Holiday Stowaways (don’t worry… they will soon go away!!)

By Naomi Cook

It’s that time of year, and Santa is not the only one who will be slipping into your house. Yes, I am talking about friends and family descending into your home…hopefully not via the chimney!

Get a head start on organizing your home now, so that you can enjoy your home, and allow both you and your guests the ability to move about the house with relative ease.

Here are some suggestions that may help relieve your stress and allow you to hang onto your sanity!

  1. Move out-of-season coats out of the entry coat closet. For now, each coat can go to the top of its corresponding family member’s closet. Then the bedrooms you assign as rooms for your guests won’t become the dumping ground for coats. If kids are staying over, and assumingly go to bed early, they will need a clear bed to sleep on!
  2. Empty a drawer or two from the dresser in each of the guest rooms and temporarily keep those items in shopping bags, on a shelf or floor in the closet. Now your guest(s) can unpack, and suitcases can roll away under the bed or in a corner.
  3. Buy some over-the-door hooks for every guest’s bedroom and/or closet door. These are inexpensive, take up virtually no room at all, and can accommodate guest towels, robes, and suits or dresses. Remember to make room for those guests that are banished to the sofa bed too!
  4. Clean the linens and make the beds in each room, including the sofa bed. Leave a mint on the pillow!
  5. Create bins with items just for them. Buy some of those fabric handled bins, one for each guest. Use a hanging gift tag to personalize each one. Inside, roll up a set of towels, travel size toothpaste and toothbrush, shampoo and conditioner, soap, etc. Your guests can carry their bin to the bathroom with them much like a college student does with a shower caddy. Toss in some candy for munchies and a water bottle for when they need to quench their thirst in the middle of the night.
  6. Fill a small area in the pantry with snacks and the fridge with drinks for your guests, and let them know to help themselves.
  7. Use additional fabric bins to house small gifts, and if you have folding chairs set up in the living room, they can be slipped under. Again, add a hanging gift tag to personalize each.
  8. Place thin blankets on the seats or backs of the folding chairs to act as cushions, and your guests will always have something to keep them nice and toasty.
  9. Unpack the holiday decorations, and using the same (now empty) boxes and containers, store items that are not necessary to leave out, like tchotchkes, books, magazines, and piles of your kid’s artwork! When it is time to put the holiday decorations back away, just do a swap!

Using these 9 tips will make your guests feel at home and keep your peace of mind.  Happy Holidays!

Thanks for the clever pre-holiday-hosting organizing advice Naomi! If anyone else has some organized hosting tips or tricks, feel free to share in a comment.

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