Helpful Tips, Random Thoughts

Home for the Holidays – Preparing Your Home for Guests

November 20, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Meet the Family - Which Character Are YouWhen it comes to the holidays your to-do list seems endless. Just when you think you have it under control the doorbell rings. You look through the peephole and standing on the front step are your relatives. With suitcases in hand, they are ready for an extended stay at your home. The real question is…are you?

The following is a collection of tips we’ve received for keeping the holidays running smoothly and your guests content.

Start with the entrance of your home. First, if you live in areas that receive snowfall or are known to freeze over, you’ll want to make sure that you keep the walkway and porch clear of hazards.

Of course, once your guests get in the house, your attention shifts to where they’ll put all their stuff. One of the first things you’ll want to do is clean out the closet near the entryway of your home. Reserve this space for everyone’s outdoor gear like jackets and umbrellas. Another good idea is to add storage solutions such as hooks or shelving to the entryway wall.

These two practices will cut down on clutter, as well as give your guests a designated place to keep their more grimy belongings. Speaking of which, a few holiday doormats on the floor of your entryway is a worthy space for guests to place their wet shoes or boots.

The main living area is where holiday guests will spend a lot of their time, so plan accordingly. Start by de-cluttering the entire room. You’re definitely going to need the space. And make sure your seating is in order. Depending on room space, you may want to move a comfortable chair (or two) from another room into the main living area. A collection of oversized throw pillows is great for kids or for anyone who doesn’t have a problem sitting on the floor. The addition of several throw blankets will provide comfort while bunkering down.

Promote your main living area as the center of entertainment by stocking it with DVDs, board games, magazines and other activities. Keep everything appropriate to the ages of your guests and you will end up with a true “family” room.

If you have a house full of people, and bedroom space is at a minimum, the family room is a great place for the older kids to sleep. All you need are an appropriate number of air mattresses, sleeping bags and pillows. They can be set up at night before bedtime and then broken down and put away come morning. Using the family room as a big kids bedroom will not only create more bedroom space for the relatives who need it, but it will also provide a fun environment for older children and teenagers.

Don’t forget about the bathrooms. For starters, a thorough cleaning is absolutely in order. If any lights, fixtures or fans are in need of repair it is a good idea to do so.

Make sure to stock the guest bathrooms with plenty of toilet paper, facial tissue, air freshener, hand soap, shower soap and a few basic toiletries. A combination shampoo/conditioner and a tube of toothpaste are a perfect start. Anything else is completely up to you. Don’t forget to provide plenty of clean linens like bath towels, hand towels and washrags.

Depending on your guests, it is sometimes a good idea to assign bathrooms. Anyone with a baby will require a tub and anyone who makes frequent visits during the night will benefit from a bathroom close to their room.

Of course, if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of assigning bathrooms, you can do so in a nonchalant way. Subsequent to showing your guests to their rooms, bring them to their assigned bathrooms, showing them the bath linens you’ve set out for their use. Chances are they’ll naturally gravitate back to that bathroom.

Keeping the kitchen properly stocked will come in handy. You can begin by phoning your guests prior to their arrival. Ask them if there’s anything they enjoy eating or drinking on a daily basis. This accomplishes two goals. First, it tells your guests you’re doing your best to be hospitable. Second, it keeps you from buying useless items that take up fridge space, as well as making impromptu trips to the store.

Plan out as many meals as you can and shop for the appropriate items as early as possible. Perishable items must be bought in accordance with their use, but be as judicious as possible with excursions to the grocery store. This practice will cut down on number of visits as well as the time spent inside the market. Remember, most people are off work and many have procrastinated their food shopping. Grocery stores tend to be overly crowded during the days and nights leading up to the holidays.

One last thing, if you have any rarely used kitchen appliances sitting on your counters, see if you can find a temporary, alternate location. Chances are you’ll need every square inch of counter space you have.

Finally, don’t lose sight of what the holidays are all about. Enjoy YOUR time with family and friends.

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2 Responses to “Home for the Holidays – Preparing Your Home for Guests”
  1. Designating space for guests is a fantastic tip that not only lets your guests know their boundaries, but also provides peace of mind while you attend to the thrill and enjoyment of their visit. This is especially true for house guests who have children. As a parent, the designated play area for children is critical for the sanity of adults and the unadultered holiday excitement for kids. Happy Holidays Northwest Indiana!

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