‘Tis the Season … to Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

holiday door wreath

It’s that time of year again.

You know how it goes: Family. Friends. Food comas. … Flight delays.

According to AAA, 48.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving holiday – a 1.9% increase over 2015. And while the numbers for the December holidays aren’t available yet, AAA reported last year that more than 100 million Americans hit the road from December 23, 2015 to January 3, 2016.

With that, it’s safe to say that millions of homeowners will be hosting overnight guests in the coming weeks.

As happy as you might be to see your second cousins once removed, there’s no doubt that keeping them happy and comfortable in your home will induce a bit of stress.

There are a few things you can do, however, to make life a little simpler for all involved. Follow this holiday guest checklist to help you (and your guests) stay sane this holiday season.

1. Set things off on the right foot.

southern front porch

You want your guests to feel comfortable the moment they arrive, and the exterior of your home marks that first impression. Keep pathways and porches clear; remove leaves, snow, shoes and anything else that would be considered clutter. If your guests are arriving in the evening, make sure your home is well lit and easy to navigate.

Once you’ve upped your curb appeal, add some welcoming touches to the entryway of your house. You want to invoke a feeling of comfort rather than a sense of chaos. So, again – clear the floor of shoes and any clutter. Add some warmth by lighting a candle or placing a few decorative elements on an entry table.

2. Wash those linens.

clean-linens-bedroom

This seems like a no-brainer, but in the chaos of everything else, it’s easy to forget. Freshly washed sheets, pillowcases, blankets and towels are essentials.

3. Share your Wi-Fi.

iphone holidays

Let’s keep it real: The holidays are a time to bond with family and friends, but no one’s letting go of their iPad.

There’s no doubt your guests are going to ask you for the Wi-Fi code. Think ahead by creating notecards with the information and placing them around the house.

4. Declutter the guest room.

guest-linens

A tidy space will do wonders in terms of comfort. Vacuum the floors and dust the area where your guests will sleep.

If one of your children is giving up their bedroom, go in and do a quick sweep of any toys that might be lying around. If your guests are crashing in a common area, get rid of magazines, jackets or other random items that have made their way to that room.

5. Stock up the bathroom.

fancy bathroom

Can you imagine being a guest in someone’s home, waking up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and finding that there’s no toilet paper in sight?

Sounds like a nightmare.

Make sure the bathroom is stocked with toilet paper and any other toiletries they might need.

6. Show your guests around the kitchen.

stocked kitchen

Your guests might be early risers. They might not. Either way, give them (and yourself) a bit of freedom by showing them around the kitchen before you go to sleep. Let them know they are welcome to grab water, coffee, tea and small snacks at their leisure.

Happy Entertaining!

Some stress around the holidays is inevitable, but at the end of the day, what really matters is creating lasting memories in a welcoming home. Happy holidays!

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