How to prepare for the Holidays: Preparing for guests
Holidays are some of the busiest times of the year for company and guests. Between dinner events and family from out of town, it can feel like your home is barely your own space for a long stretch of time. If you are a natural at entertaining, then this post is probably not for you, but if you are anything like me and need a bit of help preparing for guests, then you are in the right place. Never wonder how to prepare for the Holidays anymore. Be sure to check out my posts on cleaning before Christmas and cleaning up after Christmas for some extra items to add to your checklist!
I am not a natural entertainer, matter of fact, I didn’t really like people to come to my home for many years (product of my OCD tendencies). Over the years of living far from family and after a few years of being a military wife, I have really come into being a fairly good hostess. But it has taken some work! A list like this would have really helped me years ago to tame my anxiety and stress over visitors coming.
How to prepare for the holidays
Get organized before having guests come
No, I am not implying that you need to organize your home (although that will come), first you need to organize your thoughts. Are your guests coming for the weekend, overnight, do you need to plan for entertaining them, any special considerations or circumstances such as home projects that need to get done prior to their arrival? Think through all of this to be sure that you are not concerned with a task while your guests are there because you have already completed it.
When preparing for house guests, make a cleaning checklist, a list of errands to run, grocery list, entertainment options, and a list of things to buy or do to prepare the guest room. This will help you keep all of your thoughts straight and you will know exactly what you have and have not completed. Creating a checklist can also be really helpful for when you need to ask for assistance. Whatever is on the list is what they can help you with.
*If you love a good list, be sure to grab up my daily checklist printable below!*
Clean the house
This is probably a given, but before guests come over you want to be sure that your home is clean. It doesn’t have to sparkle, but it would be nice if you could have a few key areas clean for your guests. I have a list of things below.
Preparing for house guests in 10 easy steps
1. Clean the bathroom
If there is only one thing that you can get done when preparing for house guests, this would be the thing! A clean bathroom is inviting and will help your guests be more comfortable in your home. Be sure to leave items out that they will need such as towels and washcloths so that they can easily find them and use them when they need to
2. Stock the bathroom
Remember that time that you forgot to restock your bathroom and you had to drip dry in order to go get more toilet paper from the other bathroom? Yeah, don’t make your guests do that. Be absolutely sure that your guests have toilet paper and other toiletries that they may need all stocked and easily found. If you want to set out a small basket with these necessities, that would be even better. I know I always feel awkward sifting through someone else’s cabinets.
3. Leave useful items in view
Not only in the bathroom, but in the kitchen, the guest room, and the living room. When you are preparing for guests, you want to ensure that you prepare for their needs. If they are a coffee drinker, leave the coffee pot or carafe where they can easily see it. If they like to wake up early, ensure that the tv remotes are easily seen. And of course, anything that they may need in the guest room should be left out or in a tidy guest closet such as extension cords, chargers, extra blankets and pillows.
4. Food for house guests
Being a dairy intolerant person myself I am probably way more keen on others dietary needs that most are. That being said, it is important for you to know about intolerance and preferences before buying food for house guests so you can cater to their needs (as best as possible anyway). If they enjoy yogurt each morning, pick them up a few, or if they are a tea drinker and you are not, be sure to grab a few bags of tea before their arrival. Furthermore, let them know where they can find these special items and to help themselves to it.
5. Prep any food you can
If you are planning on entertaining a lot of guests or doing a large meal such as a Christmas dinner, be sure to prepare any foods in advance that you can. Chopping veggie or making desserts ahead of time is a small task, but will relieve some stress and time in the kitchen away from your house guests.
6. How to prepare the guest room
The guest room is a little home away from home for your overnight guests and therefore needs to be treated as such. Make it comfortable and accessible for them by cleaning the linens, providing plenty of pillows and blankets, chargers if they need it, fans, nightlights, and more. This post by Graceful Order suggests putting together a welcome basket for your guests to prepare the guest room. It is a super cute idea, but if you don’t want something so formal, just leave the items in the guest room or bathroom.
7. Decorate lightly
If your guests are family members then this one may not be so important, but if they are friends or people that you are hosting (but don’t know well), you will want to keep your decor light and slightly depersonalized. Guest rooms should feel more like a hotel and less like your 5 year olds play room.
8. Have the kids help
Having said the whole decorate lightly thing, if you are hosting grandparents, this is actually the time that you may just want the kids to help. Having the little ones create pictures and tokens for the grandparents can be really fun AND grandparents eat that stuff up! Who said preparing for house guests couldn’t be fun!
9. Plan for entertaining
The next tip I have for you would be to plan for entertaining. This is one of the lists that you can make! If you have weekend guests (or even longer) then you will want to at least have an idea of a few things that may be fun for them to do either with or without your family. Plan indoor and outdoor activities and free/cheap and the more expensive day trips so that your guests will have plenty of options to discover.
10. Relax and don’t stress
No one wants to be in someone else’s home and have a lot of tension around. Try to relax about the mess that is inevitable and the seemingly continuous noise and cooking. If you know that you don’t want to deal with all the cooking and cleaning, eat out. If you don’t want the noise then plan outdoor trips. The most important thing is that you actually enjoy your company!
I hope you are no longer wondering how to prepare for the holiday guests that are coming your way. Remember that the best thing that you can do is to get your checklists done and have a stress free visit with your friends and loved ones! Also, don’t forget to check out my other posts on cleaning before Christmas and cleaning up after Christmas.