It’s that time of year where people are always having guests over – I love it! Even though we are usually at someone else’s house for the holidays, we still have guests coming over occasionally. We are just about to move into a new home, and I’m excited that it’s big enough to eventually have people come over and hang out more. I’ve been thinking a lot about ways to make our home more welcoming and accommodating for guests.
While these tips can really be applied year-round, I think they are especially relevant this time of year. How do you prepare your home for holiday guests?
Chances are, once guests arrive, you won’t have much time to clean! I imagine most people don’t enjoy hosting their guests in a messy home, so it’s important to take care of most major cleaning projects before people arrive. So, first off, you should do some thorough deep cleaning. This includes scrubbing the bathrooms, the whole kitchen, mopping the floor, etc. Basically, you want to get your house as clean as possible, so any messes that may occur when guests are there are easier to clean up!
After doing a deep cleaning, having a few speed cleaning tips up your sleeve are essential! If your house is generally clean before your guests there, hopefully all you’ll need to do is minor touch ups. Obviously, once everyone leaves or goes to sleep for the night, there will be a few things that need to be cleaned up, and that’s where speed cleaning comes in!
Spill and Kid Proof your Home
Mohawk Bound Carpet
When you are having guests over during the holidays, the last thing you want to be stressing about people spilling their food or drinks on your carpet, or even on your hard wood floors.
Have you heard of Mohawk? We talked about them last year after we were introduced to them at the Taste of Colorado. Their bound carpet are not only super soft and pretty, but they are also stain resistant.
We were recently sent a beautiful bound carpet from Mohawk (which features their SmartStrand Silk and I’m obsessed with it. Not only has it helped preserve the carpet better in our old apartment, but it will look great on the hardwood floors in our new home. Having a two-year-old that seems to enjoy spilling things, having a spill-resistant carpet is essential! Mohawk is also running a great giveaway right now where you can win one of three 8′ by 10′ SmartStrand Bound Carpet – you can enter in the “app” section on their Facebook page.
(and in case you are wondering, this is the rug we have. Can’t wait to put it in our new home!)
This also leads into my next point about kid-proofing.
Even if you don’t have little ones running around, if there will be any during the holidays, take some time to kid proof. Put breakable things up out of their reach, consider buying some gates if you don’t have doors to block of the stairs, maybe even invest in outlet plugs.
You don’t have to go to extraordinary lengths to kid proof your home, and parents should obviously watch their kids, but I do think making a few minor adjustments to prevent the biggest “disasters” is worth it!
I probably don’t need to mention again how much I love cookies, but….I think I will! I don’t think Christmas is really complete without cookies. My mom always has cookies in the cookie jar when guests arrive, and I always look forward to this when I come over to her house. Cookies are generally pretty easy to make, so they are a great snack to have on hand for guests (expected and unexpected.) Plus, I think one of the best “scents” of Christmas is cookies baking. Don’t you think so?
Buy Disposable Products
I’m sure most people like to pull out their fine china for Christmas, which is awesome. One of these days we might actually open our box of china we got for our wedding for that exact purpose. However, there are usually more get togethers than just on Christmas, and I don’t think fine china is really necessary for all of those (especially if it’s just a fun pizza lunch or something!) Disposable products are key for this.
My mom always stocks up on disposable sippy cups because there are so many little kids running around. She’s found that these always seem to disappear somehow, so buying disposable, cheaper ones are better than nice ones. For the price of one nice one, she can buy about six cheaper ones. If a few of them go missing, it’s less of a loss!
Buy Lots of Food (And Kinds People Like/Can Have)
Like it or not, the holidays usually mean yummy good. At least, to me it does! Stocking up on easy snack foods (like chips and salsa) is a great idea. I also think it’s smart to meal plan if you will be hosting people for meals. My parents always have someone staying with them during Christmas, and my mom always makes sure to plan meals that she knows their guests will enjoy.
Since Jack has a lot of food limitations, it’s always a good idea to ask guests that are coming over if there is anything that they or their family cannot have. While I think most people who deal with food allergies and intolerances are good about informing people (or bringing alternate foods), it’s nice to ask. I always appreciate when people ask. I typically will ask them what they are planning on making, so I can bring something similar for Jack.
Change the Sheets
If you have people staying with you, be sure to change the sheets on the bed they will be staying in! This may seem a bit silly to mention, but you never know – it might slip your mind! I personally like the idea of making people feel like they are staying at a hotel when they come stay with us, and if you are like this, there are a few other things you can do to go the extra mile:
- Put a chocolate on pillows
- Put together a little basket of toiletries
- Place freshly washed towels on a chair in the room (so they don’t have to rummage through your linen closet to find it!)
Nothing gets me in the Christmas spirit more than Christmas music. Whether you have a nice collection of Christmas CDs or you just put on Pandora’s Christmas CD, Christmas songs are so fun. If you are getting ready for your guests, it can make the process a little more pleasant. Putting on Christmas music when guests are arriving and visiting can just make the room feel so much more cheery!
If you don’t have any extra rooms or beds, air mattresses are wonderful to have! We recently bought one from that is honestly more comfortable than our actual bed. Air mattresses can be easily set up anywhere, and they are perfect to have for last minute guests.
I’m sure most of you have heard of a Lazy Susan – right? They are awesome for helping food get around the table in an orderly fashion. You may want to invest in a couple if you have a long table!
Be sure to check out Life After Laundry’s awesome post here about preparing your home for the holidays in general!
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.
Tammy Northrup says
Great tips here. Thanks for sharing!
Brenna @ Life After Laundry says
Love the great tips. We will have guest off and on all week, so I will be referring to this over the next couple days.
Great tips! I always have tons of tins of cookies laying around. Getting an air mattress probably needs to be on our list this year as well.
Katelyn Fagan says
Great post Katie!! These are some amazing ideas. I love them all!! I think the cookie prep one is definitely not one I would think about as a Christmas prep step. But, it is fun for kids to decorate cookies (and eat them).
Thank you Katelyn! I think cookie prep is definitely essential 😉 haha. Jack really loves making them with me, so hopefully it’s making some fun memories for him as well 🙂