prior to their visit to ensure your fridge is stocked full of items that make them feel at home. Your guests may be too shy or polite to mention their personal restrictions on their own, so by asking ahead of time, it will immediately make them feel more welcome and comfortable in your home.

Whatever you do to get your house ready for guests, remember that the key to entertaining over the holidays is to make your guests feel as comfortable and as at-home as possible.

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