Prep your home for holiday house guests


(StatePoint) Nearly 99 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home during the holiday season, according to AAA. So how do you ensure it’s the most wonderful time of the year for guests and hosts, alike?

Don’t wait until the last minute to tidy up. Instead, prepare your home with these helpful tips.

MUDROOM MAKEOVER

It’s the first place guests see when they step inside the house. But it’s also where coats are strewn about, shoes are kicked off and winter gear is hung out to dry. Declutter with a row of hooks to hang items, and a bench to sit down and pull on boots.

Donate coats you’re no longer wearing; and temporarily store seldom-used garments in a vacuum sealed bag to make additional space for visitors’ belongings. Or, simply buy an inexpensive coat rack that can be placed near the front door so visitors have a place to hang outerwear.

GORGEOUS GUEST BATHROOM

The powder room and guest bath are perhaps the most heavily trafficked areas of the home during the holiday season. Before visitors arrive, make sure your space is both functional and stylish.

An easy way to make a statement is by updating the bathroom faucet. Choosing one with a variety of configurations, like Moen’s Wynford faucet, will allow a new piece to blend seamlessly with existing décor. It features a high-arc design for easy hand washing, and is kind to the environment, conserving water with a reduced flow rate. Using less water is also good for your wallet, and who wouldn’t want to save a little this time of year?

To give overnight guests a truly spa-like experience, install a rainshower showerhead for exceptional water coverage. Did your guests forget shampoo? No room for conditioner in their carry-on? Simply fill a glass container with essentials, such as travel-size bottles of shampoo, conditioner or lotion for visitors to grab and use.

HOTEL HOSPITALITY

Thoroughly clean your guest room, especially in areas you might not pay attention to regularly. Dust baseboards, drapes and window blinds, and don’t forget the headboard and footboard.

Freshen up carpeting and rugs by sprinkling baking soda over the area. Wait 15 minutes and then vacuum. You can also make stale smells disappear with potpourri; make your own by placing holiday scents, such as cinnamon sticks or nutmeg in a bowl. Or, eliminate this step by hiring a professional cleaning crew — think of it as an early holiday gift to yourself.

Ensure guests get VIP treatment with crisp linens, cozy blankets and plush mattress toppers. Make it easy for them to acclimate to the unfamiliar space by adding a night light. It’s an easy way to keep visitors from falling in the middle of night, and provides extra comfort for young ones who may not travel often.

Having a plan will help make your holidays stress-free. Focus on these areas ahead of time, so can enjoy the season as much as your guests.

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