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Either way, you’ll want to get your home in tip-top shape so that it’s guest-ready from now until New Year’s. (The bonus? You’ll start 2018 off with a more organized home, giving you a jumpstart on those resolutions).
Here’s expert tips to get your home guest-ready for the holidays.
1. Enlist Closetbox
Closetbox is here to help you make room for the holidays, whether you want to trade out your spooky Halloween decor for your Christmas tree or you need to quickly convert your home office into a guest bedroom to house family members coming into town. It’s easy. Closetbox will come and pick up your belongings and store them in your own private vault at Closetbox’s secure storage facility. When you need something back, just contact Closetbox and your belongings will be returned.
2. Clear out the guest room closet
Do a good deep clean of the guest room, especially the closet, suggests Jill M. Ornelas, an interior designer at Ambiance. The guest room closet is for guests only, she says. Once you’ve got the closet cleaned out, you can add some hangers, as well as a bathrobe and slippers exclusively for your guests, Ornelas suggests.
3. Get your guest bedroom in good shape
If you are hosting friends or family members from out of town, try to look at your home—and specifically the guest bedroom—from their point of view, suggests Teris Pantazes, co-founder of EFynch.com, a handyman and homeowner community in the Mid-Atlantic region. “Even your closest family member will appreciate some personal space,” Pantazes says. “Try to make sure they have a quiet bedroom and bathroom.” Also, go the extra mile by providing things like phone chargers, extra toilet paper in the bathroom and blanket options, Pantazes suggests. It’s also a thoughtful gesture to have some extra jackets and sweatshirts on hand in case your guests didn’t pack enough warm clothes, Pantazes says.
4. Give some rooms a fresh coat of paint
If you’ve got the time, try giving the guest bedroom or kitchen a fresh coat of paint. It’s a quick chore, but makes a big impact, Pantazes says.
5. Re-arrange your photo gallery
One way to make sure your guests feel at “home sweet home?” By putting out pictures of you and the guest, suggests Pantazes. Think of it as a guest exhibit among your family photos; the thoughtful gesture will go a long way.
6. Meal plan
While you’re hosting guests, you probably won’t have a ton of time to be driving back and forth between the grocery store or tied to the kitchen prepping meals. That’s why Pretty Patel, the founder of a vegetarian vegan meal planning service called Plan V, suggests planning what you’re going to cook during the holidays. Make a grocery list and prep about 70 percent of the dinner you plan to cook in advance.
7. Prep frozen foods
There’s no need to buy high-sodium freezer foods when you can make then on your own at home and have lunches on hand for you and your house guests. Jonathan Bloom, of WastedFood.com, has partnered with FoodSaver to share some holiday tips. He suggests making taquitos, burritos or pita pocket sandwiches in advance. They freeze easily with no quality loss, he says.
8. Put together an ‘emergency cleaning’ kit
Let’s be realistic: There’s a good chance food might get dropped on the carpet or a glass of wine might spill on the couch. Be prepared with an emergency kit stored with proven stain removers like salt, soda and lemon and a couple of rags, suggests Lauren Haynes, a cleaning and home organizing expert at Domestic Cleaners.
9. Liven up the space with fresh flowers
Another small gestures that goes a long way? Adding vases of flowers in guest rooms and throughout the house. You can find some bouquets under $5 at stores like Trader Joe’s and split them into vases. Also, if it’s been since high school homecoming since you gave carnations a chance, reconsider them! They are hearty and can last for weeks, and dark red ones are apropos for the holiday season.
10. Plan a pretty tablescape
You’ve got your holiday meal figured out. Now, it’s time to set the table with a gorgeous tablescape. Mini pumpkins are a great addition to a Thanksgiving table and pinecones and evergreen sprigs can lend the holiday spirit to a Christmas dinner. If you’re in Colorado in the Denver or Boulder area, you can rent a tablescape from Cloth and Gold that comes complete with a theme and dishes.
10 tips to get your home ready for holiday guests