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How to Make Your Holiday Guests Comfy

on November 20, 2014
| News

Holiday TableThere’s nothing like the holidays to bring people closer … and closer and closer, until the cousins are practically on top of each other sleeping on the living room floor.

But welcoming holiday guests into your home doesn’t mean dodging sleeping bags as you cross the living room—or sticking Aunt Mabel in the corner with a plate on her lap.

Even if you are blessed with a dedicated guest room, finding space for everyone in the bathroom or at the dinner table can take a little maneuvering.

Try these room-by-room ideas for making the parade of holiday guests more jolly.

Bathroom Amenities

Travel-size toiletries: Small bottles and soaps, like those found in hotels or in the drugstore travel section, make a perfect bathroom addition. Store them in a container on a medicine cabinet shelf with a label that invites guests to help themselves. If you have room on the counter or an open shelf, you can also display them nicely in a basket. Consider adding a razor or toothbrush, too, just in case someone forgot theirs. It’s a tiny touch that makes guests feel welcome.

Extra towels and towel bar: This may seem obvious, but if you only have enough towels on the rack for yourself, a guest may hesitate to take what they need. A stand-alone towel bar can be a cheap, temporary addition to your bathroom.

Living Room Space

Mattresses: Air beds have come a long way from your childhood. Better-quality air mattresses have built-in, electric pumps and are elevated to make it easier to get in and out. To go all out, spring for one with a memory foam topper. Whatever model you choose will store easily in a closet or under your bed—and expand quickly for post-party crashing.

Create space: Clear off an end table to give a guest room for the phone charger and other small items. Rearrange a closet so they have room for their suitcase and clothes or get a small clothing rack to help them keep their garments unwrinkled and accessible.

Dining Room Comfort

Creative seating: Don’t hesitate to ask friends to bring a folding chair of their own. The “kids” table is a tradition for a reason: It’s easier to cram small people together. If you have more tiny tushes than chairs, co-opt a ride-on toy or something similar.

Elbow room: All the food to feed all those people can take up a lot of table space, adding to a crowded feel. Invest in a nice tray table to sit next to the dining table. You can use it to hold water pitchers, condiments and a larger passing dish, all within easy reach of the host.

If you buffet, smaller tray tables provide a convenient place for guests to place their glasses or plates—even if they’re not sitting at the table. You can probably find uses for them year-round, too.

Kitchen Snacks

Prepare for snack time: Put a bowl with fruit on a counter, next to some napkins. Place a few glasses and mugs out as well. Coffee or tea? Arrange some by the appropriate pot.

In other words, don’t make early risers or night owls go hunting in your cabinets or wonder what is permissible to nibble on between meals.

Entryway Safety

Easy access: Check the door for squeaky hinges and the lighting for dead bulbs. Remove any leaves, ice or snow on the walkway. Make sure you have umbrella storage or room for coats—and a place to put shoes, perhaps a rack, if you ask guests to remove them.

Some of these fixes, like the bulbs, are routine maintenance items you might just forget in the seasonal rush.

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