The holiday season brings together family and friends from near and far. The happiness and joy that comes with hosting your loved ones is often accompanied by the question “where will we put them?”
Making space for more people in an already occupied space can feel like more of a chore than a blessing, but some advance and thoughtful planning can help simplify the process. Read on for some ideas to see how you can make space for your holiday guests, and make them feel at home.
There are many houses where the guest room is used as a storage space for most of the year. This storage space is usually filled with things like extra furniture, old clothes, empty suitcases, and boxes full of unwanted household products waiting to be donated. Hosting house guests is the perfect time to assess the items in this space. Clear out the things that you no longer need, store what you want to keep in a basement, garage, or a storage unit, and make the guest room liveable for your visitors.
Multipurpose Furniture & More
For out-of-town guests (and lots of other occasions), keeping some pieces of multipurpose or compact furniture can come in handy. One we’re all familiar with is, of course, the sofa bed. Another hardworking multitasker is a dining table or desk that can be folded back into the wall when not in use, making space for other activities.
If several of your guests are children, sleeping bags are a fun choice for accommodations that can easily be packed away after their visit is over. Pitching a tent in their sleeping area adds to the fun.
Anyone who comes to stay with you for more than three days shouldn’t have to live out of a suitcase. Make them feel welcome and provide a place for them to organize their travel wardrobe by clearing some space in the closet or dresser in their room. Provide a few empty hangers for their delicate clothing, or empty a drawer so that the guest has an option of folding their clothes and keeping them.
Making some room in the hall or entry closet will also help to keep your house clean and tidy, especially if lots of wet or muddy shoes will be coming in from outside. It also makes your guest feel welcome to share your personal space.
Warm & Welcoming
Since your guests are in town for the holidays, don’t forget to add some fun decor to their space, too. Try some lights or paper decorations hung where they’ll be sleeping or some festive soaps in their bathroom. By adding adding these little personal touches you can make their home-away-from-home extra inviting.
In case you have a pet, then make an extra effort of cleaning up their fur from your couches and beds. Double-check that the lighting in the room you plan to give your guests is working with no burnt-out bulbs. Both are easy things to overlook in rooms where we may not normally spend much time.
If you have space, you could throw in an armchair and a lamp to make a cozy nook where your guests can read or relax.
Long distance travel + packing enough warm or fancy clothing + remembering to get everyone’s gifts into their suitcases = a few forgotten necessities. Just like clean counters and fresh, fluffy towels, houseguests always appreciate the gesture of supplying them with some basic toiletries.
Things like shampoo, soap, body lotion, new toothbrushes, and toothpaste can be all put in a pretty basket and kept in the washroom. This avoids your visitor the embarrassment of asking for toiletries and also helps you maintain your title as Host/ess with the Mostest.
Making them Comfortable
Chilly weather and holiday movies are an ideal combination for relaxation. Put a TV in the guest room so your guests can relax and catch up on shows they might not otherwise make time for in their busy lives.
Share your Wi-Fi passwords or any other house-related security passwords your houseguests may need to make their stay comfortable. In case they may be working over the holidays, a chair and a small table would make a perfect work corner where they can catch up on their official commitments.
If your visitors are there to stay for a long time, consider sharing a set of house keys with them so they can come and go without having to trouble you or disturb your daily routine.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Everyone has a problem sleeping the first few nights in a new bed. Your relatives have left their comfort zones and might need a little extra help getting comfortable at bedtime.
Try giving your guests the most comfortable room along with easy access to the washroom. In case your house is small and you do not have the space to give your guests complete privacy, then you could try putting a folding screen in the biggest room which would give them some privacy instead of none.
You could add a small table along with some fresh flowers and a couple of books for your guests to read, or set out some earplugs and sleeping masks for some extra peace and quiet. And of course, you can’t go wrong with extra blankets for adding coziness and warmth that they can adjust to their needs.
Planning their Stay
If your visitors are new to your city or state, give them a little information that can help them see the sights. Leave a few local magazines, travel brochures, or guide books of your city at their bedside. Or make a list of your favorite tourist spots, local parks, museums and restaurants and display it in their room.
If you know your guests will want to go exploring during their stay, play Travel Agent and speak to them ahead of time to see which sites or activities they’re interested in seeing or doing during their stay.
Take the local flavor one step further with a stock of locally made snacks in the guest room for your visitors, or leave out a kettle with some tea and coffee varieties that they can enjoy whenever they want.
A little planning can help enhance the space you offer your holiday guests, and take some of the stress out of hosting. Happy Holidays!
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