Tips on preparing for overnight guests during the holidays

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    Entertaining company can be full of the unexpected. Your niece became a vegetarian. Scented laundry detergent irritates your mom’s skin. Since when? You can minimize stress and make your holiday guests feel more at home with some simple planning.

    Before donning the holiday host hat, use this checklist to get your house in tiptop shape.

    Clean the house

    If you don’t have time for a deep clean, focus on the areas visitors will see and use. If no one has used the guest room since last year, there’s a chance a thick layer of dust has settled on surfaces.

    Light it up

    Check for burned-out bulbs, especially on the home’s exterior. Consider some night-lights or touch-lights in the hallway. Sure, you can navigate your home in total darkness, but your guests can’t.

    Make it welcoming

    Throw out the welcome mat. Place a coat rack near the door or make sure there’s room in a nearby closet.

    Check the guest bedroom

    Does the bedding need to be spruced? Alarm clock need to be set to the right time?

    Putting a fabric softener sheet in the pillowcases helps freshen them up quickly before company arrives.

    Put extra blankets at the foot of the bed.

    Consider leaving some towels on the bed so your guests don’t have to search for them.

    Check the guest bathroom

    Stock up on toiletries. If you usually keep the toilet paper in a cabinet, consider filling a basket with a few rolls.

    Stack towels and washcloths somewhere visible. Place a basket on the countertop for your guests’ bathroom supplies.

    Anticipate needs

    Ask your guests if they have any dietary restrictions so you can be sure to buy goodies suitable for everyone.

    Satiate caffeine cravings

    There are few things worse than being the first person awake at someone’s home and not knowing where they keep the coffee.

    Create a coffee station with everything your guests will need: filters, grounds or beans, mugs, spoons and sugar.

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