Tips on How To Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Small_HolidayHouse

Is your home ready for holiday visits from friends and family? Here’s how to prepare for the invasion. 

I'm lucky and have a guest suite always ready for holiday guests. But even with a dedicated space, preparing my home for the annual onslaught of friends and family takes time and forethought.

Some preparations for holiday guests take only a few minutes; some take a lot longer. My advice: Start preparing your home for the holidays now.

 

Prioritize

The day before guests arrive is no time to pull apart junk drawers and clean out linen closets. Declutter 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.

 

Safety

Light the way: 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.

Child proofing: Ask parents to bring hardware that keeps their small ones safe, such as baby gates and cabinet locks. Transfer toxic cleaners and medicines from base to wall cabinets. Hide matches and lighters.

Fire prevention: If you didn’t freshen smoke detector batteries when you switched the clocks to Daylight Savings Time, change them now. After your guests arrive, run a quick fire drill: Make sure they can locate exits and fire extinguishers, and that they know how to open windows and doors.

 

Entryway upgrades

Your home’s foyer is the first place guests see, so make a good first impression.

  • Upgrade exterior entry doors or give old doors a new coat of paint. Polish and tighten door hardware, and oil hinges to prevent squeaks.
  • Remove scratches from hardwood floors, stairs, and wood railings. 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.

Kitchen prep

Your kitchen is command central during the holidays, so make sure it’s ready for guests and extra helpers.

  • To increase storage, install a pot rack to clear cooking items off countertops and ranges.
  • 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.

 

Sleeping arrangements

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.

 

Bathroom storage

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).

What tips do you have for getting ready for guests this holiday season?


Mortgage help is free from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

First thing’s first: There is free foreclosure help. If anyone tries to charge you in advance for help or guarantees that they can stop your foreclosure, they’re not legitimate.

If you’re behind on your mortgage, or having a hard time making payments, we want to get you in touch with a HUD-approved housing counselor — they’ve been sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Your counselor can develop a tailored plan of action for your situation and help you work with your mortgage company. They’re experienced in all of the available programs and a variety of financial situations. They can help you organize your finances, understand your mortgage options, and find a solution that works for you.

via www.consumerfinance.gov


According to a recent article in the Dallas Business Journal, six Dallas/Fort Worth area cities rated among The Top 10 Texas Cities for young families. They are -

#2 Allen
#3 Flower Mound
#6 Frisco
#7 McKinney
#9 Richardson
#10 Carrollton

The rankings were based on three questions:

  • Does the city have a good public school system?
  • Can you afford to live there?
  • Is the city growing and prospering?


All of these DFW area cities were cited for having good schools and high median incomes.

You can read the original article here:
http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/blog/2013/05/6-dfw-cities-rated-among-best-in-texas.html 


Free ebook from Amazon - "The Organized Kitchen"

Normally $16.95, you can get a free ebook in Kindle format right now at Amazon by clicking here

Organizedkitchen

Book Description

An organized kitchen is the salvation every busy cook needs! You’ll save yourself time,money, and stress—all while whipping up delicious, healthy meals your family and friends will love.  From aprons to zesters, this book provides an A-Z of simple shortcuts that will make all the difference, including:

  • Shelf and storage strategies
  • Five-minute kitchen feng shui
  • When to clean what—with what
  • The right tools for the right tasks
  • The truth about freezing food
  • Meal plans that really work
  • Ten foolproof, must-know recipes—with endless variations
  • The good-enough stocked pantry
  • Leftovers you’ll really want to eat

With tips and tricks from master chefs (think Julia Child’s pegboard) and real-life home chefs (think Grandma’s ingenious pasta pots), this is the only kitchen/food/life organizer you need to streamline your kitchen—once and for all!

Remember: you don't have to own a Kindle to read an ebook; you can read on your PC, Android, etc.

 


BOO (thumbs down!) to my Frisco Walgreens!

So Walgreens has a cool sale on "Hallmark" wrapping paper - buy 1 roll for $1.99, get 1 roll free. I had coupons for .50/1 roll, making it two rolls for .99. Then, if you buy 6 rolls, you get $5 back in Register Rewards, so you get paid to buy the wrapping paper. There was a huge sign advertising the Hallmark paper (which is actually "Studio One"; a division of Hallmark). When I got up to the checkout, the manager refused to take my Hallmark coupons because the paper (that they are advertising!!!) says "Studio One" on them!! I pointed out on the roll where it says "made by Hallmark" but she just wanted to argue. Normally, I would've stood firm and demanded that they call corporate, as this was their advertised deal and they should have to honor the Hallmark coupons, but I was in a hurry. I left without the paper.

Boo to Walgreens. :(


Husker football!

This post is a little late, but here it is, nevertheless! The Big 12 game last Saturday was truly awesome! Even though my beloved Huskers didn't win, it was a good, fair game that kept us on the edge the whole time! It was very fitting to see a matchup between OU and Nebraska one more time before Nebraska moves to the Big 10.

Husker football!


Wow, I haven't blogged in forever!

I just didn't realize how long it has been since I blogged on Typepad!


A lot of things have changed in my life in the last year or so. Well for that matter, a lot of things have changed in my life over the past four years. I have lost a home to a natural disaster, bought a new home, moved to a new state, lost loved ones, had two kids start high school, I have a kid getting ready to graduate high school, have had a few health issues, and some personal stuff that has perhaps been the biggest change of all. Regardless, through the evolution of these events, I have become a much stronger, happier person, and am ready to dive back into life full-force!

Watch out - I just may blog TOO much! HAHA!  ;)