With the holidays approaching, it’s important that your home is stocked and ready for visitors.
Whether close relatives or more distant friends of the family, traveling far or living locally, staying for dinner or for a few days, having extra supplies and amenities on hand for your guests will make your home more festive and welcoming. No one wants to run out to the store for those last-minute items, so prepare ahead and be the host with the most!
Paper towels, tissues, disposable plates and travel cups are always handy to have around. Don’t lose out on making memories with guests as you spend time leaning over the sink. And send your traveling guests home with freshly made coffee, hot cider or hot chocolate. Stock up on all paper goods before your guests arrive – holiday theme optional!
Health and Safety
Take inventory your first aid kit and medicine cabinet for commonly requested items. Bandages, ointment and hydrogen peroxide are necessities. Aspirin, ibuprofen, tablets for acid reflux, and that indigestion-solving pink stuff are good basic medications. Have food allergy (Benadryl, Lactaid) and seasonal allergy medication (Claritin, e.g.) on hand. Daytime and nighttime cold remedies, sinus pressure alleviators, and vitamin supplements (Emergen-C, e.g.) are also good standbys for traveling guests.
Sheets, Pillowcases, and Blankets
If you’re hosting guests overnight, be sure to have fresh sheets and pillowcases at the ready, with extras stowed away in the linen closet. And there are never too many blankets! At most home goods stores, seasonal blankets are relatively inexpensive, and having extras on hand for visitors prepares you for everyone!
Snack Foods and Beverages
When you’re hosting guests, you’re always thinking about the main family feast – but don’t forget snacks and drinks for before or after! You don’t want to have to go to the grocery store for staples like cereal, snack bars, milk, bread, coffee or tea while you’re entertaining guests.
Before and after your guests arrive, you’ll want to prepare the house by giving it a deeper-than-usual clean. More than vacuuming, you’ll likely want to wash the floors. More than wiping down the counters, you’ll want to clean out the cabinets and pantry shelves (and get rid of any expired foods). Plan ahead for guests with disinfectant wipes or sprays, sponges or rags, a new mop and broom, laundry detergent and softener for those last-minute loads.
Firewood & Other Fireplace Needs
Get your fireplace inspected for the season if you haven’t yet. Stock up on firewood, propane, lighter fluid, or whatever else you typically use to get a fire crackling in the hearth.
The finishing touches on your home are the decorations take a space from home to homey. Scent is the most powerful evoker of emotion and candles and air fresheners with seasonal scents set the scene. Change out the pictures on the mantle and walls for holiday-themed family features and crafted ornaments. Use a small speaker and light projector for a holiday sound- and light-scape. Fresh, seasonal greenery make the rooms feel more cared for, lively and energetic. As guests arrive for the big event, encourage them to remove their hats and coats, offer a festive beverage and let them take in the sights and sounds of the season.
All the Rest
There are so many things you can have at-the-ready ready for your holiday guests in addition to what we’ve listed above. Hopefully this list helps inspire you.
Want more suggestions for getting your home ready for visitors? Consider…
- Nightlights for dark rooms and hallways
- Festive holiday bathroom and bedroom décor
- A well-stocked bar and pantry
- Quick fixes and home repairs
- Baking and crafting supplies
- Books, board games and card games for downtime
- Warm, fuzzy slippers and bathrobes
- Welcome baskets with supplies and a handwritten note
- Local neighborhood information
- Timeline or festive agenda of events and expectations
- Enough seating and tables to accommodate in every room
Think back to the home or hotel you’ve enjoyed staying in the most. What did you love about staying there, aside from the people you were with and the memories you made? If time or budget is limited, focus on providing the things you remember loving most, the things that made the experience more festive and fun. The less they have to plan for themselves, the more your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness and enjoy their time spent with you.