Having guests over for Christmas can be a stressful thought, especially if they’ll be staying overnight in the house, but the more prepared you are, the easier the experience. Here are a few things you can do now to get your home ready for visitors, so you’re not rushing around at the last minute.
Decide on sleeping arrangements
Unless you have the luxury of a spare bedroom, it can be difficult to decide how to accommodate guests overnight. If guests are just crashing for the night, you may be able to get away with using a couple of air beds, but if they’re staying for longer then you may want to choose a guest bed so they don’t lose sleep.
It’s nice for guests to have their own private space, even if it’s just a small room, otherwise it’s easy for people to get sick of each other. You could add a trundle or folding bed to your kids’ room and let the younger ones have a camp out in the lounge or get a sofa bed in your home office that’ll fold out when guests stay. Add a mattress topper, some decent pillows and a cosy duvet to ensure they’re comfortable.
Look at accessibility
If you’re hosting elderly relatives, then you may need to think about whether they can get around your house. While you might not think much about the access to your home or getting between floors, this could present a big challenge to someone who isn’t as able-bodied as you. If you regularly host older relatives, you might want to start searching for stairlifts in the months leading to Christmas, as they don’t take up much space and can make your home much more accessible. You can also make smaller changes such as adding a grab rail in the bathroom to make your home safer.
Plan your menus and start stocking up now
In addition to the usual feast for Christmas dinner, when you have guests staying over you have to sort out their breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. If you leave all your Christmas food shopping to the week before, then it becomes a mammoth task.
Start shopping for food now and clear out your cupboards to make more space. If you plan your menus, you can even start cooking certain dishes to freeze, so you have your own healthy ready meals ready to go. Find some batch cooking recipes for family favourites such as lasagne, fish pie or cottage pie, then you can just pop them in the oven and serve with vegetables.
Also, if you have any new people coming to Christmas, such as partners of family members, find out now whether they have any dietary requirements. This will avoid a mad dash to the shops to buy nut roast.
Make sure your kitchen is well-equipped
From having enough cutlery and glasses, to the right utensils and baking equipment, make sure your kitchen is equipped for the extra guests and ready for some serious cooking. Getting this sorted in advance means you can avoid last- minute panics and it gives you an excuse to get your kitchen organised and tidy for when people arrive.