Expecting guests for the holidays? Try these no-stress secrets to getting it ready faster than you can say, “Happy Thanksgiving!” (Okay, maybe not quite that fast, but you get the point.) Your home will be more inviting than a fancy hotel with these quick tricks from the pros!
Eliminate odors with kitty litter sachets.
The first thing guests will notice about your house? “How it smells,” says Shawna Dirksen, owner of Practically Minimal. Instead of masking odors with candles, she suggests opting for odor-absorbing sachets that clean and purify the air. To make them, fill a leg from a pair of pantyhose with unused kitty litter, which absorbs bad smells and dampness, and knot the end to secure. Tuck sachets under a bed or on a bookshelf.
Freshen bed linens with dryer sheets.
Guest beds, if not used often, can take on a musty scent that airing out never seems to cure. The fix? After making up the bed with fresh sheets, dab lavender essential oil onto a few dryer sheets and place them over and under the top sheet, says Dean Davies, a professional cleaner at Fantastic Services, and remove when guests arrive. “The dryer sheets will infuse a pleasant scent into the fabric and help absorb excess dampness, which prevents musty odors.”
Make towels feel luxurious with a baking soda rinse.
Getting towels to feel as fluffy as hotel towels starts with baking soda! Simply add one cup of the staple to the wash cycle and wash on hot. “Baking soda absorbs odors and residue on towels and breaks up fibers, leaving them extra soft,” says Maria Juvakka, founder of Chic Pursuit. And the hot water nixes odor-causing bacteria. (The treatment is safe on colors.)
Perk up a bathroom with mini essentials.
To truly dazzle guests, set out a basket of travel-size products like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste and an extra toothbrush, says Juvakka. “It’s a thoughtful touch that really comes in handy if they forgot to pack something.”
Help guests feel welcome by clearing closet space.
No one wants to live out of their suitcase, so give guests a place to unpack by clearing a little space in your guest bedroom’s dresser or closet. Just take a few plastic dollar-store bins and stash big-space items like sweaters, coats, and boots, which will clear the most space in the least amount of time, then store them under the bed.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.