Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

      Don't send your guests to the hotel over the holidays!

      Julie Starr Hook, author of From Frazzled to Freedom, joined us to share some simple steps to create a relaxing space for them inside your own home!

      1. Determine where you want your guests to sleep This may be a permanent guest room, another family members room or perhaps, a home office.

      2. Decide what you want your guests to sleep on if you don't have a bed in a room Many people are opting out of having a permanent "guest room" because it may not get used frequently. A lot of people are using blow-up mattresses for guests. They are quite comfortable and are simple to set up. A futon can be a nice solution in a room, too, because they can serve as a duel-purpose piece of furniture. Sleeper sofas are getting much more comfortable, too. Manufactures have come up with good solutions.

      3. Figure out the appropriate bedding/pillows to use Ask your guests if they have any allergies to feathers or down. Provide clean bedding, with the right weight of blankets and comfortable pillows for your guests. Sometimes bedding that has been sitting around for a while and not being used can smell "musty." Freshen up your bedding by washing it before you make the beds us. Make sure the bedding is completely "dry" before putting it on the bed. A pretty holiday throw or a holiday decor pillow can add a nice touch, too.

      4. Storage space for your guests belongings If your guest is staying for an extended time, you will need to consider a place for them to store their clothes.Providing a rod and hangers (or an over-the-door hanger) or a shelf or drawer for folded clothes. A folding luggage rack is also a nice option for your guests. A nice bench or ottoman can also work for a place to set luggage. This can work as a drawer if one isn't available.

      5. Make sure the room is clean. Spend some extra time doing a thorough cleaning such as cleaning baseboards, washing interior windows and do a good dusting. De-clutter the room. For example, if you are housing your guests in a home office, tuck away confidential information or paperwork that is in view. Maybe you are using a child's room. Put away excess toys and other objects.

      6. Do a nice cleaning in the bathroom that the guest are using Are the showers in need of some cleaning? Do the mirrors need to be shined up? Do your guests have a place to set up their toiletries? If not, make room for them to do so.

      7. Show your guests where the towels are or set aside them for your guests Offer your guest ones that you would feel good about them using. Make sure you have shampoo, conditioner and soap available. You may want to consider picking up some toiletries in special holiday scents.

      8. Have a cozy robe for your guest This really isn't necessary, but if you have a couple of nice ones around, you might want to make them available to your guests. Many robes come in a "one size fit's all" so that may be the route you would want to go if you decide you need to purchase one.

      9. Other supplies in the room Provide an alarm clock, pad and paper. You may decide you would like to put together a guest welcome basket. This may contain an assortment of local products such as dried fruit, chocolate and nuts. Depending on the length of your guests stay you may want to add in maps and brochures of local attractions and add those to your welcome basket.

      10. Decorate the Guest room You may decide to add a small tree, greenery or a small fresh bouquet. These extra touches can be a nice surprise for your guests.

      For more information, visit Julie's website. For more information on the gift baskets she showed, click here.