#WorkingMom tips: Preparing for unexpected holiday guests

A collection of decorative candles help prepare for unexpected holiday guests.

It’s the holidays, the season for getting together with loved ones near and far. It’s also prime time for unexpected drop-in guests.

Friends arriving with little or no notice means dinner for four quickly expands to eight. But with a little preparation, you can handle the impromptu entertaining like a boss!

Here are four strategies to ensure you’re always ready for “the more, the merrier” side of the season.

Start with a quick cleanup

There’s always that panic-inducing moment when you realize your kitchen and guest bathroom need a once-over. As a working mom, you probably have one day a week dedicated to your big clean, and chances are your guests didn’t pick that day to stop by.

No worries. That’s what multi-purpose wipes and multi-purpose cleaners are for; always keep them handy. If you have at least some warning, you can make things sparkle while giving them a fresh clean scent and complete some other tidying tasks in 30 minutes or less.

Packages of Amway Home L.O.C. Multi-Purpose Wipes, one of them open with a wipe sticking out and ready to use.

If they arrive with no notice, delegate the emergency chores to your family while you make your guests feel at home.

In the kitchen, load the dishwasher, wipe down the counters and do a quick sweep of the floor.

In the bathroom, tackle the water spots that seem to appear everywhere. Make sure you hit the sink, counter, mirror, and toilet. (Also check your supply of tissue and toilet paper.)

If time allows, do some quick decluttering, dusting and vacuuming in areas where your guests will be.

Set the mood

You can quickly change the ambiance of a busy household with holiday scents and sounds. Keep a stash of candles on hand: unscented pillars for the table and decorative ones with subtle holiday aromas for the sitting area.

Turn off the television and turn on your favorite holiday playlist, and you have a relaxing setting for your impromptu gathering.

Have refreshments on hand

It’s always welcoming when you can immediately greet your visitors with a holiday beverage — whether it’s fruit-flavored chilled water in a pretty glass carafe or more festive drinks like cider or wine.

These items are easy to add to your shopping list during the holidays and they come together in a snap when the need arises.

If it’s a morning pop-in, throw on the kettle (electric or otherwise) and treat your guests to French press coffee or loose-leaf tea while you savor your time together.

A plate of shrimp and scallop linguine.

Keep your pantry stocked

This will help you whip up some food quickly. A supply of various chips, crackers, dip, cheese, and fruit easily becomes a smorgasbord of appetizers.

Pasta makes an easy dinner when you can doctor it up with any combination of jarred sauces, olive oil, canned tomatoes, Italian spices and good cheese.

Add some vegetables along with some precooked chicken or seafood from your freezer, and you have a hearty meal without having to dash off to the store.

While your guests’ arrival might catch you off guard, making a few preparations before the visiting season means you’ll be able to focus on your visitors instead of worrying about your house – whether they arrived unexpectedly or not.

Need some suggestions on products to have on hand for those holiday preparations? We’ve got you covered! Amway Home™ L.O.C.™ Multi-Purpose Wipes and L.O.C.™ Multi-Purpose Cleaner can handle most of your last minute cleaning needs.

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