The holidays are fast approaching and that means your home will soon be flooded with tons of family from out of town, neighbors for that big block party and friends for various holiday gatherings. It’s important to preempt the chaos and prepare your home now to welcome all of the visitors coming from now until the New Year. The first step of course is to clean your house in order to get it ready for others, but there’s plenty more prep to be done that we forget about but are vital to making guests feel at home when they’re not. Here is your official checklist to make sure your house is inviting and most importantly, holiday ready.
- Get the dishes in order. You’re going to be feeding a lot more than just your immediate family this time of year and everyone needs a plate to eat off of. Take down your good china, find your festive plate set that you stored in the garage or borrow what you need from family and friends. Think about any special dishes or cookware you'll need as well like a gravy boat, candy thermometer, etc. Get everything out and ready so you’re not scrambling when your guests are sitting down to dinner.
- Evaluate your guest space. If you’re going to have family over for an extended stay, you will need sleeping space and accommodations for them. If you have a guest room, make sure it’s cleaned and de-cluttered. Organize the closet, donate what you don’t need and get the spare room in tip top shape again. If your guests will be staying on the pull out coach or other areas, do you have clean linens ready? Figuring out sleeping arrangements early will make everything easier and give you time to purchase an inflatable mattress or two if you need them.
- Have easy snacks ready. Offering guests food or drinks is only polite and a must for any host or hostess. However, you don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen when you could be catching up with loved ones you only get to see once a year. That’s why it’s a good idea to have easy snacks ready for guests. Try cheese and crackers, fruit, nuts or popcorn. For drinks stock up on sodas, juices and of course some hot chocolate to warm everyone up.
- Optimize your kitchen. You’re going to be spending plenty of time in the kitchen cooking and preparing food – and your guests will follow you. Be sure they’re impressed by what they see by reorganizing and cleaning your space. Keep in mind you also want to provide guests with easy access to cups and water – that’s what you’ll get the most requests for. Move cups into an easy to reach cabinet and if you don’t have one, invest in a water filter pitcher to keep in the fridge.
- Pay special attention to bathrooms. A clean bathroom is vital and putting a little extra thought into how to make this area more guest friendly will go a long way. Have extra towels ready, put out an air freshener or scented candle and have some fun by choosing holiday scented hand soap for your guests. If you will be hosting family for a longer stay, put together a toiletries kit for them with shampoo, conditioner, body soap and whatever else you think they might need. Putting in the extra effort will make your guests feel welcome and it might come in handy if they've forgotten any toiletries.
- Decorate! Nothing warms a home more than a bit of holiday cheer. Spend the time to get your holiday throw pillows, garlands, special napkin holders and table runner out of the garage. Decorating will not only make your house more fun and inviting to your guests, it will put you in the holiday spirit too!
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