If you plan to welcome overnight guests into your home this holiday, you’ll need to make a few preparations to ensure their comfort — as well as to ensure your own sanity so that you can actually enjoy their company.
With a little prior planning, hosting will be a breeze! Try these simple tips:
Make it cozy
In addition to crisp linens and plush bedding that help promote a great night’s sleep, place extra blankets and pillows in a decorative basket at the foot of the bed for guests to grab as needed. Provide both light and heavy blankets, along with a lightweight throw.
Since almost all of us travel with electronics now — smartphones, tablets, laptops, ebook readers — be sure there are a couple of empty electrical outlets your guests will be able to reach without moving furniture. If you’re short on outlets or they’re inaccessible, buy a basic power strip that can handle multiple plugs, plug it into the nearest wall outlet, and place it on the bedside table for easy access.
Offer a few books and magazines to help your night owl guests wind down from their busy day of travel. If your guests are close family members, set out a photo album or two for them to flip through as well!
Stock up on snacks
Stock up on plenty of snack-type foods to curb guests’ appetites between meals, and invite everyone to help themselves. Offer a variety of goodies, such as cheese and crackers, fresh fruit, and mixed nuts. If any of your guests are early risers, show them where they can find the essentials for coffee in the morning, just in case they’re ready for a cup of joe before you’re up.
Offer closet or drawer space
Invite your guests to feel at home by providing drawer space or closet space that will allow them to unpack their suitcase and get organized. Offer a handful of empty hangers, and make sure empty drawers are completely dust-free.
Just in case your guests forget to pack their toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, floss, or pain reliever, have extra travel-size supplies on hand, displayed in the bathroom for their use. Be sure the regular supplies are ready, too, such as hand soap and several rolls of toilet paper. (It’s also nice to be sure there’s a plunger near the toilet as well as some air freshener.)
Show guests where they can find towels, and if multiple guests are sharing one bathroom, set out one large bath towel, one hand towel and one wash cloth per guest.
Run the dishwasher nightly
Plan to run your dishwasher each night, and unload and put away dishes first thing each morning to avoid a dirty dish pile-up. While your normal routine may be to jam-pack every last bit of space before you would even consider turning running a cycle, you’ll rest more peacefully knowing the kitchen is clean and clutter-free.
Keep guests in the loop by letting them know about any plans or activities during they days they are staying with you. This will help make sure no one is caught off guard, and allow them to plan their free time and what to wear. Designate a space — on the fridge, the dining table, or via an online messaging system — to all stay on the same page.