At the holidays, you may have houseguests stay for a weekend, or even the whole Christmas break. Christmas is on a Monday, while Boxing Day is the next day. It is really going to be a long holiday. If you are hosting relatives or friends this year, prepare your home and your family for their arrival with these helpful tips.
With a few extra people in your home, you are going to need some additional room. It’s time to declutter and create some much needed space. Your living room, family room, and other common rooms used for entertaining should be free of any furniture that you won’t use. Old magazines, newspapers, and other items should be sorted and recycled or discarded. Get several storage bins or extra shelving if necessary to declutter your home.
Plan ahead and clean one room at a time in the weeks preceding the arrival of your guests. Or better yet, hire a maid service to clean your home from top to bottom.
If your family has been dealing with a drippy tap, squeaky door, or broken steps you should get these things taken care of before your guests arrive. A few small house repairs and improvements can make your home safer and more comfortable for your holiday houseguests.
If babies or children are among your houseguests, it’s time to do some simple childproofing: keep all cleaning products, knives, medications, and other potential hazards in a locked cabinet or out of reach; add outlet covers to your electrical sockets and put sleeves on doorknobs to keep young kids out of dangerous areas.
If your guest room is rarely used, it’s time for some heavy duty cleaning. Make sure all the bedding is fresh, vacuum the floor (don’t forget under the bed), and make space in the closet for your guests’ clothes. Provide clean towels and supplies in the bathroom and let them know where to find more. Make the room cozy with a sitting area, if possible.
Who wants to spend all your time in the kitchen when you have houseguests? Cook ahead and freeze some meals for dinner. Keep in mind that your guests will probably want to go out to local restaurants for some meals as well.
If your guests are staying for an extended period of time, you may want to communicate some ground rules before their arrival. Of course, this should be in a lighthearted, pleasant way. Let them know if you don’t want smoking in your home and inform them of where they can go to smoke. Tell them about your regular schedule for showers, meals, and other routines. If you don’t allow shoes on the carpet in your home, let them know before they arrive, or provide slippers.
You don’t want to be hanging Christmas lights and setting up displays while your guests are in town. Prepare by decorating a little early. Keep things simple and elegant to avoid cluttering up your home.
The day before your guests arrive, double check their itinerary, particularly if you need to pick them up from the airport. If they are staying for more than a weekend, recommend a rental car (unless you don’t mind driving them every time they need to go anywhere). Get your own car washed and tuned up, if necessary.
Although entertaining guests can be stressful at the holidays, it can be a lot of fun too. Relax and de-stress a bit before their arrival. Get a massage and get some “me” time in before it’s too late.