Sparkle & Smile

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Top Things to do to Prepare Your Home for the Holidays

Every year the holiday season brings so many wonderful things into our lives – the beautiful decorations, the festive music, and the hopes of getting the presents you have always wished for. But during this merry time in our lives, nothing makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up more than hearing those two little words, “they’re here” and not being prepared for those wonderful house guests standing at the front door.

School is out, friends are over, relatives are visiting from out of town, and extended family members get together more often this time than any other time of year. In order to enjoy all these precious moments, my home must be fully cleaned and prepared at all times, no matter who walks through the front door.

Here are some things you can do to make sure your home is “guest-ready” this holiday season:

Perform a thorough cleaning throughout your home. Vacuum area rugs and carpets. Sweep and mop floors. Use a homemade all-purpose cleaner to clean all countertops and bathrooms. Change the air filter in the hallway. Add fresh-scented pinecones to bowls and centerpieces to help make the rooms smell festive.

To accommodate house guests who are staying over, make sure there are enough inflatable mattresses on hand. If not, go out and purchase a few inexpensive ones. Be sure to check the mattresses ahead of time for leaks and air pressure. Cover the air mattresses with bed linens and pillows.

The room where your visitors will be staying should be a cozy enough so guests feel at home. Make the bed with clean, fresh bed linens, and vacuum the floor. Supply your guests with basic items such as an alarm clock, magazines, books and proper lighting. Wipe the mirror down with a damp microfiber cloth. Supply some closet space and some hangers so guests can unpack with ease. Provide pillows, blankets, robes and slippers so your guests won’t have to pack them. A luggage rack or small table is a thoughtful touch. If you have a dresser in your guest room, empty it and wipe down the drawers with a damp microfiber cloth. Lay out fresh clean towels, shampoos, soaps, water and a hairdryer. Fill a vase with fresh flowers and a dish with your guests’ favorite candies. Go above and beyond to make sure the guest room is one of the coziest rooms in the house!

When food shopping, keep those house guests in mind! Stock your kitchen with their favorite snacks. Find out ahead of time what types of beverages they like to drink and have them on hand when they arrive. Ask your guests if they have allergies to things like food, pets, or dust. This way you can keep those items away from the guests for the duration of their stay.

When the guests arrive, give them a tour of your home. Show them where their rooms are. Be respectful by keeping the noise level to a minimum. So guests have enough time to unpack and relax a bit. Offer refreshments.

For those guests who like to “stay a little longer,” offer them the use of the house spare key. If there are codes to enter or exit the home, make sure they have them, if needed.

To help your guests get around, get some maps ready. Map out the surrounding area, flagging points of interest. Make sure they know the address of your home.

Create a guest account on your computer so that guests can check his/her email and use the Internet without having access to your personal files and information.

If you have elderly guests, make sure their walking paths are free and clear to avoid accidents.

In the foyer, make sure guests have a place to hang their hat and coat and remove their shoes.

Make sure the entryway of your home is swept and neat. Add some ice melts to walkways and door entrances if the weather calls for snow or ice.

Light a fire in the fireplace to keep your guests cozy and warm.

Give your guests a “heads up” on tomorrows early morning schedule. Let them know when breakfast is usually served and when showers are usually taken.

Most importantly, focus on your guests. Switch gears, going from guest preparation mode to wonderful hostess mode. Make your guests feel comfortable, but most of all, remember to have fun!



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