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It’s almost time! Soon your home will be filled with the smells of amazing dishes, the laughter of friends, and an entire season’s new memories. First, however, you have some things to do. Before you let preparing for guests get you down or overwhelmed, check out this list for getting the essentials done first – and fast!

Shine that Silver

People do notice spotty forks and spoons. Get the possibility of embarrassment off the table by giving your silverware a quick going over before putting it back into the drawer. A simple way to make it gleam is to create a paste from three parts baking soda and one part water. Gently polish the pieces with this paste, then rinse clean before drying with a tea cloth. They’ll sparkle!

Get “Guest Bed” Ready

There are so many ways you can make visitors feel like your home is their home, but the most obvious – and important – thing to address is the bed. Make sure you completely overhaul the bedding for your guest. Wash bedding right before they arrive, and use some lavender or other natural elements to bring a cozy ambiance to the wash. Get out those poofy pillows, add an extra blanket for warmth, and make the room a temperature that encourages sleep but isn’t too stuffy. Think of all the creature comforts guests enjoy, too, such as toiletries, extra towels, and a snack or two!

Make an Entrance

What’s the first thing visitors see when they show up at your door? Hopefully, they’ll notice a pretty entryway. Make the entry table warm with flowers and put up some happy picture to look at and admire. Since it’s the holiday season, lights or a garland can rest here, too. Don’t overdo it with clutter; balance is key.

Fill the Air

What’s cooking in the kitchen? Even if you’re not into whipping up homemade goodies, you can still give the appearance of something amazing in the air. Put a tiny saucepan of water with cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg on the burner. Keep it going on low throughout the day, refilling with more water before it runs dry. The result is a luxurious, holiday “steam” that will fill your whole home with a non-toxic, natural odorize. (Don’t feel like spending the energy a stove uses? Give Dropps Odor Defense Spray with natural essential oils a try.)

Give them a Place to Land

Finally, there are just times when guests need a timeout. Do you have a place for them to take one? While guest bedrooms are great for snoozing, many visitors need a little nook or cranny where they can chill out and get away from the noise and activity that holiday parties bring to life. See if you can arrange for a corner of the kitchen or an unused office to be a lounge area for those who need a sabbatical. (This is also perfect for moms of nursing infants or older relatives who aren’t used to so much noise.)

Remember, it’s not about perfection. Trying to your best to make friends and family feel at home will go far – no matter what you’re able to accomplish before the big day. It’s usually the smaller gestures that go the mile, so keep asking how things are going and do your best to accommodate. It really is the thought that counts.



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