Stay Calm & Holiday On: Speed Queen’s Guide on Preparing for House Guests

The holidays are a time filled with family, friends and food, but the days leading up to the holidays can be filled with stress. If you’re hosting this year’s get together, we’re here to help you keep calm and put your focus on holiday joy instead. Follow our festive guide on preparing for house guests.

Dining Room Leg Work

So many memories happen around the dining room table, so it’s natural to put a lot of your holiday prep focus here. From freshening up the fancy placemats to adding a little extra holiday cheer, here’s how to deck out your dining room.

Washing Placemats and Table Linens

  • Fabric placemats: Cotton, polyester and similar blends are typically safe to machine wash, but always be sure to check the fabric care labels. Machine washable placemats should be washed with cold water, reshaped and dried flat.
  • Vinyl, wicker, bamboo or plastic placemats: It’s best to clean placemats made with these materials by wiping them down with a soapy cloth or sponge. If your placemats have a woven texture, it can be tricky to remove particles stuck between the weaving. If this is the case, run your placemat under water and rub with your fingers or an old toothbrush to help loosen food particles.

Holiday Table Setting Ideas

  • Place utensils in mini holiday stockings at each person’s place at the table.
  • Top off plain napkin rings with festive embellishments—hot glue faux holly berries, mini snowflakes or another seasonal décor as a simple DIY project.  
  • Run a battery-lit swag on a runner down the middle of the table for a simple, yet elegant touch that can be easily removed at dinner time.
  • Create ball ornament place cards by using a ribbon to tie a tag with each person’s name on the top loop.

Spruce Up the Guest Room

Overnight guests can add another level of stress to your preparations, but now’s the time to stop that stress in its tracks. Make preparing for house guests easy with these simple steps.

Washing Oversized Items

You’ve washed the bed sheets and are left with the comforter. Not sure how to wash it? You’ll be happy to know you have options.

  • Washing machine: If your comforter is machine washable and your washer is large enough to handle the task, simply wash your comforter in cold water on a delicate cycle. Dry it on a low-heat setting and toss in a few clean tennis balls to help bring the fluff back to life. (See our Washing a King Size Comforter video)
  • Bathtub: An alternative washing method is partially filling your bathtub with warm water. Once the comforter is wet, add a cap of detergent and use your hands to work the soap into the fabric like a machine would. Drain the tub and rinse until you no longer see suds. Squeeze out as much water as possible and either hang to dry or toss in the dryer.

And don’t forget about the pillows. Create fresh, clean pillows for your guests by following the same steps. For an added touch guests will appreciate, add a few drops of essential oil to the tennis balls to give your pillows a soothing scent.

Make Way for Guests

Help guests feel at home by clearing some drawer and closet space for them to use during their stay. If your spare bedroom’s drawers are a bit on the musty side, freshen them up with a few dryer sheets or stuff a few mismatched socks with potpourri to create sachets for each drawer.

Five-Star Quality

Now that you’ve cleaned the bathroom from top to bottom, it’s time to tackle the towels. If you notice the guest towels are feeling a little rough, follow these steps to make them feel as fluffy those you find in a hotel:

  • Wash towels with hot water and a cup of vinegar—no laundry detergent.
  • Next, wash the same load of towels in hot water, this time only with a cup of baking soda. 
  • Run one more cycle, only with hot water and dry as normal.

After your towels have been stripped of residue and are left feeling like new, finish off bathroom prep by stocking the medicine cabinet or a wide glass vase with a few travel-sized essentials. Sure, your guests may have brought their own, but it’s a nice touch and will be appreciated if they forgot an item.

Preparing for house guests is a little extra work, but once your company arrives, it all pays off. Wishing you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.