The holiday season never seems to last long enough for me. I’m always running around with last minute details no matter how far in advance that I plan. This is doubly true with holiday house guests! So instead of planning for weeks in advance for my holiday house guests, I came up with the top 10 last minute prep ideas to make your house guests feel at home. It’s true that my fridge may not be clean and my baseboards will definitely not have been dusted, but these 10 items provide the most bang for the buck if you’re strapped for time!
1 Consider the room temperature of your guest room. No host would ever be able to make both Joe & I happy on this one! I’m always cold and he’s always warm. Knowing that, for my guest room, I include extra blankets at the base of the bed and a fan on the dresser.
2 It’s so easy to forget which towels are yours when staying with guests, especially if several people are sharing a bathroom. This is why I set out a different color set of towels for each guest so everyone will remember which towels are theirs. I like to give each guest two towels, a hand towel and wash cloth. You’ll notice all my towels are dark colors too, which is intentional to mask any stains that just won’t go away in the wash (please tell me I’m not the only one). Also, it’s a good idea to clear out any existing towel in the bathroom towel racks to make room for your guests.
3 As a guest there’s nothing worse than having to ask your host time and time again for items they may need or have forgotten. I like to put out sample size toiletries in a pretty glass container for my guests with sunscreen, shampoo, soap, conditioner, etc.
4 Nothing feels more like a hotel than tripping over luggage. Our guest closet is used for storage, but I always keep a small space cleared out with hangers available for guests. Clearing out a drawer or two in a dresser is also an excellent option. Since we don’t have a dresser in our guest room, I keep a small stool available for easy access to their suitcase.
5 I don’t clean every room of the house for guests, but one room that I do spruce up is the living room. Our living area is right off our main entrance so it’s often the victim of clutter…. shoes, work bags, jackets, you name it! Declutter the living area so guests don’t feel like they’re taking up too much space. I also remove some of the couch pillows so that there’s easy access to seating, add a couple magazines & a blanket/throw.
6 I skip the full house cleaning, but do a thorough wipe down of key areas including the guest bathroom. Even if you’re house isn’t spotless (when is it really?) make sure the bathroom looks like you’re walking in to hotel room. Nothing is grosser than someone else’s dirty bathroom! I clear out my personal things so they’re not tip toeing around my stuff. Make sure toilet paper is restocked and garbage cans are emptied. I also like to put out an extra hair dryer and straightener for my girl friends.
7 I tell my guests that their best meal will NOT be eaten at my house as cooking is a skill I’ve yet to master. But no guest of mine will go hungry. I make sure the fridge and pantry are stocked with the basics: easy breakfast food, mid day snacks, produce & wine. Although my guests always know to help themselves to anything in our kitchen, I’m intentional about offering snacks throughout the day to ensure no one goes hungry!
8 I’m one of those people who writes EVERYTHING down. So naturally I love written instructions (and hopefully my guests do too!) I keep a sheet with our wifi passwords, instructions to use our TV/Netflix/Amazon Instant Video (why is it always confusing to use someone else’s TV?), and how to use our coffee pot (oddly ours is confusing).
9 In a perfect world our kitchen would be spotless right as guests arrive, but that only happens in my dreams. But a clean sink & dishwasher can exist outside my dreams. Nothing says ‘dirty kitchen’ like a pile of dishes in the sink. And nothing is more frustrating when hosting a meal than a dishwasher that’s already full of dishes. I like to start out any holiday weekend with a clean slate.
10 I’m a natural planner and a little (errrr.. a lot) anxious when I don’t know what’s happening next. Although most of my guests likely don’t have their planners booked each hour, I do think they appreciate knowing what to expect when staying at my place. Specifically, I make sure to let guests know what to expect the next morning (things such as the bathroom is all yours in the morning, breakfast is at 9AM or I will put cereals and spoons and bowls out on the counter!)
Hope these tips make your holiday hosting a little less stressful!