Getting Your Guest Room Ready for the Holidays
It’s that wonderful time of the year when we open our homes to close friends and cherished relatives to help us celebrate the holiday season. Whether they’re visiting from a neighboring town or have traveled long distances we want them to feel welcome and comfortable. All it takes is a little planning and adding just the right touches to make them feel right at home.
Unclutter the Room
Imagine your relatives having spent a grueling day of travel and finally arrive at your door only to find their accommodations consisting of a room full of boxes with an air mattress on the floor. The tired guests end up spending the first few hours of their visit clearing the clutter and scouring the house for stray bedding and towels. That's not the way to treat company.
Here's the right way to do it. Before your guests arrive start by clearing out the clutter. Store away piles of stuff in lidded bins under the bed, in the attic or out in the garage. Make their sleeping quarters as tidy and comfy as possible whether it's in a spare room, family room, basement or home office.
Inspect and Clean
Put yourself in your guest’s shoes and check out the accommodations. Spend a little time in the space to ensure everything is in tip-top shape. Check for burned out light bulbs. Vacuum and spot clean the carpet. Dust the blinds and furniture to reduce allergens. Wash the bedding. Clear out dust bunnies from under the bed and sweep away cobwebs on the ceiling. Seal air leaks around windows. Make sure the television and remote work. Give the guest bathroom a good cleaning and fix dripping faucets.
Provide Ample Storage
Clear out the closet to provide guests plenty of space to hang their clothing. A collection of hangers with and without clips will take care of dresses, shirts, jackets and slacks. Purchase a luggage rack to keep suitcases off the floor. Use over-the-door hooks in bedroom and bath areas for a convenient spot for pajamas, robes and towels. Empty a dresser drawer or two for folded clothing. Clear off surfaces to give guests a place for their personal belongings.
Supply Toiletry Basics
Assemble a basket of toiletries to welcome your guests. Select sample sizes of shampoo, conditioner and soap, plus deodorant, toothpaste and mouthwash. Place them in a decorative basket with bath oil, fragrant body spray and a scented candle--just like a hotel.
Lay out a collection of fresh towels and washcloths. Don’t forget the cotton swabs, tissues and toilet paper. Make sure there’s a full roll of toilet paper in the holder. For good measure, store an extra roll or two on the toilet tank. Provide a new box of tissues so they don’t run out.
Prepare Proper Bedding
Your guests will sleep like proverbial babes if you dress their bed in comfy linens. If you can’t afford genuine down, look for a mid-weight down alternative comforter. Keep the comforter clean by using a duvet cover.
Freshly laundered white sheets are a thoughtful touch for a well-made guest bed. Try easy-care bamboo, sateen or jersey knit sheets. They're ultra-soft and virtually wrinkle-free. Lay a spare blanket across the foot of the bed to provide extra warmth on chilly nights.
Don’t skimp on the bed pillows. Purchasing inexpensive pillows may seem like a good idea for the guest room but they aren't very comfortable and quickly turn to mush. Step up and purchase pillows you would be happy sleeping on. Help your guests drift off to sleep by spritzing their sheets with lavender-scented linen spray.
Furnish Smart Additions
Allow your guests to come and go by offering them a spare set of house keys. Identify the keys with color coded plastic sleeves placed on a whimsical key ring. Prepare a binder for visitors including your home’s address, phone and cell numbers, nearby cross streets, the alarm code and emergency contact numbers.
Inspire guests to take advantage of local sites with a list of seasonal events and attractions. A directory of restaurants and shops will also prove handy for visitors unfamiliar with the area. A collection of maps, public transportation schedules and tourist brochures will give guests plenty of choices for things to do.
Add Little Extras
Hotel-like touches will make your visitors’ holiday stay more memorable. A bottle or carafe of water, a selection of fruit and granola bars and a simple seasonal flower arrangement will make your guests feel indulged. Provide an alarm clock for early sightseeing excursions. Plug in a nightlight so a trip to the bathroom doesn’t result in tripping over a piece of furniture.
An inviting stack of books and magazines will give your guests something to do during their down time. Make sure you have good reading lamps beside the bed or positioned near a seating area. Place a pair of reading glasses on the nightstand for guests that forget to bring theirs.
In the morning serve simple pastries, coffee or tea in the comfort of their room. This will cut down on morning chaos. Your guests will be able to have a leisurely start to the day and it will give your family a chance to get ready for work and school.
© 2012 Linda Chechar