When you’re having guests over to your home for the holidays, it’s important to prepare the space for their arrival. Whether they’re staying for a few hours or a few weeks, you’ll want to show off your holiday spirit throughout the house and make your home as comfortable as possible. Choosing the decorations is one of the fun aspects of prepping a home, while cleaning it up may not be as high on your list of appealing activities. Turn on your favorite tunes and get in the spirit as you prepare for your holiday guests to arrive.
Clean the Guest Rooms
If your guests are staying overnight, the first home-improvement task you need to tackle is cleaning up the rooms in which they’ll be staying. Many guest rooms sit untouched for months at a time, so you’ll need to clean it well and add a few decorations and elements that will help your guests feel more at home. Clean out any of your personal items that you may have stashed in the closets, dressers, and nightstands of the guest rooms. Give them some space to hang and put away the items they bring with them.
Change the bedding and fluff the pillows on the bed. If you have any holiday-themed blankets or sheets, add these to the bed for some holiday spirit. You can also place clean, folded towels on the bed so the guests know which ones are for their use. Add a few special touches, such as a bottle of sparkling wine or juice, a box of chocolates, and a few holiday magazines or books.
Stack the Bar Cart
When guests come into your home for a holiday get-together or an overnight stay, it’s nice to welcome them with a refreshing beverage. Invest in a bar cart to make sure you’re always ready to whip up a cocktail at a moment’s notice. Place the cart in or near the entryway to encourage visitors to help themselves when they arrive.
If you already have a bar cart or you’ve purchased one, the next step is stocking it with all your favorite mixers. Keep a variety of spirits on hand for picky guests, as well as soft drinks, juices, and other mixers that might go well with the alcohol you place on the cart. Don’t forget the eggnog!
Make Your Home Smell Like Christmas
Smells take us back to different times in our lives, stirring up memories and meaningful moments. It’s important to make sure your home not only smells fresh and clean but also has the unique scents of the holiday season. A fresh Christmas tree will give off a powerful scent, but if you prefer the convenience of a faux tree, you can always light a pine-scented candle and place it nearby.
Another way to transform the smell of your home is to simmer a pot of homemade holiday potpourri on the stove. Simply toss 1 1/2 cups of fresh cranberries, a few cinnamon sticks, three tangerines cut in half, a teaspoon of cloves, a fresh pine branch, and a tablespoon of vanilla into a pot. Top the mixture with a cup of cranberry juice, apple cider, or pomegranate juice and fill the pot with water until it’s three-quarters full. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for a few hours, adding more water as needed.
You Can Never Have Enough Bedding
When you’re outfitting a guest room, you really can’t have too much bedding. Depending on the weather, your guests may prefer to snuggle up under heavy covers and blankets, or they might like to sleep cooler with just a sheet and a light coverlet. Provide plenty of options for those staying with you by making up the bed with the number of blankets that you like to use at night.
Then you can load up the guest-room closet with lighter blankets and extra covers that match with your interior design elements, along with a pair of slippers or socks to warm up chilly feet. When your guests arrive, let them know that they’re welcome to use any or all of the bedding provided in the closet. If you don’t have many extra blankets in the house, now is the time to stock up. The last thing you want to worry about is having a chilly guest without a warm blanket to offer them.
Take Inventory of Plates and Cutlery
Whether you’re hosting a get-together or having the whole family over for Christmas breakfast, you’ll need to make sure you have enough plates and cutlery to accommodate. Take inventory of your entire collection of cutlery to match up sets and figure out what you’re missing. Spoons tend to disappear, especially if you’re in the habit of taking your breakfast on the go. As you count, look closely at the condition of your silverware. Spoons that have fallen down the garbage disposal a few too many times might be hazardous, so replace them instead of handing one to a guest.
Next, take inventory of the plates in your kitchen cupboards. You might want to stick with the home decor trends, using holiday-themed dishware when serving dinner at a party, but you’ll need to make sure you have enough plates of all sizes. You can invest in a new set of matching plates or create a funky vibe by giving everyone a different plate. Check out local thrift and consignment stores to find unique holiday plates if you decide to go that route.
Toss in Some Greens
It doesn’t feel like Christmas without some greenery placed throughout your home. A Christmas tree is a good start, but you can always add a bit more for a fresh scent and a warm, welcoming vibe. Place a wreath on your front door or change it up by hanging it from an interior door or mirror. You can also fill small dishes with evergreen branches, twigs, and pinecones to tie in the greenery throughout the space.
Preparing your home for guests will create a more welcoming environment for those who will be visiting during the holiday season. Create a holiday-themed atmosphere that feels comfortable and homey to ensure a memorable visit with your loved ones this year.