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5 Easy Improvements to Get Your Home Guest-Ready for the Holidays

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Hosting a holiday gathering can be a lot of fun, but perhaps a
bit intimidating, too. You want your house to look its best, but
now isn’t the time to undertake any major updates.

Chances are, you’re busy enough get ready for the event. So,
focus on just the areas of your house where your guests will spend
time.

Whether you’re a first-time party host with a few jitters or
an old pro looking for some new ideas, these tips will help you
ensure that your home is ready for any gathering.

Light the way

The sun sets early this time of year, so it’s important to
make sure the entrance to your home is clean and well-lit.

If you have a large front yard, focus on the entryway and the
path leading up to it. Install porch lights or replace the bulbs if
needed. Cut back any shrubbery that is obstructing the walkway.

On the day of your party, open the blinds on the front windows
so your guests can see into your warm, festive-looking home as
they approach. It’s a great way to create a sense of welcoming
anticipation.

Pro tip: The easiest way to create instant
lighting for walkways and paths is with the solar lights that you
just stick into the ground. The sun does the rest of the work!

Take care of the bottom line

Our mothers used to say this, and it’s true: If your floors
are spotless, they make your whole house look cleaner.

Even if you’re unable to do an in-depth house cleaning before
your gathering, make sure your floors have been cleaned before that
first guest steps over the threshold.

Pro tip: If you have carpeting, clean the
carpets a minimum of three days ahead of your affair so they have
time to dry fully.

Brighten up your bathroom

If you’re bothered by grimy-looking grout in your bathroom,
try this easy, inexpensive, and non-toxic method to get rid of it
nearly instantly: Just spray on some full-strength hydrogen
peroxide, let it sit for 10 minutes, and then wipe clean. That's
it!

Next, add some flowers, holiday decorations or pictures on the
wall to further
spiff up your powder room
, and it will be ready for your
guests.

Pro tip: Get the buildup out of a slow-moving
sink drain with a Zip-It. This inexpensive tool looks like a giant
zip-tie. You just work it down into the drain to pull up hair clogs
– all the other gunky stuff will come up with it.

Tune up kitchen appliances

Your kitchen appliances will be the workhorses of your holiday
party, whether you’re hosting a big family dinner or a cocktail
party. You want them to be fully functioning and ready for
action.

Make sure all stove burners are working. Now’s the time to
clean the oven if you haven't done that for a while.

Clean out the refrigerator, and check to see that the fridge and
freezer are running at their optimal temperatures.

Make sure your dishwasher is in good working order. You can
clean it easily with a dishwasher cleaner that you run through a
cycle.

Pro tip: Sharp knives will make easy work of
preparing the big meal. Make sure all your kitchen knives are newly
sharpened, and also check the batteries in your electric carving
knife, if you have one.

Make your space kid-friendly

If you make your home welcoming for children, you’ll ensure
their parents have a great time as well.

If you happen to have kids that are the same ages as your young
guests, you’re in luck. But if not, think about adding some
considerate touches that will make parents more comfortable and
alleviate kid boredom.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Turn a spare room or an upstairs bedroom into a private
    nursing/changing area for a new mom.
  • Toddlers and younger children will want to be near their
    parents, so a good idea for them is to set up a corner of your
    living or dining room with toys, books, a tablet for watching
    cartoons and some comfy pillows or throws.
  • One of our favorite strategies for older kids is to turn the
    dessert course into an activity. For instance, you could bake a
    huge batch of sugar cookies in holiday shapes, and then put out
    different colors of icing to let kids (and adults) go to town with
    decorating their own cookies.

Pro tip: If you don't have children, or if
yours are older, don't forget to kid-proof your space. Put away
anything expensive, breakable or unstable. Do some
baby-proofing
, if necessary. This way you and the parents can
relax and not have to worry about safety hazards.

Want more DIY tips? Watch more of See Jane Drill's home
improvement videos

Related:

Originally published November 2016.

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