Are you hosting for the holidays this year? You’ll want these holiday hosting tips. It is a joy and an honor to be the one to host holiday get-togethers… but it can also be overwhelming! Cooking, cleaning, and getting rooms ready is enough to put a damper on your holiday cheer. You may be tempted to throw the towel in, but you know how important it is to make a smooth and memorable gathering. Families don’t get together often, and these will be lasting memories.

collage of photos from the blog post with text reading "Your guide to Holiday Hosting: How to prepare your home for guests"


That’s why we’ve put together this guide full of holiday hosting tips, ensuring comfort and joy for all.  This list of essential tasks will keep you on track and ensure your guests have a great holiday experience. So dive into holiday hosting this year and welcome guests with arms wide!

Holiday hosting tip #1: Deep clean and declutter

The dust that’s been gathering on your window sills for months. The soap scum in your shower. Those imperfections may not have bothered you throughout the year. But you may be mortified if your guests see them. That’s right, it’s time for a deep clean. 

Deep cleaning tips for holiday hosting

Start with the areas that you know are most likely to be seen and used by guests, like guest bathrooms. Click here for some deep cleaning tips for bathrooms. The kitchen is one area that can always use a deep clean too, so here are some tips on how to get your kitchen super clean.

Declutter to make space for holiday hosting supplies

It’s inevitable- you’ll end up acquiring new clutter over the holidays, especially if you are hosting. This might include party supplies, tools for decorating projects, and special snack requests from guests. Decluttering is essential so that all this stuff doesn’t get overwhelming right tin the middle of the holidays. Go through your drawers and tabletops and get rid of items you don’t need. Organize the items you are keeping so that you know where to find any essentials as you need them.

10 Simple Tips : How to Declutter Your Home


Holiday hosting tip #2: Prepare to host overnight guests

If you plan to host guests for overnight stays, you must get your guest rooms ready. Heck, even if you don’t plan on hosting overnight guests, it seems like it always happens over the holidays, so prepare the basics just in case.

Set up a guest room

Hosts that are limited in space may consider converting a home office into a guest room. There are several creative ways to create a hybrid space that’s ideal for work and sleep. 

guest bedroom with amenities on nightstands
Photo source: HGTV


Stock up on guest room essentials

Stock up on all the guest room essentials you’ll need to provide your guests with an exceptional holiday experience. This will include comfortable bedding and essential toiletries. Place all the essentials into a stylish basket or on the nightstand to make everything easy to find a accessible.

Photo source: ‘Cathy Myers Living


If you really want to provide your guests with an exceptional holiday experience, add some thoughtful, personal touches. For instance, consider leaving a chocolate on the pillow, and place reading materials in the bedroom and bathroom. To go above and beyond, place a welcome note on the bed to make guests feel comfortable in your home. 

Holiday hosting tip #3: Prepare the kitchen and dining area

The kitchen and dining area will see a lot of action during the holiday season.

Organize the Kitchen

Decluttering and organizing the kitchen will go a long way. You will be able to locate cooking items, dishware utensils, and ingredients easily. A Tupperware organizer will be super helpful when it comes to packing up leftovers- no digging through containers and lids while your guests awkwardly wait. At the very least, go through your Tupperware to make sure you have matching pieces with lids and have them ready for holiday dinners.

Make Your Own Tupperware Organizer
Photo source: ‘Family Handyman


Decorate the dining room

The dining room is the place where happy memories are made. Get the area ready with decorative centerpieces, seasonal tablecloths, and stunning place settings. Break out the fine dishware and glam it up with centerpiece items. 

Photo source: Riviard / Getty Images


Have coffee at the ready

You may also consider setting up a coffee station in your home. Guests can help themselves to coffee whenever they please. Provide sugar, cream, and snacks for added convenience.  Use your most elegant coffee pots and serving trays. 

home coffee bar with coffee maker, decorative chalkboard sign, and coffee accessories
Photo source: Canva


Holiday hosting tip #4: Create a festive entryway

You may not give much thought to decorating your entryway. But it will set the tone as guests enter your home. 

Entryways are typically small areas. But they can offer a stunning effect with the right combination of lights, signage, and wall décor. You can even DIY wreaths for fun décor on a budget. 

Consider adding a seasonal welcome mat so guests can stomp the snow off their shoes as they enter. Add coatracks and cabinets where they can store their wet belongings. 

Christmas Doormats You Can Make
Photo source: “The DIY Playbook


Holiday Hosting Tip #4: Entertainment and activities

The house looks great, there’s plenty of food to eat. Now you must think about what your guests are going to do to while away the hours between holiday events. Holiday hosting involves keeping your guests entertained, not just providing space for holiday activities.

Fortunately, there are plenty of activities that are perfect for the holiday season. Grab some board games, and consider hosting a game night or movie night. No holiday is complete without carols- suggest a caroling expedition. Alternatively, opt to stay inside and bake some festive Christmas cookies.

cookie dough and holiday cookie making supplies
Photo source: Canva


If you expect younger guests, think of activities that will keep them occupied. Age-appropriate music and game nights will keep them happy. You may also provide arts and crafts activities- consider making DIY snow globes or holiday gift tags.

Holiday Hosting Tip #5: Childproofing and pet considerations

If the guests you are expecting are very young, you may need to childproof your home. Install baby gates and cover electrical outlets. Place unsafe items, like medicine and sharp objects, in high places so they will be out of reach. 

Pets will want to join in the fun during the holiday season. But you won’t want them eating off the plates at dinner time or waking guests in the middle of the night. Determine designated areas where pets can stay to minimize disruptions. Set expectations ahead of time so guests know exactly how to handle their pets in your home- this will avoid any incidents and award confrontations.

two dogs standing on hind legs with front paws on a small pet gate in front of them
Photo source: Aleksandr Zotov / Getty Images


Holiday hosting tip #6: Ensure bathrooms are guest-ready

Bathrooms must be well-stocked to serve your guests. Ensure you have the essentials, such as soap, shampoo, and toothpaste. You may also want to purchase a new towel set to upgrade bathroom aesthetics.

Consider adding festive touches for some holiday cheer. Add candles that feature holiday scents like pine or citrus. Provide holiday-themed hand towels for guests to use. 

Holiday Hosting tip #7: Don’t neglect the outside of your home

The outside of the home must also be holiday-ready- whether you will be hosting outdoors or not.

Outdoor holiday decorations

Decorate your exterior so guests are filled with holiday cheer as soon as they arrive. Items like patio lights, firepits, and comfortable furnishings will make outdoor gatherings and guests’ arrival more delightful. If you’re looking for some DIY holiday yard decor, our site blog The Garden Glove has your back on this one!

Photo source: HGTV


Outdoor safety precautions

You must also consider the safety of your guests when you are outdoors during the holiday season. Before hosting, ensure outdoor areas are well-lit and free of slipping or tripping hazards. 

Have fun hosting for the holidays!

Last but not least, have fun! The holidays are a time to gather with friends and family, and getting to host them is a privilege. You are the one providing the space and atmosphere for their holiday memories, and that’s something truly special. What do you do to prepare your home for the holiday season? Let me know in the comments if you have any good tips!

If you enjoyed this post, you should check out more holiday inspiration in our posts on holiday craft ideas, winter decor ideas to make your home extra cozy, or our Christmas village ideas.

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