Thanksgiving is around the corner, followed closely by Christmas, which means your home will soon be full of holiday guests. As tempting as it is to panic that your house is hardly presentable for the mailman to drop by, let alone the influx of family and friends sure to be knocking, fear not. We’ve put together a list of affordable ideas to get your home refreshed, organized and ready for even your mother-in-law’s approval.
1 – Replace old towels
If your towels are tattered and threadbare, this is your excuse to replace them. You don’t need to go overboard with pricey bath sheets, but a few new hand towels in bold shades can brighten up your bathroom. Use your current color scheme as a guide and choose one or two complementary hues. Hang some towels on the rack, but we also suggest placing an unused stool by the sink and displaying a pile of neatly folded towels on top for easy access and added elegance.
2 – Clear the counter
One of the most important ways you can get your home ready for guests this season is to clear your counter of unnecessary items. A clean, uncluttered countertop gives your bathroom an instant facelift and makes your home look organized. A nice liquid soap and hand cream should be the only things on the counter when guests arrive, with the exception of simple decor items such as candles or a dried flower arrangement (dried hydrangeas are always beautiful). Place all other toiletries in small baskets under the sink.
3 – Add some greenery
If you have enough light in your bathroom, plants can instantly brighten the space. Find some pretty containers (baskets or clay pots work well) and add your plants of choice. Place on the counter or anywhere they are sure to receive enough light (and remember to water!).
4 – De-clutter
Other than the dining table, your living room is where most of the action will occur during holiday hosting. Make sure all toys, exercise equipment, errant shoes and anything else lying around on the floor is moved out of sight before guests arrive. The coffee table should also be cleared off, and any clutter replaced with a few simple coasters.
5 – Add festive touches
Adding seasonal decorative touches doesn’t have to cost much. Fill a glass bowl with miniature pumpkins or apples and display on the mantel. Or place lightly scented candles (pine, cinnamon or nutmeg) on various surfaces, string twinkle lights along the banister for a festive ambiance and bring some of the outside in with large bowls of pine cones and ribbons of birch bark.
6 – Spice up the conversation
Depending on the types of guests, conversation cards can be a good way to break the ice. You can buy them or make your own (print topics of interest to inspire discussion on nice cardstock) and leave them on the coffee table or dining room table.
Entrance hall or foyer
7- Add hooks
Having a pile of coats on the stairs or otherwise lying around the house is not a good way to welcome guests. Adding a row of hooks provides a place for you and your guests to hang coats instead of heaping them somewhere.
8 – Clear your coat closet
Along with hooks, clearing your closet of the family’s coats before a large gathering is a good idea. Put your own coats somewhere else (in the basement, in a bedroom closet) so there’s ample room for guests to store their outerwear.
9- Provide a basket for keys, gloves and hats
If you live in a climate where holiday time means a dip in temperature, guests will most likely be arriving with gloves, hats and scarves. Providing a large basket at the front door for them to leave their cold-weather items, and a smaller basket for keys, helps ensure no one forgets or loses anything they arrived with.
10 – Make space
If you know you’ll be having overnight guests during the holidays, it’s important to make space for their belongings. Even if they’re only staying one or two nights, clear out some space in the guest closet for them to hang their items.
11 – Provide toiletries
No, you don’t have to spend a small fortune at Sephora to accommodate an overnight guest, but it’s nice to leave a travel-size hand cream and shower gel for them to use during their stay in case they forgot to bring their own.
12- Create a comfortable atmosphere
Along with toiletries, leave a fresh bath sheet and hand towel for your guest at the foot of the bed, along with some light reading material (magazines or a book of short stories) and a bedside lamp. Be sure to show them everything they might need to know, such as how the shower works and where to find basics like coffee, cereal and milk.