5 (Helpful) Holiday Houseguest Hacks + Visa Gift Card Giveaway

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Hi, I'm Tina!

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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This post is brought to you by Merry Maids. As always, thank you so much for supporting CNC!

This time of year, many of us are expecting guests. Maybe they’re staying for a few nights or just guests at a party you’re hosting. No matter the occasion, it’s important that your home is warm and welcoming. But, of course, as crazy as the holiday season can be, it’s not always easy to go the extra mile and have things in tip-top shape. I know we’ve definitely scrambled to get our house in order when guests are about to arrive. Holy hectic! That said, here are five expert “hacks” from Merry Maids that will help you– quickly and easily– prepare for holiday visitors and houseguests!

Holiday Houseguest Hacks

Organize the Chaos

Oh my gosh, does anyone else’s kitchen counters look like this by the end of the day?


It’s a constant struggle for our family, and I’m always looking for ways to organize and contain the chaos. Mail, bags, toys, daycare reports, receipts (one of my biggest pet peeves with Mal), clothing, water bottles, and snack cups always seem to have a mind of their own and take over every inch of our counter space. Before hiding them in drawers or closets, I’ll grab a decorative bin or box and keep them together. It’s almost like I add to my décor by organizing the chaos and creating the illusion of having a clutter-free home. I’ve also started to place a bin at the bottom of our stairs to wrangle random items that ultimately belong upstairs. At the end of the day, I carry it upstairs with me, so the clutter is out of the living spaces.

Literally Disconnect Your Rooms

Between TVs, gaming systems (why do we need two?), and cell phone chargers, there are cords coming out of every wall in our house, which makes things look more like a technology store instead of a home. Plus, looking at all of those (sometimes tangled) cords is stressful! Here’s a simple trick: Just go through each room and unplug the wires that aren’t necessary, like extra cell phone chargers, laptop cords, hair dryers, and electric toothbrushes. Doing this keeps wires out of sight and makes for a much cozier space.

Give the Floors a Once-Over… Just Once

With a toddler and a dog, it’s a constant struggle to keep our floors and carpets clean. The two of them track so much stuff inside! But, of course, squeaky-clean floors and freshly-vacuumed carpets really make a difference in how your home shows to your guests, so we always make sure to clean them (just once) before they arrive. Our floors are definitely highly trafficked areas and the pug fur just never stops shedding. Cleaning them in advance doesn’t save time, so I wait until the very last minute.


Deodorize Without Overdoing It

Scent is a powerful sense and having a clean-smelling home goes a long way. Before guests come over, we always take out the trash prior to them arriving and typically light some scented candles. We always have a bigger one on the countertop in the kitchen, so guests immediately smell it as soon as they walk in. Recently, though, in the spirit of the holidays, we started to create a naturally-delicious smelling fragrance right on our stovetop. Listen to this simple trick: Just add cinnamon sticks and a little vanilla extract to a pot of boiling water and your home will smell like the holidays in no time!


Prepare the Bathrooms

Obviously, when you have houseguests, you want your bathrooms to be clean and welcoming, so I like to make them a priority in my preparations. In addition to a candle in the kitchen, I light smaller candles in the bathrooms to keep them smelling fresh. I also make sure that everything is well-stocked– from the towels and hand soap to the toilet paper and shower products– so our guests are never without what they need. And to speed up the cleaning process, you can recruit the help of household products to clean troublesome places, like the toilet, while you sleep, so that cleaning takes minutes, not hours. Here’s a favorite little trick: Pour one cup of vinegar and one fizzy denture tablet into the bowl. Overnight, it will loosen up hard water deposits and be easier to clean, saving you time and elbow grease.


If you think you might want more help preparing your home for guests, the cleaning services from Merry Maids are just what you need! And right now, they’re offering a free refrigerator cleaning when you sign up for weekly or biweekly service. More details here!

Giveaway time!

Here’s your chance to win a $100 Visa gift card that you can use at Merry Maids or anywhere else you’d like!

To enter: Answer the question below and leave a comment on this blog post. I will randomly pick a winner on Friday! Good luck!

What’s your favorite hack when preparing for houseguests?

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