Monthly Archives: December 2011

Joyce’s Voice…Tips on How To Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

 Having guest stay at your house during the holidays is wonderful, but it can also be stressful. My feeling is that it really helps if you are prepared. Here are some ideas I found that may help you!


The day before guests arrive is no time to pull apart junk drawers and clean  out linen closets. Declutter guest rooms and public areas — foyer,  kitchen, living room, den, and dining room. Remove anything unnecessary from  countertops, coffee tables, and ottomans; if it’s out of sight, keep it out of  mind, for now.

If you run short of time, bag up the clutter and store it  in car trunks, basements, and out-of-the-way closets. Sort and arrange after  your guests depart.


Light the way: Even though you can  navigate your home blindfolded, your guests can’t. Make sure outside lights are  working so they don’t trip on the way to your door. Put motion-activated night  lights in hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms to ensure safe passage after the sun  sets.

Child proofing: Ask parents to bring hardware that  keeps their small ones safe, such as baby gates and cabinet locks. Transfer  toxic cleaners and medicines from base to wall cabinets. Hide matches and  lighters.

Fire prevention: If you didn’t freshen smoke detector batteries when you switched the clocks  to Daylight Savings Time, change them now. After your guests arrive, run a quick  fire drill: Make sure they can locate exits and fire extinguishers, and that  they know how to open windows and doors.

Entryway upgrades

Your home’s foyer is the first place guests see, so make a good first  impression.

  • Remove scratches from hardwood floors, stairs, and wood railings.  Place a small rug or welcome mat at the entrance to protect floors from mud and  snow.
  • Clear out shoes, umbrellas, and other clutter.
  • Add extra hooks to walls so guests can hang coats and hats.
  • Add a storage bench where guests can remove boots and shoes.

Kitchen prep

Your kitchen is command central during the holidays, so make sure it’s ready  for guests and extra helpers.

  • To increase storage, install a pot rack to clear cooking items off  countertops and ranges.
  • Move your coffee station into a family room so guests don’t crowd the  kitchen when you’re trying to fix meals.
  • If you like to visit while you’re cooking, place extra stools and chairs  around the perimeter of your kitchen so guests can set a spell.

Sleeping arrangements

If you’ve got a guest room, replace the ceiling fixture with a ceiling fan  and light combo, which helps guests customize their room temperature without  fiddling with the thermostat for the entire house.

To carve sleeping space out of public areas, buy a folding screen or rolling bookcase, which will provide privacy for sleepers.  Fold or roll it away in the morning.

Bathroom storage

Bring toilet paper, towels, and toiletries out of hiding, and place them on  open shelves so guests can find them easily.

If you don’t have enough wall space for shelves, place these items in open  baskets around the bathroom.

Also, outfit each tub with a bath mat (to avoid falls) and each toilet with a  plunger (to avoid embarrassment).

What tips do you have for getting ready for guests this holiday  season?

By Lisa Kaplan Gordon