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.
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!
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.
House to Home
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.
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.!
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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.
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!