The holiday season is here. This means lots of food, family, and fun! It also mean that you may be getting ready to have a houseful of guests.
It is always a lot of fun to have guests come to stay, but there is a lot of preparation that goes into it! As a busy bed and breakfast with guests in and out every day, we KNOW how overwhelming that can be!
Need some help preparing for your guests? Not enough time in your busy schedule? We’re here to tell you that you can do it! The key is giving yourself enough time to prepare. By doing a little bit each day, you won’t have the stress of cramming the workload all into the night before. You’ll be ready for your holiday guests when they arrive (and you won’t be exhausted and overwhelmed!).
We have put together a step-by-step guide to preparing for holiday guests. Below you will find a breakdown of what you should be doing each day before arrival. Feel free to tweak it to fit your schedule and your lifestyle, however, this guide is our foolproof method of preparing for guests.
Here is our Step-By-Step Guide to Preparing for Holiday Guests!
5 Days Before: Take Stock
The best advice we can give is to start by…well, stopping. It’s important that you take some time to evaluate where you and your house currently are, decide where you need to get to, and then make a plan to get from A to B.
We recommend making a list of the different guests you have coming to stay with you and then anticipate their needs. Where will everyone sleep? Do we have enough towels? Does anyone have any dietary restrictions? Do we need extra sheets for the sleeper sofa? Will they need toiletries? (This also is a good time to do meal planning for the days of your guest’s stay.)
The list you create will be your launching pad for the rest of your preparation. Once you’ve made your list of possible needs, take it and turn it into a shopping list for tomorrow.
4 Days Before: Do Your Shopping
Remember that shopping list we made yesterday? It’s time to use it! Make this your big shopping day to get all the items you need. While you may need to get some practical necessities, like towels and bed linens, don’t forget to get fun things for the guests, like pillow chocolates and magazines. Here is a list of items we’ve found that we like to keep on hand for guests:
Spare Keys to the House
Nightlights for Dark Hallways
This is also a good day to do the main grocery shopping. Save your perishable items, like fresh fruit, meats, and flowers, to purchase the day before they arrive.
3 Days Before: Do the Laundry
There is nothing more inviting than clean, fresh towels and linens! Strip the sheets off of the beds, take the towels down, and give them all a good wash. This is a good time to wash the new sheets and towels that you purchased yesterday. You don’t need to worry about making the beds just yet. Just focus on getting your linens washed, dried, folded, and organized so that you know where each item will be going tomorrow.
2 Days Before: Clean the Bedrooms and Bathrooms
This is the day to get down to cleaning. If you need tips on how we keep our guest rooms hotel clean, check out one of our previous articles, 7 Hotel Cleaning Tips Anyone Can Use. If you have the whole day, this is a good time to do some cleaning throughout the house to get it ready for guests. Once you’ve completed the cleaning, make the beds and put out the clean bath towels. Stock the closets with extra linens, blankets, and towels they may need during their stay.
1 Day Before: Add Finishing Touches
This is the day to add the finishing touches that will make you the host with the most! Take the time to personalize each guest’s room to make them feel at home. Here are some items we like to add to our guest rooms:
The WiFi Password and Instructions for Electronics
Lists of Things to Do in the Area/Restaurants
Pillow Chocolates, Snacks, and Water Bottles
“Just In Case” Toiletries
Robe and Slippers
Handwritten “Welcome” Cards
This is also the day to take a quick trip to your local grocery store to pick up those perishable items.
The Day of Arrival: Welcome Home!
It’s showtime! Because you have already made things ready, today is about enjoying all that preparation. You’ve set the stage, now you just need to start the music and turn on the lights (literally!). We like to create an environment that welcomes everyone to the home by lighting candles, playing music, and having goodies waiting. Depending on when holiday guests will be arriving, consider making some baked goodies, brewing fresh coffee, or chilling some wine. We also recommend giving each room a last minute once-over to get rid of any dust that may have settled.
Do you agree with our tips? Do you have any tips to share about getting ready for holiday guests?