Here are a dozen low-cost fixes to make holiday guests feel at home
Maybe you didn’t get to do extensive remodels in the fall so that your holiday guests could be really impressed by your home.
But the truth is you don’t need to spend a fortune ripping up the kitchen or the bathroom. A lot of basic fixes will make guests feel at home, especially when they stay a night or more.
Think back as well to times when you were a guest in someone’s home. What did you like about that experience and what didn’t you like? Here are some suggestions to consider:
1. Install simple path lights on the walkway to your home so that everyone can see where they’re going in the evenings. Remember to turn those lights on early if you’re setting a timer.
2. Replace the light bulbs in outdoor lighting fixtures. Maybe install LEDs that will cost less to light the way and last forever.
3. If your kitchen looks dated, make it sparkle. Clean the oven and refrigerator before guests arrive. Perhaps you need new dishes or a new coffeemaker for the big culinary extravaganza. If you need an individual appliance, like a dishwasher or refrigerator, it will probably be possible to get one for Christmas, if not Thanksgiving.
4. Think ahead about what to serve. Ask guests in advance if they have food allergies or things they avoid eating. What are their preferences for what to drink?
5. Buy low-cost luggage racks at a big box store or maybe an end-of-the-bed bench to use for suitcases in the guest room.
6. Empty some furniture and knickknacks out of the guest room so that visitors have places to put things and don’t feel too cramped and crowded. Clean out a closet so they can have a place to hang clothes. Fix any sticky closet doors or windows. Wash the windows.
7. Offer guests some choices in pillows as well as extra blankets. Go out and buy new towels for the guest bathroom and remember to give guests two sets of towels.
8. Buy new sheets for the guest bedroom. Provide a new lamp or two for extra lighting and leave some flashlights in the guest room.
9. Give guests a set of keys or the code for the alarm at your house if necessary so they can come and go when you’re not around. Give them the passcode for your computer and internet system and teach them how to use your new television set. Print out your Wi-Fi passcode for their phones. Provide them with a charging station or electric outlet for their electronic devices.
10. Clean all the bathrooms carefully and leave some shampoo, soap and toiletries in the guest bath. Put glasses in that bathroom so guests can sip water at midnight. Or provide bottles of water.
11. If you have guests who are physically challenged in some way, you may be able to have grab bars installed in the bathtub or shower before they arrive. You can also buy a temporary ramp to use at the threshold of your front door for someone with a walker or wheelchair.
12. You might think its getting cold outside here in Arizona, but your guests from other parts of the country may find that our winter weather is balmy. So buy new outdoor furniture if necessary. Maybe some benches so they can sit around the fire pit or fireplace under your dark and starry sky.
Probably you’ve already put some of these ideas on your to-do list. But make sure you allow some time as well for you to enjoy the holidays as well.