Santa won’t be the only one making an appearance later this year. Are you expecting friends and relatives to stay overnight this holiday season? To keep them comfortable and at the same time lower your stress level, we’ve developed a handy checklist so you won’t leave anything to chance.


Family Greeting House Guests


Follow these suggestions, and once your guests arrive, you can enjoy their company instead of racing around cleaning and polishing. You also might want to read 15 Essentials for Guest Bed and Bathrooms.

1. Don’t Deep Clean

I knew a family that remodeled at least one room in their home every year right before Thanksgiving. Harried doesn’t begin to describe those two once the holiday rolled around. Prioritize what you clean and stick to the basics. Sweep or vacuum floors, clear tables and counters and sanitize the bathroom the guests use.


Cleaning Bathroom


2. Add Welcoming Touches to the Guest Room

Place a lamp and favorite book on the bedside table, top the bed with a few throw pillows and an afghan for napping, or place a bouquet of fresh, cut flowers on the dresser.


Flowers On Nigh Stand


3. Wash and Change the Linens

Offer your friends or family members clean, crisp sheets, not the one with the big hole in the center. Ditto for the blankets and pillows, even if you have to buy new ones. You may have laundered the bed linens after your last guests, but after sitting for a spell, they develop a stale smell.


Changing Bed Linens

4. Pack a Guest Kit

Hotels do this and so do good hostesses. Buy sample sizes of shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, mouthwash and dental floss during the year and stash them away. Place them in a basket in the guest bath, ready to use right before your visitors arrive.


Guest Toiletries


5. Give Them Room in the Closet

Clear out an area so they can hang their clothes and so they won’t have to live out of a suitcase. If you want to go all-hotel on them, put a suitcase stand in the guest room.


Closet Guest Room


6. Make Space for Parking

Not all overnighters fly in. Some drive and need a place to park their vehicle.


Parking Sign


7. Put Toilet Paper in Plain Sight

This is nothing you want to have to hunt for when you need it.


Toilet Paper Basket


8. Create a Snack Shelf

Visitors get hungry and not always when you want to eat. The polite ones won’t say anything. Let them know they can help themselves to anything in the designated area or from a special area of the refrigerator or pantry.


Opening Fridge


9. Place Throws in the Living Room

With November and December comes cold weather. Your company will appreciate having small blankets available on your sofa and chairs so they can warm up.


Throw Blankets


10. Place Fuzzy, Warm Socks by the Door

Let your visitors shed their shoes or boots at the door and don a pair of cozy socks while they’re inside your home. Collect these during the year when they go on sale.

Fuzzy Socks

11. Infuse Your Home With Seasonal Scents

If you bake, do so with pumpkin, ginger and chocolate. Otherwise, light scented candles that have a traditional holiday fragrance. Fill your slow cooker with hot, spiced cider and everyone can help themselves.


Mulled Cider


12. Don’t Forget the Kids

Create a table where they can play board games and include age-appropriate games.


Kid Board Games


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About the Author: is a full-service home remodeling and construction general contractor serving the greater Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, and San Jose area. Home improvement is hard, and we make it easier for you every step of the way. That starts by understanding your goals, whether it’s making a space more livable, expanding your home, repairing damage, adding room for relatives, or something completely different. We’ll work with you to ensure you’re happy with the project from start to finish.