Whether it’s your first or tenth time hosting, you probably know that getting your home ready for the holidays is no easy feat. And what’s worse is that the time seems to fly faster during these final months of the year!
But the good news is you’re here. So, congrats! That means you’ve already completed step 1: Proactively planning for the season.
To Get Your Home Ready for Holiday Guests, Follow These 5 Steps:
1. Make a Plan
From cleaning to planning, to preparing the food, coordinating with guests, gift shopping, decorating, and equipping guest rooms with supplies, there’s a lot to consider.
Making a plan for each step in the process will help things run more smoothly and prevent any last-minute scuffling to get things done.
Start by coordinating with your guests. Figure out who’s bringing what, when, and where. That includes food, supplies, and dates and times! This way everyone knows when to expect each other’s arrival, and you can properly prepare the menu, sleeping arrangements, seating, and more.
From there, you can prioritize the rest of your checklist by your needs and timeline. If you have a lot to do around the home, you might want to start by scheduling any updates or services ahead of time to avoid the rush. Then, you can get your holiday shopping, supply prep, and meal planning done early so that when the holiday gets closer, you can focus on any last-minute tasks like tidying your counters or shoveling the sidewalk.
2. Test Your Appliances, Plumbing, and HVAC
These home essentials work extra hard during the holidays. Between the increased cleaning, cooking, and guests, your toilets, oven, heater, and more can become overworked. Usually, this happens because of an existing issue or improper use. To avoid this, follow these tips:
- Check your appliances. If you’re preparing food for the holidays, the last thing you want is for your cooking appliances to suddenly stop working. Well ahead of any events, get broken stove lights fixed, insert that overdue refrigerator filter, and buy that new blender if you need one. Also, check that all your appliances are working properly. If any are due for repair or upgrade, check your warranty first to see if those services are covered and schedule them ahead of time.
- Get your plumbing fixed. Don’t wait to address minor repair issues until the holiday season. If you’re living with plumbing issues like low water pressure, odors, drippy sinks, etc., contact a local plumbing professional.
- Another thing to keep in mind during the holidays is proper plumbing use. Never put fats, oils, fibrous or starchy foods, bones/fish skins, or nuts down your drain or garbage disposal.
- Schedule a heater tune-up. Right before the temperature starts to drop and the holiday season begins is the perfect time to have your heater checked. An annual fall tune-up will help improve airflow, safety, temperature control, and efficiency, and minimize the chance of a disastrous holiday breakdown.
3. Declutter and Deep Clean
Having a clean and clutter-free home isn’t just appealing to your guests – it can help you feel more at ease and in control of your space! But sometimes, getting started can be a little overwhelming.
So, to avoid that stress, follow these tips on how to clean for the holidays:
- Create a cleaning checklist. Every task you check off will help you stay organized and feel accomplished!
- Start early. Don’t wait until the day of or even the week of to start deep cleaning and organizing. This way, if there’s more to tackle than you initially anticipated, you’ll avoid overlapping with your week of prep.
- Assign everything a space. The moment certain items in your home don’t have a designated space, it starts to feel uncomfortably cluttered. Instead of leaving your mail on the counter, consider creating a designated mail bin or drawer.
- Start with the big jobs and end with surface-level cleaning. Get into the nitty gritty of deep cleaning and deep decluttering first and then work your way backwards. This way, you don’t have to repeat tasks like dusting or window washing on the big day.
- Hire help! This is the biggest gift you can give yourself ahead of the holiday season!. If you need some help deep cleaning your home, count on your local The Cleaning Authority for one-time house cleaning services.
Related Content: 10 Steps to Organized Seasonal Decorations
4. Prepare Your Guest Room(s)
The most important thing to remember when you are preparing your home for holiday guests is making sure they feel welcome. And that starts by creating a space where they can feel at home. To create the perfect holiday guest room experience:
- Supply them with essentials like toothpaste, lotion, shampoo & conditioner, extra blankets, towels, etc.
- Prepare a “luggage space” in a closet, dresser, or bench.
- Add small holiday touches like a decorative pillow, piece of art, or garland.
- Clean the sheets and make the bed within a few days of their arrival so that their bed still smells fresh!
- Deep clean the nearest bathroom and make any toiletries they may need visible or noted.
Related Content: Ten Minutes to a Visitor-Ready Home
5. Be Safe
Each year, nearly 156,000 fires in the U.S. occur during the winter holiday season. So, you might be surprised to know that preparing your home for the holidays also includes emergency prevention.
- Practicing safe cooking.
- Keeping flammable items away from the stove.
- Never overloading circuits.
- Testing your smoke alarms and replacing batteries.
- Always unplugging your tree when not in use.
- Keeping your tree away from heat sources.
- Keeping an eye on lit candles.
- Using holiday lights that are in good condition, stringing them together safely, and using appropriate extension cords.
- Checking the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and making sure you know how to use it.
- Preparing guests in your home in case of an emergency.
Related Content: Tips for Post-Holiday Cleaning
Take the Stress of Holiday Cleaning off Your Plate
The holidays should be joyful, not stressful. Instead of tackling all the home prep yourself, let the experts at The Cleaning Authority handle the cleaning. We’ll make your space look sparkly and new for you and your holiday guests! Call (888) 658-0659 or get a free estimate online. You’ll be glad you did.