Preparing for holiday house guests

They are coming over for the holidays, and they are bringing more than just presents. That’s right, your relatives along with their kids, their stuff, and lots of stress! However, you can be prepared! The following tips will give you some simple ways to get yourself prepared ahead of time:

  1. Clean off your dining table today! I don’t mean the night before, do it today (or at least start). Start finding a permanent home for each item that has accumulated on your dining room table. Chances are the same items end up there again and again because they don’t have a permanent home within your home. Involve the whole family as most of the time, clutter on the dining table belongs to more than just one person. Once you have the table cleaned off, put a centerpiece on it, or something out of the ordinary to make sure it does not accumulate stuff before your dinner party.
  2. Get the dishes ready. If you need to borrow or use special serving dishes or holiday dishes, start taking them out now or borrowing them and get them washed. Use the dining room table as a staging ground to keep them until the holiday.
  3. Clean the house room by room. Pick a room each day or a few rooms each week. Or schedule a special session with your normal cleaning service.
    Don’t wait until the night before everyone arrives to start cleaning.
  4. Take inventory of your guest spaces. Can your guests sleep on your pull out couch or in your spare room comfortably? Does the room need to be cleaned? This is a great time to get your guest items organized, and to throw out and donate any unnecessary items that have found their way into your guest spaces.
  5. Create a friendly environment for your guests. Lay out guest towels, bathrobes, magazines, mints, maps (for your out of town guests), and water for your guests. Provide your guests with enough information so that they can enjoy your geographic area without assistance from you. Make sure they are familiar with phone and Internet access at your home as well.
  6. Be prepared to spend time with your relatives. Do your cleaning and preparation ahead of time so you can spend time relaxing and visiting, and not in the kitchen. If your relatives will be around for a number of days, consider making dinner reservations at a local restaurant so you can take a night and all relax together.
  7. Ask your guests if they have any special dietary needs before they arrive. This will help you avid any last minute trips to the grocery store.
  8. Have any gifts wrapped and ready to distribute before your guests arrive. They are lots of fun to shake and look at for the kids in your family. This will also allow you to spend time with your family instead of locked up in your bedroom wrapping presents.
  9. Remember to enjoy your company. Sharing your home can be stressful, but by cleaning and organizing in advance, you can have a relaxing time visiting with those you love!

Bonnie Joy Dewkett is the owner and operator of The Joyful Organizer. She offers professional organization services to help you organize your home and your life.

8 Comments for “Preparing for holiday house guests”

  1. posted by Made To Organize on

    What a GREAT list. Thank you for sharing! I’ve already got my list going for the next few weeks, but I obviously left off a few important things after reading this post. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  2. posted by Sheryl on

    We have friends coming at Thanksgiving to spend a couple of days. I printed out a blank calendar and planned out what needs to be done each day until they get here, and so far, it’s working great. Except…the dining table. Um, oops, that’s not on the calendar…

  3. posted by Karen on

    #1 had me laughing. We homeschool and the dining room table is in our “schoolroom” (fomerly the dining room). If i cleaned it off now we wouldn’t be schooling until after Thanksgiving!

  4. posted by Tabitha (From Single to Married) on

    I’ll have to forward this list to my mother since they are hosting all of our families this year – fun for them!! 🙂

  5. posted by Fit Bottomed Girls on

    No one is coming to my house for Thanksgiving, but I still think I’ll follow some of these tips to get my house in order! Company or not, it needs some love. 🙂

  6. posted by Annie on

    Gosh darn it, Bonnie – have you been looking in my dining room window? Great list! I can’t think of a think I would. Now I need to go clean off the table, and then get to work on the guest rooms…..

  7. posted by Sarah on

    As I sit here using my laptop, which is on my dining room table (squeezed in between the box of mittens, scarves and hats; folded laundry; two reuseable grocery bags; a pile of coupons; a cup of coffee; thank-you notes; and the laptop bag), I see my worst nightmare has come true: The Unclutterer has been filming me through my computer and knows the evils of my dining room table.
    My husband told me I was paranoid, but this post confirms it.

  8. posted by FinanciallySmart on

    Thank you for this article. Cluttering on the dining room table is always the problem in the home and so a glass with some lily in it will stem it.

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