Prep Your Home for Holiday Guests with These Tips

The holidays bring family together. But when that family is gathering in your home, it can mean weeks of planning, prepping, and cleaning. Ensure your next houseguests have a comfortable stay with these practical tips.

Restock and Refresh Your Fridge
Spend more time with family and less time in the kitchen by meal prepping for your guests. Make a few dinner dishes that are ready to go in the oven or already precooked. Stock up on breakfast foods, easy-to-grab snacks, and beverages. The temperature of your fridge shouldn’t go above 40 degrees to keep food safe from bacteria growth. Use a hot washcloth and vinegar to wipe down your fridge or place an opened box of baking soda at the back of the fridge to absorb odors.

Clean Mattresses and Pillows
Make your overnight guests feel well cared for by giving them everything they need for a good night’s sleep. First, freshen the mattress by sprinkling the surface with baking soda, letting it sit for 15 minutes, then vacuuming it. Clean the pillows by tossing them into the washing machine—but be sure to read the manufacturer’s directions first, as some pillows should not go into the wash. Make the bed with crisp sheets, and arrange some essentials on the bedside table—a glass and a carafe of water, some hand lotion, a candle or diffuser, a tissue box, and a good book.

Bathroom Checkup
Thoroughly clean the bathroom the day before guests arrive. Stock up on essential supplies—toilet paper, extra towels, soap, and unopened tubes of toothpaste—and arrange them in open baskets so guests can take what they need. And since an overflowing toilet can put a damper on any celebration, make sure you know where the water shut-off valve is and store a plunger nearby.

Don’t Neglect the Hood Vent
The kitchen gets lots of scrubbing over the holidays, but one surface that might need a cleaning is often neglected—the hood vent. This vent removes steam, smoke, and cooking odors from your kitchen. Its filter should be regularly cleaned. Some vent filters are dishwasher safe—check the manufacturer’s directions – but if not, a soak in mild detergent should remove grease and grime.

Book a Fireplace Inspection
A fire burning in a fireplace adds a cozy warmth to the holidays. However, not having a fireplace inspected prior to the cold weather season can be hazardous. Blocked chimneys on wood-burning fireplaces can cause chimney fires and create a deadly buildup of carbon monoxide in your home. This is a job best left to professionals. A professional chimney sweep can remove nests and debris from the chimney as well as inspect the flue to make sure it is in proper working order.

Marti Reeder, Realtor, Managing Broker