Fall is finally here and the holidays are fast approaching. Now is the season for visiting friends and family and you may be wondering how to prepare for company so they feel at home during their visit. As much as I hate to think about it, the chaos of the holidays will be here very quickly! Shopping, baking, wrapping and holiday parties are a lot of fun but add them to an already hectic schedule and you get one really stressed out mama.
One of the things I really enjoy about the holidays is having company to cook for but having house guests can be stressful. Where do they sleep? How do you cook for 4 extra mouths every day? How in the world are your in-laws going to share a bathroom with your kids, the biggest slobs on the planet? We have my a few friends coming from out of town for Thanksgiving s so I started doing a little bit of research on how to prepare for company.
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I’m hoping that by being prepared, I can avoid a little bit of the stress of having company over the holidays. If you have company coming, too, I hope these tips on how to prepare your home for guests make your life a little bit easier, too!
How to Prepare for Company
Offer some reading material in the guest room.
Your guests will appreciate the opportunity to glance through a few magazines or books as they wind down after a busy day. If you don’t need them anymore, offer to let them take the items home with them. It is always nice to rehome unneeded reading material!
Consider looking for a few small foldaway tables.
Guests will need to set down drinks and snacks and if left on the floor, these items usually become dog magnets in my house! Invest in a small set of folding tables that you can place strategically nearby chairs and couches. When guests go home, just fold them up and store them for next time.
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Make sure you have extra blankets.
Don’t spend a small fortune on them! Often times you can find very nice, inexpensive blankets and throws at thrift stores. Consider putting a cedar chest at the base of the bed to store extra blankets in for chilly nights when you have company visiting.
Add a personal touch to your guest room.
Make sure you have storage space in the guest room.
Our guest room is usually used for storage but before company comes I will clean out a couple of bureau drawers and add a few empty hangers to the closet so our guests can unpack their suitcases.
Offer necessities on the nightstand.
Make sure you stock the nightstand with things your guests may need like an alarm clock, a box of tissues, a coaster, and a small light for nighttime reading. Leave them a set of bamboo towels and a small container of all natural hand lotion on the bureau. You may want to leave a pen and small notebook for them to jot things down on. It is the little things that go a long way towards making your guests feel at home.
Start cooking now.
There is nothing more chaotic than having to cook for twice as many people as you normally do. In order to prepare your home for guests, make casseroles, cookies, etc ahead of time and put them in the freezer for reheating during their stay. You can also cook up chicken breasts, chop. and freeze for easy addition to stirfries and other quick meals. I will be baking a whole lot of cranberry bread and putting some lasagna in the freezer in the next couple of months.
Spruce up your entryway.
This is the first part of the house that your guests will see when they come in your home. Add a vase of colorful flowers and light a candle to provide a homey atmosphere. Grab a sponge and wipe those fingerprints off the wall and grab a broom to sweep off the porch.
Stock up on essentials.
You would be amazed at how much toilet paper a few extra people can go through. Make sure you stock up on paper products, soap, and basic grocery items like milk and juice. Keep in mind any food allergies or skin sensitivities that your guests may have.
Start cleaning ahead of time.
While I don’t need my house looking like a showcase I also don’t want people seeing the dust bunnies that normally live in my corners. Clean the lesser used rooms first (guest room, dining room, etc). Save the kitchen and bathroom for the day before your guests arrive. You don’t need to scrub the baseboards. If your guests are doing the white glove thing they shouldn’t be invited back! When you prepare your home for guests, scrub the most often used parts of the house and consider removing the rubber ducky from the guest bathtub!
Do you have any other tips on how to prepare for company? Please share!
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Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.