13 Tips For Surviving Holiday Houseguests Gallery

13 Tips for Surviving Holiday Houseguests

If you're playing host this holiday season, there is one important thing to remember: Take it all in stride. You will get tired, overwhelmed, and irritated with a bustling home. But there are a few easy ways to help survive the rush of holiday guests. Keep them happy and full with plenty of snacks, spread everyone out, and if all else fails, get yourself out of the house and have some much-needed alone time.

Clean Everything

Before your guests even arrive, clean your house from top to bottom. It's just the right thing to do — no one likes to look at dust bunnies and cat litter tracked all throughout the house. And keep tidying up your house repeatedly throughout the duration of your guests' stay. With more people and more things throughout the house, things can get cluttered and dirty really quickly, making your home feel even more cramped than it already is.

Manage Expectations

Everyone wants to have the most perfect family holiday, but be sure to keep your dreams realistic. Know that someone will probably drink too much. Someone will almost certainly be rude or passive-aggressive all throughout their stay. Remember that family and friends can be a lot to take on during the holidays, and plan accordingly.

Make Your Guest Rooms Extra Accommodating

Being a good host means that your guests will be incredibly comfortable. Make your guest rooms cozy with freshly laundered sheets, towels for their use, and some entertainment that will make their quarters feel like home. Bonus: If their rooms are particularly relaxing, your guests are more likely to spend time in there, giving you some breathing room.

Keep Snacks and Drinks Handy

The only thing worse than a house bursting at the seams with guests? A house bursting at the seams with hungry houseguests. You won't want to whip up a full holiday dinner every time someone's stomach starts rumbling, so keep your kitchen filled with easy snacks to tide people over. Try keeping some hummus and veggies around for a healthy snack, or for those with a sweet tooth, make a quick batch of Christmas cookies.

Set the Rules

You need to be accommodating for your guests, but you can't let them run your household. If you have a few particular quirks and needs at your home, make the rules known. If you want to ask guests to remove their shoes when they come inside, to be quiet after 10 p.m., or to make sure to wash their hands before meals, those are all perfectly reasonable requests.

Don’t Worry About Everything Being Perfect

Yes, you should clean and you should try and prepare as many snacks and meals as possible, but something will inevitably fall through the cracks. And that's OK! At the end of the day, your houseguests are there to visit you and spend time with you during the holidays. They're not judging the décor in your bathroom (or they shouldn't be).

Accept Help (But Know When to Say ‘No Thank You’)

You don't have to do everything alone. Some guests feel better when they help cook Christmas breakfast or throw in a basket of laundry. Let them help! However, some things are just easier to do yourself. You don't need someone to cut all of the vegetables for your stuffing when that's all you need to do that morning. Know when to say no, too.

Plan Some Fun Activities (Out of the House)

Especially during the winter when it's cold outside, people may be likely to try and stay in the house. Simply put: That is a bad idea. Spending endless time in the same house with the same people is a quick way for tensions to rise. Be sure to plan an activity away from the home to get everyone out and about. Take in a local tradition, such as a holiday market or Christmas light trail. That way, you can show off your town in addition to diffusing inevitable bickering.

Teach Your Guests About Your Town

As you and your guests are marveling at holiday decorations and visiting quirky Christmas towns, teach them about the things in the city where you live, such as restaurants, bars, and local sights. If something piques their interests, your guests are likely to leave the house and explore on their own and give you some much-needed time alone.

Have Your Own Space

You need to be able to take refuge in your own home, especially when keeping houseguests gets overwhelming. So keep one or two rooms off-limits to your guests. The obvious place to continue to call your own is the master bedroom. A big, cozy bed will never seem more comfortable than when you're the only one in it, with quiet and perhaps a good book as your only company away from a busy house. Enjoy this space. It's yours.

Spread Your Guests Out

Just like how your need your own space, your guests need it too. If you have the available space, use it to house your guests. If you're working with limited space and your guests are staying for more than a few days, think about investing in some room dividers. Everyone needs a little privacy. If you have a bigger home, don't stack a whole family of five in one bedroom. Consider putting people in slightly unorthodox rooms, such as an unused living room, basement, or spacious office.

Get Out of the House

Sometimes you'll just need to escape the flood of holiday houseguests. The best way to do that? Make an excuse to "run an errand" and slip away by yourself for a few hours. Whether you actually run that errand is up to you. But getting some time to yourself to sip a coffee, do some holiday shopping, or even just drive around will help you escape the chaos and clear your mind.

Be Flexible

In general, it's good to be a flexible person who adapts to the needs and wants of others and goes with the flow when plans happen to change. But the importance of being this way is massively increased when hosting holiday houseguests. Their whims, desires, and needs will change. It's going to be easy to get frustrated by that. However, to be the most gracious host, you should be as accommodating as possible. And now that you know how to deal with guests, know what to feed them with our guide to every recipe you need to get through the holidays.