Few homes are ready for company at all times. A pair of shoes in the hallway, an unwashed pot in the sink, and a guest room without fresh linens all need to be addressed before friends or family arrive. Even if you keep your home in tip-top shape, there are still tasks to be done in preparation for company. Use this checklist to create a welcoming environment for your holiday guests.
Clean & Prep Guest Room
If you have a dedicated guest room, prepping it will take less time than if the space doubles as a home office or if one of the kids will give up his or her bedroom.
In a true guest room, you will need to:
- Dust and vacuum or mop per usual
- Put fresh linens on the bed
- Store extra blankets and pillows in an easily accessible place
- Clear a spot for luggage and other items in the room or closet
- Provide plenty of hangers and drawer space
- Make sockets available by each side of the bed
- Empty the wastebasket
- Add a box of tissues to each nightstand
For a guest room that also serves another purpose, reduce clutter as much as possible, such as putting away all paperwork in a home office and loose toys in a kid’s room. Remove anything you or the regular occupant might need during your guests’ stay so that they truly have a space to call their own.
Complete the prep by adding fresh, seasonal flowers to the nightstands if your guests are not allergic, a nightlight for late trips to the bathroom, and a welcome note that also includes the password to your wi-fi. Also leave an extra house key if your guests will be coming and going on their own.
Clean & Prep Guest Bath
Many of us have two levels of clean in the bathroom: immediate-family clean and company clean, with the latter reaching spring-cleaning status. To prep for holiday guests, you will need to:
- Remove all washable items—bath/hand towels and rugs—to wash
- Empty wastebasket
- Spray shower/tub walls and floor, and toilet, with diluted vinegar and let sit
- Dust any blinds and clean any windows, mirrors and countertop containers
- Wipe down all cabinetry and countertops with appropriate products
- Scrub shower/tub walls and floor, plus toilet, with a hard-bristle brush, then rinse
- Sweep and mop the floor with appropriate products
- Replace freshly washed or vacuumed rugs and any laundered items
Just like with a guest room that does double duty, a bathroom used by other members of the family should be decluttered as much as possible. Move any items not used on a regular basis to inside cabinets and create space for your guests.
Complete the prep by adding a basket filled with travel-size items they might have forgotten to pack, such as:
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Disposable razors and shaving cream
- Cotton balls and swabs
- Hand cream
- Holiday first-aid supplies, such as pain reliever and acid reducer for too much celebrating
Stock Up on Their Favorite Foods & Drinks
Speaking of celebrating, before your guests arrive ask for a list of must-have pantry items, including:
- Preferred breakfast beverage, creamer and sweetener
- Favorite breakfast items, such as a specific cereal or another item you might not have handy
- Other beverages, including those for adults only; be sure to leave bottled water in their room along with a coaster
- Any items to meet dietary restrictions
While many guests say they do not want to put you out, explain that you are going grocery shopping the day before their arrival so that it need not be done once they get to your home. That leaves you more time to spend relaxing, as there is nothing relaxing about shopping during the holiday season.
Have a wonderful holiday season with your guests!
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