The holidays bring food, gifts, good times — and guests. Hosting houseguests can be joyful and stressful, but you can minimize the hassle with thoughtful planning and preparation. Consider these tips from Real Simple and Woman’s Day.
Get your house in order. Cut out any unnecessary drama by discussing — and approving — houseguests (who, how many and for how long) with your spouse and the rest of your household well before anyone arrives on your doorstep. Next, ensure you have adequate space for the number of guests you’ll have. Sleeping arrangements will be different depending on your guests’ situations. For example, young children may need to sleep in the same room as their parents, so you might want to provide a futon or air mattress.
Stock your kitchen. Avoid the stress of creating daytime meals on the fly by stashing a few easily defrosted dishes that guests can help themselves to throughout the day, such as lasagna or baked mac ’n’ cheese. And be sure to set a specific dinner- time so everyone can plan accordingly. For breakfast, opt for small baskets of muffins or bagels with jellies and butter, and keep a pot of hot coffee with ample supplies of cream and sugar so that guests can wake up and feed themselves at their own pace.
Don’t forget about it. Help your guests settle in by stocking up on the often-forgotten necessities, such as toothbrushes, travel-sized toothpaste and shower products, disposable razors and makeup-remover wipes. Equip each bed- room with extra linens, and add a scented candle or two to make rooms feel like a posh hotel.
CRS Your Home Newsletter, November, 2012