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How to Prep Your Home for Holiday Guests

There’s no place like your home for the holidays...especially when you get to share it with family or friends who live long distance. Though you may be looking forward to having relatives you’ve been missing staying in your home preparing your home for houseguests can be stressful, especially if you don’t know where to begin with your preparations. With these tips, however, you can get your home ready in plenty of time before the first guests arrive.

Step one, DECLUTTER.

You already know you want to present your guests with a warm, clean space to stay in. But before you break out your mop and broom, you need to get rid of the junk. Home experts agree that it’s a good idea to hold a decluttering session in your home at least once a year or more, and getting your home ready for guests is the perfect motivation to tackle this not-so-fun task. If you don’t have time or don’t want to declutter your entire home in one session, begin with decluttering guest sleeping spaces and public areas of the home like living areas, kitchens and bathrooms. You can declutter the rest of your home after the holidays or during your spring cleaning spree.

Deep clean your home.

Again, preparing your home for guests is the perfect excuse to wipe down dusty baseboards and cabinets. Cleanliness is the best way to ensure all of your guests are comfortable. If your budget allows, consider hiring a professional house cleaning service to help you take on these tasks.

Jazz up the entryway.

The first impression of your home is your entryway. Put away extra winter gear you may have hanging in your mudroom or on hooks near the entry to make space for your guest’s coats and scarves. If you have the space, add extra hooks or a coat rack. Then, add a holiday touch or two with a seasonal arrangement or some other type of decor.

Make sure you have plenty of lighting.

Add nightlights to light the way to the nearest bathroom or to the kitchen for a midnight snack. If you know your guest is an avid reader, a reading light on their bedside table is a thoughtful touch. Be sure to check that all of your outdoor lights are in working order and add an extra light or two if there are still dark areas around the exterior of the home.

Create a coffee station and add extra seating.

Help prevent traffic jams in the kitchen by creating a coffee station area in your dining or living room. If you enjoy company while you work in the kitchen, be sure to add extra bar stools or other seating so your guests can chat with you comfortably.

Purchase extra toiletries and other personal items and make them easy to find.

Stock up on extra toileries like shampoo, soap and dental hygiene tools and then place them in open shelving or place a label on your cabinets indicating what’s inside so its easy for your guests to find what they need.

Leave a card with helpful household info.

Think like a hotelier and leave a small notecard in your guest’s sleeping quarters with information like the WiFi password and alarm code and any other information your guest may need to know.

Add comfortable touches.

The thing about houseguests is you never know whether they run hot or cold. Some love running a fan while they sleep while others freeze in any room cooler than 78 degrees. Add extra blankets and a small fan or space heater to their space so they have everything they need to feel comfortable. You may also want to add an outlet strip or charging deck for your high-tech guests. And if you’re feeling really hospitable, add a basket with packaged snacks and bottled water.

If you have multiple guests and limited sleeping area, create temporary sleeping spaces.

Roll out cots or good quality air mattresses and spruce them up with comfy sheets, pillows and blankets. Add privacy with a roll-away bookshelf, a folding screen, or a curtain.

Create a kid-friendly area for your younger guests.

If you are hosting children and don’t have kids of your own, it’s super important that you make sure your home is safe and kid-friendly. Add plug-in covers and put away hazardous objects and valuables that can be broken. Also take extra time to make your young guest’s sleeping space kid-friendly and fun by adding coloring books, books and maybe a tv and dvd player for movie time.

Make a pet-friendly space for guests with furbabies.

If you know a guest is planning to bring their pet, find an area to create a pet-friendly space in case the pet experiences anxiety during gatherings or just gets a little too excited with other guests.

Add holiday touches throughout the home.

Who wants to celebrate Christmas in a house that could belong to the Grinch? Hang a few lights, wrap the stair banister with garland, decorate the tree and place a few sprigs of evergreen tied with Christmas ribbon around the home for decoration and a scent of the season.

Safety tip: Instruct your guests and remind others in your home to turn off space heaters, heated hair tools and any other potential fire hazard when they are leaving the home or leaving a space unattended. The best holidays are safe ones.

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