Are you opening your doors to family members or friends this holiday season? Here are some no fail ideas to prep you guest room with holiday cheer—many items may even be on sale! Holly Jolly indeed.
Spare Some Space
Clear out some space in your entryway. Depending on the climate where you live, you guests may have bulky coats, boots, and other cold-weather accessories. To keep that stuff neatly out of the way during their stay, arrange for plenty of extra room by your front door and in your coat closet beforehand. Many guest room closets tend to house other long-term storage—oversized suitcases, boxes of decorations, old kids’ clothes. While guests tend to look past this, make sure there is an appropriate amount of empty space on the closet rod for handing clothes, and that the closet floor is clear for shoes and bags. Also make sure there is at least one empty dresser (even if it doubles as a small nightstand) for storing folded clothes. Keep a range of empty hangers available in the closet, including wooden blazer hangers, a few velvet hangers for delicate clothing, and a handful of skirt and pant hangers.
Childproof Your Place
If your guest includes babies or small children, be sure to store away any potentially harmful objects or décor in your home, and do any necessary childproofing of furniture.
…And Don’t Forget the Pets
In the same way that parents will likely arrive prepared, visitors with pets will probably also pack everything they need. Still, a nice gesture would be to ask if they need any extra pet necessities or food.
Set the Mood
Use scented candles, room sprays, or diffusers in seasonal scents to give off a warm, holiday-ready feel and get everyone geared up for festivities. Go the extra step and stock the guest bathroom with holiday scented soaps and lotions. Mrs. Meyers makes wonderful pine and peppermint varieties for just such occasions.
Make the Beds
Before guests arrive, make up their beds with a fresh set of sheets and set out towels and washcloths for each guest. It’s fun to have an extra set of sheets in a holiday theme. No need to go all out, keep with your basic solid colored cover and add pillows and sheets to update for the season. Inexpensive and easy to alter after the holidays.
Make it comfortable
Guests tend to have a wide range of temperature preferences—some opt for an ice-cold space for sleeping, while others will freeze if the temperature is cooler than in their own homes. Because most guests won’t realize it until the middle of the night—when they probably won’t want to wake you to ask for help—put additional options within easy reach. A stack of cozy folded blankets will do (in both throw and bed sizes), as will a circular fan stored in the closet. Remember too, that some guests aren’t used to nighttime noise, so be sure to include a small, inexpensive sound machine in the closet that they can plug in if necessary. If your guest room doubles as another household space—say and office or playroom—make sure that the room is tidy and that the carved out guest area is outfitted with a cozy bed, a good lamp, a small dresser, and a foldable luggage stand.
If you guests are coming from far and wide, they’ve probably left their armory of full-sized beauty products behind in favor of TSA-friendly travel bottles. Consider investing in a variety of nicer travel-sized products—these are available at stores like Sephora and Ulta for only a few dollars a bottle, and will make your guest feel like they’re in a luxury suite. Also be sure to stock the guest bathroom with extra toiletries that they may have forgotten at home: A toothbrush, lotion, comb, razor, bar of soap, and a travel-sized tube of toothpaste. Arrange all the products in a pretty basket on their dresser. Extra touches like warm slipper or even a snuggly robe are thoughtful and appreciated.
Keep a Food Stash
Make guests feel at home by stocking a cabinet with snacks and pantry staples for whenever the machines strike. Also, have things like fruit and veggies on hand, and simply show guest where it’s all located when they arrive so they can feel free to dig in. Rattan trays are great because they’re easy and functional as they organize and corral all of these necessities. They don’t have huge handles, so they add just the right amount of texture without being overpowering to the overall design.
Stock Cocktail Supplies
Mke sure your bar has plenty of mixers, liquors, and tools so that your guests can help themselves to their cocktail of choice.
Keep Them Informed
Place a small notebook or a card on their bedside table with important household info on it, such as the Wi-Fi password or an alarm code you may want them to keep on hand. If your guest is staying more than a day or so, also leave them an extra house key (on a bright, pretty ribbon) so they feel like they can come and go as they please. If their stay is longer than a few nights, or if you plan on going to work during their visit, your houseguests may want to venture out on their own. Provide information on local cafes, restaurants, theaters, and places to shop—they’ll kill some time while exploring, and you’ll get some peace and quiet.
Do Something Fun
To help bond and bring out the holiday spirit at home, plan an activity your family and your guests can do together—and involve the kids too. Whether you decorate cookies or wrap gifts as a group, everyone will feel a sense of togetherness that will diffuse and tension or stress from the craziness of the season.
Make Sure your guests leave on a sweet note by sending them home with some dessert leftovers for the road.
Lastly, place a guestbook on the dresser; it’s such a nice tradition to have people share memories, especially at Christmas time!