by Susy Alexandre December 22, 2023

Holiday Haven: Transform Your Home into a Guest Oasis

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! 

Prep your kitchen   

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. 

Equip your guest rooms with everything they might need 

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:

  • Extra toiletries (toothpaste, hand soap, body wash, shampoo and conditioner, etc.) and an extra set of fresh bath/hand towels 
  • Water bottles by the bedside 
  • A set of fresh linens ready to go for those guests staying for longer periods of time 
  • Extra blankets or throw blankets for an extra cozy layer
  • Trashcan 
  • Be sure to clear out space in the closet, so guests can unpack their things and tuck away cumbersome overnight bags 
  • A hair dryer in the bathroom
  • If you’re looking to go above and beyond, a phone charger by the bedside and a little note with the wifi password is always a great idea to really make your guests feel at home 

Set some boundaries 

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: 

  • If you have babies or young children in the house and prefer their bedtime schedules to remain uninterrupted through your guests’ stay, it’s wise to advise them that after a certain house, your household becomes a “quiet space” 
  • If you or anyone in your home has allergies to things like pets, fragrances, foods, etc - these are things to make note of with your guests to ensure they don’t come with furry friends or items that might trigger a reaction in your household - and vice versa, it’s important to be aware of any allergies or sensitivities your guests may have before they get there 
  • As an example of a boundary that may be unique to your home, some households are alcohol-free - and while this is a personal choice, it is one that impacts guests and is something they should be made aware of

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. 

If it’s fragile or valuable - consider tucking it away 

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 crucial 

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: 

  • Paper towel
  • Wipes 
  • Garbage bag
  • Rubber gloves
  • Carpet cleaner spray 
  • All purpose cleaner
  • A handheld vacuum cleaner 

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season, happy and healthy New Year - and of course, a smooth hosting experience with friends and loved ones! 

Royal LePage Your Community Realty is Canada’s largest independently-owned Royal LePage franchise, with over 1000 agents and 10 office locations to serve you and your clients. 

Curious to know more about the many communities that Your Community Realty serves? Check out our Community Information page for more information and active local property listings today! 

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