The ultimate house guest prep list

Having guests to stay during the festive season doesn't have to be a stressful time if you plan ahead and have everything they need accessible. Although it's not a military operation, ensuring that you have some sort of order in your home will go a long way to making your life easier and your guests welcome.

The big clear-up

Zip round the home and clear-up! Get partners and children to help, after all it wasn't you alone who made the mess. Don't be tempted in getting bogged down with excessive sorting, you simply need to put things where they belong and chuck out rubbish. If things don't have a designated home of their own store them away, neatly, in cupboards. Messy house, with kids toys all over the floor


The quick clean

Once you've tidied up you can then blitz the house with the hoover and duster, again, get everyone involved. This is a quick zoom round with the vacuum and a damp duster. Don't forget that to lift the seats on armchairs and sofas, guests will unwittingly lift a cushion, so don't get caught out! Vacuum cleaner head on a white rug

Tepih Servis

Make an entrance

Make your guests feel welcome the minute the step through the door. A clean, neat and tidy hallway will give the impression that the whole house is just as organised! Use pot-pourri or scented candles, if it's safe, to give a Christmas aroma. Christmas decorated drawer unit, with two mini trees and almonds and alcholic drinks

House to Home

Furniture arrangements

Make sure that you have enough seats for everyone in both the dining room and the living room. Improvise where necessary and use cushions to give a softer place for bottoms to sit if you're using garden chairs in the dining room. Tell younger members of the family to use the bean bags, pouffes or the floor in the lounge and leave the sofa and chairs for adults. Lovely festive dining room table, with grey tablecloth and candles and centrepiece

Irish Times

Floor space

Try and leave as much empty floor space as possible in the living room or the room where presents will be unwrapped. Keep a bin liner to hand to dispose of ripped-off wrapping paper quickly. Having a clear floor will also give room for playing games, dancing etc.! Unwrapped presents on Christmas morning

New Church Live

Guest room

It's worth remembering that it's your home, not a hotel. Make guests feel welcome with a freshly made bed, clean towels, a bedside lamp and some storage space. Guest room with folded towels on the bed

The Exeter Daily

Bathroom Bliss

Sharing a bathroom with others can be challenging, you don't need to make a rota or allocate bathroom time unless it's absolutely necessary! Remind teens that they won't be able to spend hours in the bathroom, apart for ablutions they can do hair, make-up etc. in their room. Reversible door sign that says engaged


Food & Drink

Make sure you have plenty, but there's no need to go overboard. Consider how much you threw away last year and reign things in a bit. So what if you don't have a particular alcoholic drink in the house, or a particular brand of mince pies, you're guests will choose something else! Traditional Christmas food in a red tablecloth

The Guardian

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