The holidays are one of the busiest travel times of the year, which means that you will very likely be welcoming guests into your home before 2022 is over. If you want to make sure your home is ready to receive guests, follow this checklist of 11 steps to ensure that you are ready to welcome your family and friends before they arrive.
If you’ve been using your guest room as a catch-all space, this is the perfect opportunity to clear out all those items and make the space welcoming for your guests. Clear out the closet and dresser as much as possible so they will have space to put their luggage away. If you must store some things in the guest room, try storing items in under bed bins.
Guests deserve clean linens, both towels and bedding sets. If you frequently host guests, then your linens might be clean enough from the last wash that you can simply give them a fluff and let them be. However, if it’s been a while, it’s a good idea to throw them into the washing machine so your guests will have fresh, crisp linens. If you’re in a time crunch, put a load of laundry in first so the linens can wash and dry while you’re cleaning the rest of the house.
Ideally, your guests should have their own separate bathroom to use if at all possible. Clean it top to bottom and stock it with fresh linens before they arrive. Even if your guests plan to bring their own toiletries, it’s still a nice gesture to stock the bathroom with certain staples: hand soap and lotion, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and so on. You might also want to have backup toiletries on hand such as toothbrushes and toothpaste in case they forget theirs.
Speaking of prepping the bathrooms, you’ll go through more paper goods and other essentials when you have guests around. Make sure that you have plenty of toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex and napkins so that you don’t have to make an emergency store run at an inopportune time.
Every home tends to get cluttered during the holiday season, so making your home look spic and span should be your first priority. Go through all the common areas and put away every item that’s out of place, starting with the living room, dining room and kitchen. Once you get the common areas out of the way, you can focus on rooms that your guests won’t be frequenting as much, such as the master bedroom or office.
Once the clutter is put away, it’s time to clean the common areas. Start by dusting the furniture and vacuuming and mopping the floor. You should also take out the trash and any recycling so that you start the visit with an empty can. If you have time before they arrive, move on to the rest of the house to ensure that it’s ready for the tour.
If your dining room table has a leaf, go ahead and put that in place and get the extra chairs out of the closet so that you are ready to seat your guests as soon as they arrive. If you don’t have a full dining table, then you might need to get creative and set up a secondary table with some folding chairs, or split people between the kitchen and dining tables so that everyone can eat at the same time.
To take some of the stress off yourself, we recommend doing some recipe planning and going to the grocery a couple of days before your friends or family arrive. That will give you time to take out the bakeware and make some meals ahead of time so that you can relax and focus on socializing on the day they arrive. If this visit is rather last minute, don’t be afraid to order takeout for the first night so you can focus on getting your house ready for your guests.
Speaking of the kitchen, we recommend setting up a coffee and tea station so that guests can serve themselves if they get up early. You can do this in the kitchen or even in the guest room if there’s space for a little coffee cart. Be sure to show them where the cream and sugar are so that they can customize their morning beverages accordingly.
If your guests are bringing small kids, and you don’t have any of your own, it’s wise to take steps to childproof your house. Put away anything that is valuable or breakable and carefully secure household chemicals in locked cabinets. You might also want to put locks on certain rooms (such as the master bedroom or office) to keep kids out of them.
A welcome basket isn’t necessary, but it is a lovely touch to make your guests feel at home. We prefer to stock our baskets with a combination of must-have essentials such as phone chargers and nice-to-have items like soap. When curating your welcome basket, think of your recipients’ personal tastes, and select gifts that you know they will love personally.
What are other steps that you take to make sure that guests feel welcome in your home? Do you have any tips or hacks for getting your home ready for last-minute holiday guests? Keep these tips in mind when hosting this holiday season!