The holidays are undeniably hectic, and can be even more so if you are expecting guests. These five easy steps, however, can help you prepare your home for holiday guests to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable, and even make the season a little smoother as you celebrate together.
1. Consider Your Guests’ Needs
Before doing any preparation for your guests’ arrival, consider exactly what they may need to make their stay more comfortable. If you have elderly relatives staying with you, for example, you may want to be sure stair railings are firmly secured, and brighter light bulbs can make it easier for older eyes to see. For the youngest house guests, you may want to consider a bit of childproofing to be sure there are no dangerous chemicals, fragile objects, or electrical cords within reach of small, curious fingers. If your guests have severe allergies, take steps to remove allergens from your home as much as possible, or at least be sure items with allergens won’t be in your guests’ rooms and won’t cause any unpleasant problems during their holiday visit.
2. Catch Up on DIY Repairs
Every home has a list of little projects that always seem to need fixing – the sticky door, the running toilet, the dripping faucet, the finicky lock, the squeaky hinges, the burned-out bulb. Fixing as many of these small projects as possible will present your home at its very best when your guests arrive, and you won’t need to gently explain the need to jiggle the handle, twist the door a certain way, or do other strange accommodations to work around these minor problems. While you may not have the time or budget before the holidays to invest in major repairs, at least getting smaller fixes out of the way can ensure your guests aren’t bothered by minor inconveniences.
3. Stock Up
It’s important to have your home stocked with essential supplies to accommodate not only your ordinary usage, but your guests’ usage as well. Stocking up on soap, shampoo, toilet paper, paper towel, facial tissue, and similar toiletries ensures that nothing runs out or necessitates an emergency trip to the store and away from your guests. If possible, stock up on regular groceries, snacks, drinks, and other needs before your guests arrive as well, and no time during their visit will need to be spent at the grocery store instead of enjoying their company.
4. Make a Good First Impression
Your home’s exterior will be the first impression your holiday guests get as they arrive, and you should make it a welcoming one. Be sure any trees or shrubs near the entryway or front of the home are pruned and trimmed, and walkways should be clear and safe for all types of shoes and boots. Porch lights should function well, and house numbers should be clearly visible if guests need to find your home. Position trash cans out of sight, and consider getting a fun new welcome mat for the holidays or adding a wreath to the door or other whimsical decoration to the entryway to welcome your guests. Bear in mind if your guests will be arriving in the garage – if you’re picking guests up from the airport, for example, and will park in the garage – you ought to neaten up that space somewhat before they arrive.
5. Clean It Up
Just before your holiday guests arrive, give your home a good cleaning. Scrub the bathrooms, wipe down kitchen fixtures, clear off counters, and do all your typical dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming. If possible, wash doorway windows or big picture windows, and be sure any scuff marks on the floors, doors, or walls aren’t noticeable. Open the windows to air out the house and minimize smells, and be sure to clean out the litter box or pet crates and cages. Tidy each room a bit, and close doors to rooms where guests won’t be visiting (such as children’s bedrooms, storage rooms, or extra closets) to keep any other messes hidden.
By completing these steps before your holiday guests arrive, your home will be ready to welcome them and you will have freed up essential time to enjoy their company. The holidays can fly by all too quickly, and the more time you have to share with your guests, the more memorable the season will be.