Do you host during the holidays? If your house is the go-to home, or you are just simply hosting a holiday get-together, I have some tips to help you prepare for guests. Even if you don’t have over-night guests, there are still some things in here you are sure to find helpful. We’ve been hosting for the last few years, and every year I get a little bit smarter about preparing our home for guests during the holidays. Here are 5 easy tips to help you prepare for guests during this holiday season.
1. Stock up on Eseentials – A few weeks leading up the holidays I begin to stock up. I buy extra toilet paper, and coffee – you know the essentials, to make sure that we won’t run while guests are visiting. There’s nothing like to having to run to the store the day after christmas because you are on your last roll of toilet paper :/ My husband and I drink our coffee black, so this time of the year I make sure I pick up some creamer, and plan ahead for breakfast. This way everyone can start their day off right. How to Prepare : Take a look at how much inventory you have now. Did you just buy toilet paper? Or will you need to get some within the next week or so. Do your guests like coffee or tea? Make sure you have plenty of their favorite hot beverage on hand, because nothing makes conversation sweeter than sitting around with a warm beverage in your mug!
2. Clean your space – Now is the time to clean. I do a little extra cleaning before overnight guests come, so that when they are here, I can sit and enjoy their company without worrying about little dust bunnies showing up everywhere. I also make sure I give the bathroom they will be using an extra scrub down. This goes without saying, but especially because sometimes I have no idea what kinda of condition my kids left the bathroom in, until my guest asks to use it – insert giant GULP! Nothing like a sparkling clean bathroom leaving you rest assured to host with ease. How to Prepare – A few days ahead of time I remove any slipcovers from my furniture and wash them. I dust and vacuum, clean off any surface that may have accumulated dirt from extra wear ‘n tear. I make sure that any items left out that we don’t use on a day to day basis are put away – you know like the clean laundry I folded 3 nights ago that are sitting in piles at the ed of my bed. When my space is clean, I feel more confident about hosting, and distraction free when my guests arrive.
3. Get the guest room ready. This goes without saying, but I get all the things out that I will need to make our guest room ready for overnight guests in advance. I wash any bedding I plan to use, which also helps me inspect our extra bedding and see if it’s time to invest in some new sheets. I set up the bed, and prepare the space for our guest to be comfortable in there. I make sure there are outlets accessible for chargers, nightstand space to place items at the end of the day, a place for their clothing, extra towels, and even print out a little welcome card that has useful information on it, like our WiFi password. I love this idea from Joanna Gaines on creating a welcome tray for your guests, see HERE. How to Prepare : Take inventory of your extra bedding. Has it seen better days? Do you have enough extra pillows? Clean towels on hand? If not, maybe now is the time to pick up a few things to help your guest room feel extra cozy. These are all things you can do ahead of time so you are sure your guest room is ready the moment guests arrive.
4. Buy extra snacks – If you are the host home, chances are you may have encountered this before. But picture this – you are hanging out, relaxing with your friends and family, when the mid-afternoon munchies arise. The dinner you have planned isn’t for another couple of hours, but the troops are getting hungry now. What to do? For this reason alone, I always buy extra snacks this time of year, mostly because we don’t tend to have lots of snacks on hands during other times of the year, but for the holidays, I keep an arsenal in my pantry. How to Prepare : Cheese & crackers, chips with a tasty dip. I also buy a few extra grocery items that will help throw together a quick appetizer if I need too. That way when the mid afternoon munchies arrive, I’m not silently praying that my guests will make it to dinner, I can graciously offer them a light snack to help tie them over. Try my favorite holiday appetizer – HERE.
5. Pay attention to the outside. There is nothing like having a clean home and stocked pantry to feel prepared when you are hosting guests. But don’t overlook the first thing your guests will see when they arrive at your home. Your front door. First impressions are every thing, so make sure your guests feel welcomed the moment they arrive at your house, not just when they step inside. How to Prepare : Clean off your front step, sweep down your front porch. Make sure there is plenty of room for extra shoes and coats, so your guests can easily put things down when they step inside. I also make sure we are fully prepared for inclement weather. Living in New England you are sure to get a surprise snow shower or two. So I make sure a shovel is close to the front door, to easily clean a path, and salt is nearby to attack any ice that may build up. Having a cleared path and a clean entryway is sure to welcome your guests from the moment they arrive, and don’t forget to hang that holiday wreath!
I hope these tips help you as you prepare for the holidays and hosting guests. There is nothing I love more than to welcome friends and family into our home, and I hope you feel inspired to do the same!