Hosting over the holidays can be a magical time spent making new and wonderful memories with friends and family - if you plan it right, that is! Without the proper planning and preparation, hosting guests may end up causing you more grief than good tidings.
For many, the holiday season encompasses more than just the traditional days of celebration. With family and friends visiting all through the month of December and the start of the New Year, it’s wise to get ahead of any potential hosting pitfalls with the proper prep. The experts at Royal LePage Your Community Realty have assembled a quick guide on how to transform your home into a guest oasis - and enjoy every minute of the season!
Your kitchen will most likely be the central hub and gathering place for your guests and yourself, as you host and entertain during one of the most food-filled holidays of the year.
Ensure that your prep and cooking space is as user-friendly as possible to allow for easy toggling between cooking and hosting as you have guests in and out of this area.
One smart way to get your kitchen ready to do double-time as a cooking and common space is to begin with some decluttering - aside from any holiday decor, of course! Take inventory of your space and ask yourself where you can create more room by tucking away lesser-used kitchen tools and bulky items, such as holders with overflowing cooking utensils that might be better stored away in a drawer.
Plan ahead by keeping your fridge stocked with the go-to items you need for your holiday cooking and baking, with some space set aside for things like leftovers and unexpected food items.
Make sure your guests feel at home - and minimize the likelihood of any unexpected “requests” - by stocking their rooms and designated bathrooms, if applicable, with some general items to make them feel as comfortable as possible.
Here’s a quick checklist to get you started:
In a perfect world, hosting guests would be a smooth and enjoyable experience without a single hiccup. However, the reality is, playing host can very quickly go sideways if there aren’t some basic boundaries in place. Possibly the most important boundary has to do with the understanding between yourself and your expected guests on timelines; as in, when they will arrive and how long they plan to stay. This is paramount to a smooth hosting experience, as it ensures clarity from the start and prevents any surprises in the form of early arrivals or guests who overstay their welcome.
Other boundaries will be specific to your family and lifestyle, but here are a few examples of things that should be made clear to incoming guests prior to their arrival:
Having some set boundaries in place while hosting will help to prevent any misunderstandings or unnecessary tensions with guests. As a rule of thumb, aim to have these conversations as early as possible to ensure transparency with guests and get ahead of any potential issues.
When it comes to fragile or valuable items in the home, consider stowing these things away someplace safe while hosting. This is not as a question of trust in your guests, but as a means of avoiding any potential damages or misplacement of these items as guests share your space for the duration of their stay.
Taking measures to protect and secure those extra-special items is the best way to avoid unnecessary headaches. If your guests have young ones in tow, it will be one less thing to worry about as they enjoy staying in your home over their holiday visit.
A cleanup kit is a great way to prepare for the inevitable little spills and accidents that will happen as you host.
Here are a few items to tuck into your on-the-spot cleanup kit when hosting:
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season, happy and healthy New Year - and of course, a smooth hosting experience with friends and loved ones!
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