Tips for getting your home ready for holiday guests

-- Metro Creative ServicesDecember 20, 2012 

Family gatherings are synonymous with the holiday season. Even those families who have spread out far and wide often manage to come together at least once at the end of the year.

When families include members who don't live within driving distance of one another, those who aren't hosting the holiday festivities must plan an overnight stay. Holiday hosts who want to go the extra mile can invite guests to forgo hotels and stay overnight at their homes, where guests can spend more time with hosts and won't have to worry about finding lodging.

Though it's a nice gesture to host overnight guests during the holiday season, it's also one that requires a little work on the part of the hosts. The following are a few pointers for hosts who want to ensure everything is ready and accommodating for overnight guests.

Take inventory of household linens

Depending on how many guests you'll be hosting, you may need to stock up on extra linens. If only one or two people will be staying overnight, you should be able to make due with what you have.

Discuss pet allergies

Holiday hosts who have pets should discuss pet allergies with potential overnight guests in advance of their arrival. If guests are allergic to your pets, then it might not be comfortable for them to stay overnight at your home. While most families would not want to shelter their pets on a holiday, doing so is an option. Pet hair and dander around the house might be enough to trigger an allergic attack even when the pet isn't in or around the home, so sheltering the pet may not be the best solution

Discuss this issue with prospective guests well in advance of the season so they have time to find affordable lodging in the event that any of them do have a pet allergy.

Stock up on toiletries

Toiletries are bound to run out if you're hosting guests for the holidays. Before guests arrive, stock up on these items, including toilet and facial tissue, hand soap, bath soap, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste and extra toothbrushes in case guests forgot to pack their own.

Clear the house of clutter

Clutter can make a home seem even more crowded when guests are staying overnight. When hosting guests for the holidays, you will need all the space you can get, so clear the house of as much clutter as possible. Put all toys away and clear the common areas of items like shoes and clothing that can make a space seem more cramped.

Don't be caught off guard by a storm.

If guests will be staying multiple nights, it's safe to assume everyone, hosts and guests included, will want to get out of the house, be it to enjoy local holiday celebrations or simply to avoid cabin fever. But the holiday season gets its fair share of inclement weather, including snow. Hosts should not be caught off guard by a snowstorm, stocking up on items like a snow shovel and salt or a de-icing product for walkways and driveways before guests arrive. This will ensure everyone won't feel trapped inside the house should a storm arrive unexpectedly.

Hosting guests for the holidays is no small task. But hosts who prepare in advance can ensure everyone makes the most of their time together.

The Sierra Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service