With a blink of an eye it seems as though the holiday season is upon is! Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and once we finish our turkey, December always speeds right by Christmas and New Years are popping up on the calendar. This holiday season is a little bit different for us, since I’m inching through my third-trimester, we’ll be doing a bit less traveling to see friends and family out of state, and instead having some visitors stay with us! I’m sad about missing a few traditions that my family does in NY, but I’m actually really excited for mix things up and have family stay with us for the first time ever. Making everyone feel at home and special — since it’s a new tradition we’re starting this year — is top of mind for me right now. I thought it was the perfect time to share a few of my tips for how to prepare for house guests and make everyone feel welcome!img_5787Start with the basics. Before anything else, you have to start with the basics and give your bathrooms a deep scrub (my amazing husband always takes on this task because he’s a saint!), change out all of the bedding and put on freshly washed sheets, set out stacks of fluffy freshly cleaned towels, and give everything a good vacuum and dust.

Stock the bathrooms. Is there anything more awkward as a houseguest when you forget an essential toiletry, or have to ask the hostess for things like more toilet paper or towels? Make guests feel comfortable and stock up! Ensure you have all the supplies on hand if people forget things like toothbrushes, contact solution, and razors. Add extra Cottonelle® toilet paper to each bathroom (remember: more people in the house means you’ll go through more than normal, which is why I buy the Cottonelle Mega Roll® – it’s 4 rolls in 1, so it requires less changing when I’m hosting a party or entertaining guests!), and add extra towels to each bathroom to easily freshen things up when guests go through linens.img_5788

Make room for guests. Clear out a little extra space so that guests don’t feel intrusive keeping their belongings accessible during their stay. Make some space in the hallway for their coats and shoes, clear off some hooks in the bathroom for their towels, and create a space on bathroom counter or on a shelf nearby so they have a spot for their toiletries. It’s also a good idea to ensure there’s an easy spot in the guest bedroom to prop up luggage, like a luggage stand or cleared off chair or ottoman.

Add thoughtful details and little luxuries. Break out the good stuff that makes guests feel special and comfortable. That means if you normally use a grocery-store brand soap, or discount toilet paper, put those things away while guests are visiting and upgrade to a decorative soap, good toilet paper like Cottonelle® with CleanRipple® Texture that has better strength and softness. You can also spring for nice coffee, grab some bottled water to leave near your guests bed, and other little luxuries that don’t cost much but make a big difference. It’s also nice to stock the guest bedroom with cell phone chargers, water bottles near the nightstand, and a note with the Wi-Fi password so guests have all the amenities they need.

Give a tour. Give guests the lay of the land when they arrive so they can help themselves. Point out where they can grab their coats if they have to pop out, show them to the bathrooms, their room, and where they can grab their own coffee, drinks or cocktails. It’ll save you a bit of time tending to their needs, and make them feel at home.

Please note: This post was created in partnership with Cottonelle and Better Homes and Gardens. All opinions, tips and images are my own.