Tips and Tricks
Tips and Tricks

Getting Your Home Ready for Different Types of Holiday Guests

November is the perfect time to start preparing your home for holiday house guests.

Fall is in full swing, which means the holiday season isn’t far behind. Soon, you’ll be stuffing the turkey and before you know it you’ll be stuffing stockings (or stuffing latkes). But before the holiday fun can begin, you need to make sure your home is ready for house guests of all ages, from your cousin’s newborn to your sister’s rambunctious three-year-old and your elderly grandparents. And then there’s always that one relative that insists on bringing their dog everywhere they go.

“’Tis the season for crowds,” says Tsh Oxenreider, The Art of Simple. “It might seem like you’ve got all kinds of time to fortify your abode — but if your family is like mine, November and December are when the calendar gets crazy busy.”

November is the perfect time to start preparing your home for holiday house guests.

Baby-Proofing Your Home

Chances are if you don’t have young kids, you have probably not put much thought into things like child safety. However, if your guest list includes any toddlers or babies – really anyone under the age of 5 – you may want to do some quick child proofing.

  • Outlet Covers: This is baby proofing 101. Children like to explore and stick their fingers, well, everywhere. A few outlet covers can really help make your home a safer place – and they are relatively inexpensive.
  • Baby Gates: Baby gates are your first line of defense, especially if your home has several staircases. If you don’t have any baby gates, don’t hesitate to ask relatives to bring a few. Chances are they will be more than happy to bring a baby gate or two if it means a safer environment for their toddler.
  • Window Cords: Window cords are one of the top hidden hazards in most homes, injuring 1,590 children between the ages of 14 months and eight-years-old from 2006 to 2012, according to estimates from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Next Day Blinds offers multiple cordless products that are Certified Best for Kids. Read more about window covering safety here.
  • Breakables: It’s important to move breakables or heavy objects out of reach. And remember that low-hanging table cloths or decorative doilies are just begging to be grabbed and pulled by little hands.

Thinking About Grandparents and Elderly Relatives

“Whether these senior guests will be staying overnight with you, or just attending a gathering for a few hours, it’s worthwhile to make your home as safe as possible for their visit,” says Caring News.

  • Remove Obstacles: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one-third of all people aged 65 or older will fall each year, and many of these seniors are seriously injured. If your elderly relatives have mobility restrictions and are at risk of falling, it is important to remove any obstacles, such as floor decorations, loose rugs, excess clutter, etc.
  • Increase Lighting: Low light can be another unexpected obstacle for elderly relatives. So, consider adding a bit of additional lighting in key areas, such as the hallway. And be sure to leave the bathroom light on as well. While candles and holiday lights may be festive, they do not provide adequate lighting.
  • Walkway Woes: If you live in a particularly cold area, consider clearing snow and ice from your walkway and outside steps. This is another area where adequate lighting is also a must.
  • Accessibility: Consider accessibility needs, especially when thinking about entryways and stairs.

Pet Proofing Your Home

If you have that one relative who just insists on bringing their dog, it is important to make sure your home is well-equipped. Maria Conti of HGTV recommends a few simple solutions to make life easier for your furry friends and your other guests:

  • Managing Smells: “Air diffusers, stove-top scents and strong candles will keep your space smelling fresh,” says Conti.
  • Move Breakables: Much like dealing with toddlers, puppies are prone to mischief. So, it is better to be safe than sorry and move those breakables out of reach.
  • Window Treatments: Also much like toddlers, pooches and window cords do not mix. Consider hiding cords out-of-site to avoid nasty entanglements. Read more about pet-friendly window treatments here.

Get Your Guest Room Ready

“Creating space for guests in your home involves more than providing a comfortable place to sleep; it’s an opportunity to make people feel welcome and ensure that their time spent with you is memorable,” says Martha Stewart.

If you’re lucky enough to have a guest room, Oxenreider has a few suggestions to help get the room ready for holiday guests:

  • “Provide an empty spot to open and store suitcases and bags,” she says. Clean off tables and just generally de-clutter the room.
  • “Neatly pile extra blankets, pillows, and towels in an easy-to-spot location,” saus Oxenreider. People have different sleeping preferences, so it’s always nice to provide more pillows and blankets than you think is necessary.
  • “Give your guests a light they can turn off from the bed,” says Oxenreider. A lamp on a nightstand is always a plus, especially for house guests who are not familiar with the room layout.

Founded in 1993, Next Day Blinds is a fully integrated, full-service custom window covering company located in Jessup, MD, just 25 miles from Washington, DC, and 15 miles from Baltimore, MD. From sales and design to manufacturing, measuring, installation, and service, we do it all. Our goal is to help you create a better tomorrow by providing a superior result--blinds, shades and shutters that look nicer, last longer, and are there when you want them.