Thanksgiving is a day to share a delicious meal and to indulge in all the tempting baked goods. And it’s a day to spend time with your loved ones and be thankful.
For many, it’s that special time of year when you host visiting family or friends. With that in mind, now is the time to prepare.
We asked NoVA-based organizing experts for some key tips to prepare your home for guests.
Make a Priority List
More than likely, you have a long to-do list in your mind and not a lot of time to focus on getting everything accomplished.
The first step is to organize your priorities. That way, you can visually see what all needs to be done.
“Use time away from your technology as a chance to chip away at your to-do list before your guests arrive,” says Rachel Rosenthal, organizing expert and founder of Rachel and Company, a company with clients across the DC metro area. “Start by creating a bite-sized priority list of three to five tasks that you can run through and that can take priority over all of the other to-dos.”
Getting through smaller chunks of tasks will help you stay focused on what’s important and keep you motivated, Rosenthal adds.
Take Things One Room at a Time
To avoid getting overwhelmed, try and tackle each room of your home individually, rather than trying to clean up the entire house at the same time.
Use this time to identify what needs to be done in each room.
“Creating a list of what linens or toiletries need to be restocked will be helpful in getting you prepared in advance for guests,” Rosenthal says.
Pull out any items from each room that don’t belong and put them back in their designated spots.
“As you are going through the stuff in each room, think about if it is in that spot for a reason, Rosenthal says. “Maybe the toys in the guest room are no longer played with, or the clothing hasn’t been touched all year.”
“If you haven’t used the item in a while or forgot you even had it, take that as a sign to let it go. It could be a good excuse to declutter,” she says.
Get Spaces Ready for Guests
Decide in what room or area of your home guests will stay and prepare those spaces ahead of time to avoid added stress once they arrive.
“Take out fresh linens and put them near the area where guests will be staying or make up the bed in preparation,” says Rosenthal.
“Think about what you would want if you were a guest in someone’s house,” says Lauren Sadlon, owner of Neat Method Northern Virginia. “Maybe some nice soaps, fresh towels, and hangers in the closet to hang up their clothes.”
“And be sure to stock the most-used bathrooms with extra toilet paper and hand towels,” Rosenthal says.
“It could also be a nice touch to create a basket of items guests might need or ask for while at your home, including toiletries, pens, and a hairdryer,” Rosenthal says.
Check Your Existing Stock
The holiday season often brings with it additional home décor, entertaining essentials, and an influx of food and drinks.
“Before you head out to the store, take a look at what you have on hand (including what’s tucked in the back of the cabinets) before bringing extras or duplicates into your space,” Rosenthal says. “You’ll be grateful for the time and money that you save just from the 5-minute sweep.”
“It’s also a good idea to find out what sort of things your guests like to drink in the mornings,” says Sadlon.
That way, you can set up a small, self-serve breakfast station with coffee, tea, cream, and sugar.
“Having a little grab-and-go area in the morning just helps make things easier for both you and your guests,” Sadlon says.
Prepare Your Kitchen for a Day of Cooking
Once you’ve secured all your food items, also make sure to locate and have handy all the things you will need to cook the meal.
Pull down your roasting pan or any serving platters that have been tucked away, and make sure there is plenty of counter space for food preparation.
“Guests often like to bring something to contribute to the meal, so make sure to give clear direction and ensure that there is space in the pantry or fridge for their items,” says Sadlon.
“Thanksgiving is such a kitchen-heavy holiday, so it really is so important to prepare ahead of time,” Sadlon adds. “That way, you can focus on entertaining and visiting with your guests while they are there.”
Feature image, stock.adobe.com
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