By Martha Smith, Certified Self Storage Manager
The holidays are coming and you are planning to have house guests. You want to make your guests feel comfortable and not like an imposition. What better way to begin preparing for their stay than to declutter the room or rooms they will be staying in? Renting a self storage unit is a great idea for short term storing, especially around the holidays. You can even use the storage unit for your holiday gifts, so there won’t be any peeking!
Maybe you already have a storage unit for all those holiday decorations. If so, the transition should be simple. Move the decorations out so you can make your home feel like the holidays, and put the not so needed file cabinets from the home office or craft tables into your storage unit. If you don’t already have a storage unit, you can rent one online now and be ready for your guests.
Now for some ideas to make your home and your guests’ space comfortable for their visit:
- You will probably need a folding bed or two. If you don’t have them already, purchase them at your local retailer or online. The take up very little space when folded, and you can put these in your storage unit for the next time you have overnight guests. When placing in storage, be sure to cover them with a plastic cover to protect them from dust and dirt.
- Having extra sheets, blankets and pillows on hand is essential. Run them through the wash a few days before the visit, so they feel and smell fresh. When your guests head home, wash them again and pack them into storage totes or boxes and place them back into your storage unit for the next time.
- You may want to place a small night stand and lamp in the room if there isn’t one already. You can pick these up for little cost from a yard sale or Craig’s list, or even brand new at a department store. If your guest is new to your home they probably don’t know their way around, especially at night. Place a night light in those dark pathways in the room and on the way to the bathroom so they do not stumble or get hurt.
- Also, clear a little space in the closet for your guests to hang any articles of clothing. Be sure to have plenty of hangers in there so they can keep their clothes wrinkle free and easy to access. If you removed some of your clothing, you can purchase a wardrobe box in our retail shop so they can remain hanging and ready to use again once your guests head home. You can utilize your storage unit for whatever was in the closet that you needed to move to give them space.
- Make sure your bathrooms are clean and fresh. Plenty of clean towels and wash cloths should be readily available and easy to find. A box of facial tissues and extra rolls of toilet paper should be visible for replacement. You can even place items in there like shampoos, body wash, toothpaste and fresh toothbrushes in case they forgot to bring anything. It’s also a nice touch to provide q-tips, cotton balls and lotion. You will not have time, nor will you want to monitor the supplies while you spend time with your family.
- You may want to ask about favorite meals or dietary restrictions your guests may have. You definitely want to have the refrigerator stocked with things they can eat and drink. What about visiting children’s likes and dislikes. You want to be accommodating to all ages (to a degree). Don’t go overboard, but be sure to provide the essentials so they are comfortable.
- What about your out of town guests? Will they need transportation to or from the airport? Do you have an extra vehicle they can use while in town? Good questions to ask them because you are likely still working at least some of the days they are visiting and will need to accommodate around your schedule.
Your holiday meal planning is also very important. Remove and store items from the counter tops and islands that you don’t need. This will give you plenty of room for baking that big meal or your famous family cookie recipes. It will also make room for holiday helpers in the kitchen. Bring out the fine china and silver, and wash or polish it ahead of time. When meal time comes, be sure to have enough food on the table for all your guests. No one wants to feel like they have to pass on a dish because there may not be enough for everyone at the table. And remember if your guests have food allergies or restrictions, that you have a variety of foods they can enjoy as part of the meal. You certainly don’t want them to feel left out because they have limits.
Your guests’ entertainment is partially your responsibility during their stay as well. Do a search of your local area for fun holiday things to do. It can be a new movie out, some last minute shopping, a holiday parade, a round of golf or whatever their particular interests are. Have some ideas for all age groups, especially if you have children visiting. Don’t over-book though, as you want some time to just sit and relax as well. Find a good balance between activities and home time. Just spending time together during the holidays is great, so be sure to cherish the memories you create.
Most importantly, plan time off work to spend with your friends and family. They didn’t come visit you just to sit in your home alone while you are away all day long. Now, if they are in town for more than a week, plan as much time at home as you can during that time, but they will surely understand if you cannot take more than a week off. Maybe you can work mornings and be home for the afternoon and evening. Do the best you can to maximize your time together and make them feel welcome during their stay.
If you have any great ideas about making your home ready for holiday guests, please share them in the comments below – we would love to hear them! And if you know you have family coming to town and need that extra space now, rent a storage unit online and get ready for some great memories.