If you have a large front yard, try to focus on just the front entryway and the path leading up to it. Install porch lights, or replace the bulbs on existing lighting. Cut back any shrubbery that is obstructing the walkway. On the day of your party, open the blinds on the front windows so your guests can see into your warm, festive-looking home as they approach. It’s a great way to create a sense of welcoming anticipation.
Always Clean the Floor!
Our mothers used to say this, and it’s true: If your floors are spotless, they make your whole house look cleaner. Even if you’re unable to do an in-depth house cleaning before your gathering, you will certainly want to make sure that all floors have been cleaned before that first guest steps over the threshold.
Spruce Up the Bathroom
If you’re bothered by grimy-looking grout in your bathroom, try this easy, inexpensive, and non-toxic method to get rid of it nearly instantly: Just spray on some full-strength hydrogen peroxide, let it sit for 10 minutes, and then wipe clean. That’s it! Next, add some flowers, holiday decorations, or pictures on the wall to further spiff up your powder room, and it will be ready for your guests.
Improve Your Kitchen Appliances
Your kitchen appliances will be the workhorses of your holiday party, whether you’re hosting a full family dinner or a cocktail party. You want them to be fully functioning and ready for action.
- Make sure all stove burners are working. Now’s the time to clean the oven if you haven’t done that for a while.
- Clean out the refrigerator, and make sure that both the fridge and freezer are running at their optimal temperatures.
- Make sure your dishwasher is in good working order. You can clean it easily with a dishwasher cleaner that you run through a cycle.
Make Sure Your Home Is Kid-Friendly
If you make your home welcoming for children, you will ensure that their parents have a great time as well. If you happen to have kids that are the same ages as your young guests, you’re in luck. But if not, consider adding some considerate touches that will make parents more comfortable, and alleviate kid boredom.
- Turn a spare room or an upstairs bedroom into a private nursing/changing area for a new mom.
- Toddlers and younger children will want to be near their parents, so a good idea for them is to set up a corner of your living or dining room with toys, books, a tablet for watching cartoons, and some comfy pillows or throws.
- One of our favorite strategies for older kids is to turn the dessert course into an activity. For instance, you could bake a huge batch of sugar cookies in holiday shapes, and then put out different colors of icing to let kids (and adults) go to town with decorating their own cookies.