Have you agreed to open your home to out-of-town guests for the holidays? While making memories and sharing cherished traditions with friends and family is a wonderful way to spend the holidays, it’s not uncommon to feel unprepared and overwhelmed as you plan for their arrival.

To ensure a stress-free experience for both you and your guests, we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks to help transform your house into a home away from home for loved ones this year.

Tidy up

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be hard to keep your home in tip-top shape. If you’re expecting guests this year, spread out last-minute chores that need to be done by tackling a different room each day leading up to your guests’ arrival. This will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by the thought of cleaning your entire house in one day and allow additional time for tidying up loose ends and holiday decorating.

Meal-prep ahead of time

Playing host often means playing chef, too! Create a menu ahead of time and keep your pantry stocked with plenty of snacks and beverages that guests can help themselves to between meals. If you’re planning on preparing a big holiday feast, avoid unnecessary stress by cooking what you can in advance. While you might have enough leftovers for guests to enjoy throughout their stay, prepare a couple freezer meals in advance that you can easily pop into the oven. This way, you can spend less time cooking and more time enjoying the company of your guests.

Make guests feel at home

Shortly before guests arrive, make your house feel warm and cozy by lighting seasonally-scented candles to create a warm and inviting holiday environment. While it should go without saying, make sure guests know to make themselves feel right at home. Give them a quick tour of your house to show them where things are and how they work.

If you really want to make guests feel at home, go the extra mile and put a goodie basket filled with snacks and toiletries, like Kleenex and spare toothbrushes. Or, take a page out of Martha Stewart’s book and create an “information station” containing the Wi-Fi password and a list of TV channels to choose from.

Take them out on the town

While your guests are there to spend time with you, they may want to get out of the house and do some exploring of their own—especially if they’ll be there for more than a couple of days. Consider taking a drive around town to give guests a tour of the area and provide a couple recommendations on things to do and restaurants to try.

Do you have any advice to add? Let us know by sharing your suggestion in the comments below.

Ericka Staton

As the Marketing Director at Ross Mortgage, Ericka is responsible for the planning, coordination and execution of all marketing activities. When she's not hard at work, you can find her spending time with her husband and two kids. Ericka enjoys cooking and loves to try new recipes to run by her three favorite critics.

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