How To Prepare For Guests Over Christmas

Christmas is a truly magical time of year until you remember that everyone (and their dog) is coming to your home. Whilst we’re sure you’re looking forward to spending time with your guests, it can be very easy to fret when you wonder if you have space for everyone.

The host has a lot to do, from somehow conjuring up a Christmas feast (usually catering to multiple dietary requirements) to making sure everyone has a comfortable bed and everything they need.

With that in mind, we advise that you plan ahead, but don’t get carried away. The essentials will be covered in the next 6 points, and going beyond that is entirely up to you and your commitments. Your guests are here to see you, so don’t fall into the trap of working so hard to make your home into a hotel that you are too busy to relax!

1. Check in with your guests before they arrive

As well as the time and day of arrival, check in about food likes and dislikes, allergies and sleep preferences. It doesn’t need to be an interrogation, but it will help you plan.

If one visiting couple get up at 6am every day, and another are late risers, then which one would you choose to give the sofa bed in the living room and which the spare room? It would make more sense to give the late risers the living room - they are less likely to be frustrated about not being able to go to bed earlier if the living room is still in use in the evenings.

Knowing about food preferences and allergies is a simple thing, but it can really take the pressure off of you. Nothing worse than realising that you’ve made mac n cheese for someone with lactose intolerance!

2. Do a quick clean

Don’t feel like you need to go into full spring cleaning mode, but do make sure you have vacuumed and dusted in the rooms that will be used, especially if they are spare rooms and don’t get used too often.

Consider some scented candles or flowers (make sure you’ve checked for allergies, first!) and make sure the place looks and smells clean. If you have time a tray of tea and biscuits are always welcome.

3. Think about space

We’ve already talked a little about how to decide where your guests should sleep, but don’t forget about storage! If they’re in a living room or office, is there space for them to store their bags?

If you have a spare room, is there a little space in a wardrobe or chest of drawers for guests? Even if you normally have it full of things, see if you can clear out some space for your guests to organise their belongings and hang up clothes to avoid creasing.

4. Do a little meal planning

Whether you’re an expert meal planner, or normally just plan on the go, you will need to consider a plan for Christmas dining. This is especially true when you are expecting guests!

Any good Christmas cookbook usually contains helpful plans to help you have as much of Christmas dinner ready as possible before the big day, but don’t forget about all the other, more ‘normal’ days your guests will be there for.

What do your visitors like for breakfast, for example? Some people have cereal, others like toast, and it is a great idea to check in and ask about these things, especially if you wouldn’t normally buy breakfast things at all!

5. Final Touches

Make sure you have fresh bedding and lay out plenty of blankets. Some people are cold sleepers and will be grateful for them.

In the bathroom that the guests are using, make sure there are plenty of towels (and guests know which ones to use) and if you can, make sure that toiletries are on display too - things like toothpaste, shower gel, face wipes and hand lotion.

If your spare room doesn’t have great curtains, consider also a couple of eye-masks for sleeping. However, if you’re in the Northern hemisphere, a surplus of daylight at this time of year is, unfortunately, not usually a problem!

6. And now, allow yourself to relax!

You have done all the prep you can, so don’t worry about whether your living room is looking outdated or if you have enough crockery. Get some paper plates for emergencies, pull a few crackers and raise a toast to yourself, because you are doing a fantastic job!

Are you hosting this Christmas? What are your top tips for welcoming guests into your home? Let us know in the comments!

Bio: Sara works for Storage Vault, a Scottish self-storage company. We love helping you organise things, from Christmas decorations to summer clothes. For more top tips on storing and planning, check out our blog.

*Guest post


  1. I like to pop the wifi code somewhere easy to find when I have visitors, have plenty of nibbles in that I don't need to spend ages preparing so I can chat with my guests rather than being stuck in the kitchen.

  2. Hmm - do a quick clean - I think it might take a bit more than a scented candle Mel but I'll give it a go x

  3. These are great tips - I always get stressed over hosting Christmas, but you've really covered everything here.

  4. Some really good tips here! I've never actually had guests stay for Christmas, so this is a helpful future reference :)


  5. I never seem to be prepared for guests arriving. Even if I clean for hours, I still don't think it looks good enough. I think maybe I worry too much!

  6. Having people over can be stressful. Ive never had people over for christmas, it sounds hard work