The holidays are upon us, and while your family is busy setting out decorations, baking cookies and wrapping presents, you’re left with the most unpleasant task of all: preparing for holiday guests. Hosting and housing guests — especially long-term guests like the in-laws — can make the holidays stressful. To prevent your home from turning into a full-blown Griswold family Christmas fiasco, use this list of to-do’s to help you and your home prepare for holiday guests. With any luck (and maybe a little holiday magic), the stay of your unwant— we mean, beloved guests will go better than you could’ve imagined. But it’s going to take some work to make that happen, so let’s get started!
How To Prepare for Holiday Guests
1. Declutter Bedrooms and Living Areas
While you want to be sure your house is clean from top to bottom, pay special attention to guest bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas to prepare for holiday guests. This is where your guests will spend a majority of their time. Remove any clutter to either be thrown away or stored to sort through once your guests have parted. You’re going to have to take care of it by the time spring cleaning rolls around anyway, so you may as well do it now!In the guest room, make sure there’s enough space in the closet for your guest’s belongings. These closets can become quite the catch-all throughout the year, and you want to make sure they have space to hang their clothes. Once the clutter has been taken care of, dust, vacuum and organize the main living spaces in your home to best accommodate your holiday guests.
2. Add Indoor and Outdoor Lights
In the hallways and bathroom, add nightlights to help guests navigate their way around your home. Outside, make sure the bulbs in your porch light, garage light and sensory lights are working. No guest wants to be stuck fumbling around in the dark!
3. Make Room for Additional Seating
To prepare for holiday guests, be sure that you have the extra space in your living and dining rooms for guests to sit. You may need to add extra stools in the kitchen and get creative with some seating arrangements in the den. Click here for some seating inspiration.
4. Designate Sleeping Arrangements
The earlier you decide where your guests will be sleeping, the better. This gives you the opportunity to make extra space in your kids’ bedrooms if necessary, or transform the office into a make-shift guest room. Consider how your guests prefer to sleep as well. If some prefer the cold, give them a fan to sleep with at night. Other guests may prefer a cozy night’s sleep, in which case leave a pile of extra blankets to keep them warm. This will keep them comfortable and away from your thermostat! Be sure to have plenty of sheets and pillow on hand, too. We suggest white sheets because they’re easier to bleach and replace if necessary.
5. Don’t Skimp on Bathroom Supplies
Go ahead and stock up on toilet paper, wash cloths, towels and travel-sized toiletries. You’d be surprised by how many guests forget simple things like a toothbrush and soap. Display these extra items in your bathroom to give guests easy access. If they can easily locate items like toilet paper, it will limit the chance of guests rifling through your cabinets to find it. Place a bath mat in the tub and make sure any floor rugs are slip-resistant to prevent potential falls. (We suggest leaving a plunger handy, too.)
6. Stock the Pantry
Make a trip to the grocery store and buy all of your guests’ favorite snacks and drinks. Just don’t forget to ask about any dietary restrictions beforehand! Nothing will ruin a holiday celebration quite like a guest breaking out in hives due to the walnuts on your sweet potato casserole. Related: Get Thanksgiving-Ready With These Sweet Potato Recipes
7. Provide Instructions When Necessary
Let’s face it, some guests — especially the more mature ones — may not know how to operate your TV or connect to the WiFi. Prepare for holiday guests by writing out step-by-step instructions. This will make things easier on them and save yourself the future headache.Ask your family to help you identify the items or appliances around your home that may be difficult for guests to use. Maybe your shower handles are wonky, or your refrigerator is powered by your smartphone. Any instructions you can provide ahead of time will help guests navigate the intricacies of your home more easily and efficiently.
8. Schedule Out-of-the-House Activities
Create a list of local events, tours and happenings that guests can attend while they’re in town. While they’re gone, you’ll have the opportunity to refresh your home again and take a much deserved break.
9. Choose Thoughtful Decorations
Where you can, add thoughtful decorations around your home to show your guests that you care. This could be holiday-colored flowers in their bedroom, chocolates on their pillow or family photos of you all together throughout the house. While guests may be a nuisance, they’re here to spend the holidays with you for a reason. Show them just how much you care with heartfelt decorations and touches to make them feel at home. Remember that even during the stress holiday guests can bring, spending time with your loved ones remains most important. From all of us here at Killingsworth, we hope you have a happy, healthy and unforgettable holiday season. And remember, if your yard needs maintenance before guests arrive, don’t hesitate to schedule a service with us!
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