Seven Ways to Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

7 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

The holidays are coming and for many this means that there will be family visiting from out of town or even out of state.  Make your guests feel welcomed and keep them comfortable during their stay by following these simple inexpensive tips.

  • Call them ahead of time and confirm everything: Estimated time of arrival, driving or flying, should you arrange for transportation  to and from your house?  Asking simple questions will let them know that you are excited about them coming (even if secretly you really might not be).
  • If they are going to be staying at a hotel arrange with the concierge to have a simple note and maybe a gift basket waiting for them in their room.  There are many micro-vineyards in the Malibu mountains, maybe treat them to a private label bottle of wine or simple seasonal fruits and snacks for them while they stay. 
  • If your guests are staying with you in your home, you might want to ask them ahead of time if they have any special needs or requests.  In all honesty most guests will say, “No” but it’s always nice to ask. But maybe your new daughter-in-law is allergic to cats, or your Great Aunt is a heavy smoker.  Asking them some simple questions will put both you and your guest as ease so that there are no “surprises” to have to deal with at the last minute.  This would also be a good time to see if they are making other plans with family and friends while they are in the area.  This will better enable you to plan your schedule without making them feel that they are intruding.
  • Think of the room as if you were the guest.  Is the “Guest Room” really your office, your sewing room or a catch-all room for excess stuff?  Clean out the room, make sure that the bed, sleeper sofa or even the couch, if that is where they are to sleep is clean, free of clutter and that it smells good.  Buy a couple of extra new pillows and a new throw blanket just in case someone likes a little extra softness.
  • Again, think like you are the guest and what THEY might need.  Stock the bathrooms with q-tips, cotton balls, clean towels, a new unopened toothbrush, travel size toiletries, cold medicine, Tylenol, etc.  There is always something that someone forgets, and since YOU are the host and know where all the local stores are; being prepared and well stocked a head of time may save you a trip to the drug store at 3:00 am for a sick house guest.   
  • Scents make sense: I’ve said it before I’ll say it again,  scents make sense even in a bedroom.  Get an inexpensive sheet spray of  fresh linen or a lightly scented candle for the bathroom.
  • ENJOY your guests!  The holidays are stressful enough, but they don’t need to be. Let your houseguests help you if they offer.  They can’t ruin tossing a salad or setting the table. If you are overwhelmed, your Houseguests can feel it to. 

Following these simple steps will ensure that your home and your holiday guests will have a joyous time together.

-  Connie Tebyani, Platinum Home Staging, Inc.

Note from Conejo Joe: Connie Tebyani is a Professional Home Stager, Interior Design Consultant and Owner of Platinum Home Staging, Inc. She is also the Preferred Interior Designer for Pottery Barn and a member of the Real Estate Staging Association.  Connie has lived in the Conejo Valley for 20 years with her husband and 2 boys.  Visit her website at or 805.553.9952.