How To Prepare for Guests During the Holidays
The holidays are here, and that means it’s time to throw open our doors to visiting family and friends. But before the festivities can officially begin, there is some prep work you will need to take care of as the host. Especially where your home is concerned.
This can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time hosting holiday festivities. But if you break the task down into parts, knowing how to prepare for guests during the holidays becomes a much simpler task.
Every endeavor goes better with a game plan, and the same is true of preparing your home for holiday guests. Before you start your preparations, it’s helpful to sit down and list every part of your home that needs a refresh a few weeks before guests are set to come.
Once you have a complete list of everything you need to do, make a note of how long each task will take. This will help you decide how early you need to start tasks. For instance, remodeling the guest bedrooms will take much longer than replacing the mat by the door, so that should be done sooner.
Something that can inform your planning process is checking if you need to stock up on guest essentials. A few things you may need to take inventory of include:
- Plates and bowls
- Serving utensils
Also, keep the needs and preferences of your guests in mind as you take stock. If your Aunt Janine is coming to spend the night and can’t start the day without a cup of coffee, make sure you have coffee on hand. If your friend with a dairy intolerance is coming, make sure you have dairy-free creamer, too.
Refreshing Your Home for Guests
Your house is the stage on which your holiday is performed, so making sure it’s in tip-top shape before company comes is crucial. While your guests won’t necessarily visit every nook and cranny of your house, there are some spaces you will want to give more attention to.
Unfortunately, touching up exterior paint and landscaping isn’t always a viable option in the middle of December. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add a little polish to your exterior for guests. A few chores you can task yourself with include:
- Shoveling the driveway and front steps
- Replacing exterior lightbulbs
- Adding Christmas lights and wreaths
- Making sure your house number is clearly visible
If you live in an area with mild or warm winter, then you can potentially utilize outdoor spaces for guests, such as your deck or patio. In this case, adding cleaning off outdoor lawn furniture to your to-do list may be a good idea.
After your exterior, the foyer is the first impression your guests will have of your home. To make this space as welcoming as possible, start off with ample lighting and an organized space to put guests’ coats and shoes. Having a bench in this area for guests to stop and take off their shoes is also helpful.
Beyond the basics, the foyer is a great opportunity to add an extra homey touch to set the mood for your guests. This can look like some extra holiday decorations, such as a pot of poinsettias or garland wrapped around stair railings, or adding a fun sign welcoming guests in.
Whether guests are staying for dinner or the weekend, it’s inevitable that they will be visiting your bathroom at some point during their stay. So, you’ll want to make sure it’s up to snuff.
Other than making sure you’re stocked up on toiletries, you can give your bathroom a refresh by deep cleaning it and switching out the shower curtains. Taking the time to add little décor like a small mason jar with a few flowers will also add a comforting touch for guests.
Even if your holidays are more laidback, the dining room is typically the most formal part of your evening. This is the place you bring out your finest dishes and everyone sits down for one of the nicest dinners of the year.
If you’re looking to add a little touch of elegance to the dining room, here are a few simple design tricks you can try:
- Adding an accent wall
- Hanging wall art
- Changing out your central lighting fixture
- Putting an area rug beneath the table
- Placing a potted plant in the corner
Pro-Tip: Kid’s Seating
The idea of a “kid’s table” separate from the adult table isn’t new. But you can keep the idea fresh by finding ways to make the kid’s table more fun. For example, you can cover the table in brown kraft paper and leave crayons on the table so the kids can doodle during dinner.
If the dining room is the formal part of the evening, then your family room, living room, or den is the area that should be the center of fun and festivities. This is where you, your family, and friends can play games and swap stories.
Here are a few things to consider when preparing your entertaining space:
- Keep in mind the types of activities you and your guests are taking part in. If you’re playing games, you’ll need more floor space. If you’re chatting or watching movies, focus on seating.
- Find ways to add decoration that brightens up the area without making the space feel crowded, like a string of Christmas lights around the top of the room or garland around the doorways.
- Be sure to have a small table off to the side for snacks and appetizers.
- Set up different sitting areas throughout the room to improve the flow of traffic.
Since this is the space where your family will be making new memories, it’s a good place to display old memories as well. Look for spaces to display old family portraits, such as the mantle or a gallery wall.
If you have out-of-town guests who will be sticking around for a few days, you’ll need to do a little extra work to prepare the space they’ll be sleeping in. A few things you can do to prepare your guest room include:
- Cleaning the room
- Replacing the sheets
- Providing extra blankets
- Add a little note with information like the Wi-Fi password
If you have enough time before the holidays, it’s a good idea to give the room’s decor a refresh—switching out the window treatments, adding an area rug, and throwing in some holiday-themed throw pillows. And, of course, a coat of paint can go a long way toward transforming a room.
It’s the most wonderful time of year, and here at ECOS Paints, we have the non-toxic* interior wall paint you need to make your home guest-ready.
*Non-toxic - Conforms to ASTM-D4236, specifically concerning oral toxicity, skin irritation and respiratory effects.