‘Tis the season for sharing the season’s joy and welcoming overnight guests into your home.
Holiday decorations will add a warm glow to the surroundings, but you may want to spruce up public areas where guests will be socializing, dining and hanging out.
And it’s not too late to give that spare bedroom a facelift. Chances are, it’s an extra bedroom/office/junk room, so first pack up the clutter and haul it to the attic or the basement, or even the curb. You may need to remove furniture for space, or “shop” your home for pieces like a comfy chair and bedside table.
Grab your cleaning supplies and clean, clean, clean. Take down and wash curtains; dust, vacuum, sweep. Sanitize the bathroom.
If necessary, paint walls a fresh, warm neutral. For fun, check out one of the new removable vinyl wallpapers with a seasonal theme.
Furnishings don’t have to be new, but they should be in good shape, especially the bed. Who wants to toss and turn in a lumpy bed? If you can’t afford to replace a worn-out mattress, invest in a high-end 3-inch overlay mattress topper to add a layer of comfort.
Invest in comfortable, new pillows. The average lifespan of a pillow is three years. Old pillows can be loaded with odor, dust mites and allergens and provide no head or neck support.
Make up the bed with freshly laundered sheets and pillow cases. An extra blanket or fleece is a practical finishing touch.
Dress a bedside table with a reading lamp, an alarm clock, perhaps a Christmas- or winter-themed decoration. At the same time, leave space for personal items.
Stock the bathroom with necessities, such as plush bath towels, a selection of scented and unscented soaps. Fill a basket with sample sizes of lotions and other toiletry items. Make sure guests know where the toilet paper and extra towels are kept.
Make space in the closet and clear out a few dresser drawers so guests can unpack their belongings.
Toss a throw over a tired upholstered chair and tuck in a pillow or two for bolstering the back.
A pot of poinsettias, a small Christmas tree, a string of twinkle lights and garland on the headboard — festive touches go a long way toward making a room feel welcoming and luxurious.
Provide a tray or basket with snacks such as fresh fruit, cookies, bottled water, etc. Also, let your guests know they have kitchen privileges and show them where the coffee is kept and how to work the coffeemaker.
No space for all the kids? Bed them down in the family room with air mattresses or pillows, blankets and sleeping bags for a slumber party atmosphere.
Make sure your guests have privacy and don’t feel compelled to spend every moment in each other’s company.