Hosting has its shares of anxieties, especially if you're striving to make your home welcoming.
How do you know everyone will feel comfortable?
And will you ever get a chance to relax yourself?
You will if you focus on what's really necessary. Here's a list of steps to get your home ready — and take the stress out of hosting.
The day before guests arrive is no time to pull apart junk drawers and clean out linen closets.
Declutter your home, especially the guest rooms and public areas -- foyer, kitchen, living room, den, and dining room. Remove anything unnecessary from countertops, coffee tables, and ottomans; if it’s out of sight, keep it out of mind, for now.
If you run short of time, bag up the clutter and store it in car trunks, basements, and out-of-the-way closets. Sort and arrange after your guests depart.
#2 Add Night Lights
Even though you can navigate your home blindfolded, your guests can’t. Make sure outside lights are working so they don’t trip on the way to your door. Put motion-activated night lights in hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms to ensure safe passage after the sun sets.
#3 Make Space in the Entryway
Your home’s foyer is the first place guests see, so make a good first impression.
Place a small rug or welcome mat at the entrance to protect floors from mud and snow.
Clear out shoes, umbrellas, and other clutter.
Add extra hooks to walls so guests can hang coats and hats.
Add a storage bench where guests can remove boots and shoes.
#4 Add a Coffee Station and Extra Stools
Your kitchen is command central during the holidays, so make sure it’s clean and ready for guests and extra helpers.
Move your coffee station into a family room so guests don’t crowd the kitchen when you’re trying to fix meals.
If you like to visit while you’re cooking, place extra stools and chairs around the perimeter of your kitchen so guests can set a spell.
#5 Create Extra Sleeping Space
If you’ve got a guest room, replace the ceiling fixture with a ceiling fan and light combo, which helps guests customize their room temperature without fiddling with the thermostat for the entire house.
To carve sleeping space out of public areas, buy a folding screen or rolling bookcase, which will provide privacy for sleepers. Fold or roll it away in the morning.
#6 Make Extra Bathroom Supplies Easy to Find
Bring toilet paper, towels, and toiletries out of hiding, and place them on open shelves so guests can find them easily.
If you don’t have enough wall space for shelves, place these items in open baskets around the bathroom.
Also, outfit each tub with a bath mat (to avoid falls) and each toilet with a plunger (to avoid embarrassment).