Published: November 15, 2017
The holiday season is here, and that means it’s the most wonderful time of the year. That is, until your in-laws show up at your house two days early or your friend from work who just happened to be in your neighborhood stops by. For those unexpected holiday guests, it’s important to have a game plan to get your house ready for company on short notice. Check out UNITS tips for prepping your home for surprise guests:
Maintain a visitor ready bathroom
The first things many guests who have traveled from a long distance will do when they arrive at your house is ask to use your bathroom. Have all family members make it a habit to wipe down the vanity countertop when they leave the bathroom. Keep some of these DIY toilet bowl cleaning bombs in a jar under your sink to quickly freshen up the appearance of your toilet when guests show up.
Get the coat closet ready
Don’t open your entryway closet in front of guests and immediately have to dive out of the way of an avalanche of clutter. Plan ahead by using the holidays as an excuse to finally declutter and sort your coat closet. Store away anything that doesn’t belong in there and make sure you have empty hangers for coats and scarves.
Prep food you can quickly pop in the oven
It’s not easy to entertain guests and prepare and cook an entire meal at the same time. Prep some make-ahead meals that you can pop in the oven to warm up when guests and family members grow hungry.
Have some fresh seasonal decor around the main living area
Few things liven up the appearance of a room more than fresh flowers. Pick up some seasonal flower arrangements and place them around the most heavily trafficked areas in your home. Not only will they look nice and festive, it will also naturally freshen up the scent in those rooms.
Keep a laundry basket for last minute clutter
No matter how much cleaning you do beforehand, your house will inevitably begin to become littered with toys, bags, shoes and miscellaneous electronics. For these unavoidable clutter items, keep an empty laundry basket near the main living areas. When an especially thoughtful unexpected guest sends you a text saying they’ll be stopping by in 15 minutes, you can “clean up” without having to figure out where everything goes. Find more clutter fighting tips here.
Have a plan for pets when the doorbell rings
You might not be able to explain to your dog beforehand not to go crazy when guests show up. However, you can have a plan in place in case guests stop by without warning. Have a space ready to put your dog if they are likely to jump or bark at visitors. Make sure you pick up any dog poop you may have in your front yard, or your guests might find something unpleasant on their shoes that they then track through your home. Find some more tips here and here for preparing dogs for holiday guests.
Stock up on snack food and beverages
Hosts always offer guests a drink or snack when they get in. However, if all you have in your kitchen is expired potato chips and some orange juice, you’ll be sorely unprepared. Make a trip to the grocery store to get some snack foods, sodas, beer and ingredients for mixed drinks. This is also a good opportunity to clear out your pantry and refrigerator of old, expired foods.
Put together a guest bathroom kit
Play the ultimate host by putting together a few kits of essential personal care items for your guests. A toothbrush, travel size toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body soap and body lotion cover any possible forgotten toiletries. Throw in a small welcome gift such as chocolates or a candle to really make your guests feel at home.
When you follow UNITS tips to prepare for the holidays, you’ll have more time to relax and enjoy the festivities and love that comes along with the season.