*Guest post courtesy of CarMax
Whether it’s been by necessity or volunteer, you’ve become host to this year’s big friends and family gathering. Hopefully you’re not scrambling around last-minute to get ready, but even if you are, don’t sweat it. You can transform your home to be guest-ready with just a few simple tweaks and some on-the-go planning.
Just look at a few of these ideas to make your holiday host experience a great and memorable experience for the family.
Make time for transportation
In this era where the family can be scattered all over the country, you can almost guarantee someone’s going to be coming in by plane. Delayed or redirected flights aside, this means one of the primary tasks you’re going to have as host is ferrying people from and eventually to the airport. While some of your guests might insist on a cab or rideshare, insist against it. Unless you are absolutely swamped in your schedule, make some time to pick up your friends & family from the airport. The day before pick-up, clean your vehicle and make room for your guest’s belongings. The ride to your place can be a great time to catch up and have one-on-one chats before the whirlwind of the whole family arrives.
Create a space for your guests to hang their coats
Create a mudroom! The name is a little on the nose, but ideally a mud room is simply a small space for hats, coats, and shoes to be taken off and hung up. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a dedicated room; you just need to clear out a small space with a coat rack and some other hooks near the door. This way nobody is touring the house still layered for the weather or tracking mud (hence the name) across the carpet.
Plan sleeping arrangements in advance
Have all the sleeping arrangements set before everyone arrives. Whether it’s pull-out couches, portable beds or a dedicated guest room, make sure the area is clear and available for guests to unpack into. In the case of guest rooms, dust it a bit if it hasn’t seen a lot of use and clear out anything obstructive; guest rooms tend to become de facto storage spaces on accident.
Designate a guest bathroom
In addition to the one for people visiting for the evening, designate one for your guests to shower, brush their teeth, and all the other daily ablutions. Clear that bathroom out as best you can. You don’t need to dump everything, just make sure there’s room around the sink for them to place their things. Provide some backup toiletries too, like toothpaste, soap, and shampoo in the event they’ve forgotten anything.
Coordinate with your guests on meals
Your guests flying in will be dependent on you for transportation, and most of your guests may not be familiar with your area. Present some options, like whether you’re going to cook on certain nights or go out as a group on others. Talk to them about their preferences. If you’re planning on cooking, see what everyone can do to pitch in—you might be the host, but this gathering is going to be for everyone.
Clean your dishes before arrival
Do the dishes before everyone arrives. You’re going to have a lot of people hovering around the house, glasses and cups in hand, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a good stockpile of clean dishes to cycle out. Try and have every dish clean, or at least in the dishwasher, before your guests start to show up.
Holidays can be a marathon of stressful situations, and lots of people can exasperate this. Hopefully with these tips and tricks, you can make it easier and have a fun and exciting couple of days with the family.
Still feeling overwhelmed? Let us help you plan for a stress-free holiday party.