Are you hosting this holiday?

Are you panicking?

Having company can be overwhelming, and readying your home for guests can seem like an enormous task. Lucky for me, I have a friend who knows about these things. One text to Miss Sheri, and I’ve got a guide to help me focus (and to choose which chores to ignore!).

Miss Sheri says:

  • Sweep your front porch (or step or stoop or landing) and make sure that it is free of cobwebs. Clear out and dead plants or flowers you may have leftover from the season before. Your front door is your first impression, so make it welcoming!
  • Shine all your surfaces in the entertaining areas. Clean your kitchen counters and dust/polish any wood surfaces such as your dining table, coffee table, end tables or TV stand.
  • Adjust your lighting depending on season and time of day. Open blinds and curtains for sunny day occasions and turn on lamps etc for a more intimate night or wintry occasion.
  • Clean the floors that will be seen: mainly in high traffic areas of the home. Skip rooms no one will be going into. Close the doors to any unsightly bedrooms or offices ahead of time.
  • Freshen your bathroom. Make sure the mirror, countertop, and toilet are all spotless. Hang a fresh hand towel.
  • Light a scented candle while you are preparing, but blow it out before guests arrive so as to leave a pleasant, but not an overwhelming smell. This is particularly a good idea in case one of your guests has perfume sensitivities.
  • Ready any appetizers or beverages before company arrives so that you can focus on providing a warm unharried greeting.
  • Schedule about 5 minutes before company arrives. Double-check yourself in the mirror, change any clothes that might have been soiled during cleaning, and let your heart rate slow.

And here’s one of my own: Remember that it’s your holiday, too. Your guests are going to have a wonderful time in your home–and so are you!

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