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Four steps to a guest-ready spare room

Good Housekeeping UK logo Good Housekeeping UK 16/11/2018 Emilie Martin

© Provided by Getty It's the entertaining time of year, and if you're planning on playing host anytime soon, make sure you don't leave organising to the last minute!

Because no matter how organised you think you are in your Christmas preparations, the festivities have an uncanny knack of creeping up on you. One minute you’re shopping for gifts; the next, your holiday house guests are on the doorstep and their beds still aren’t made.

When it comes to Christmas, planning ahead is everything. Minimise the last-minute stress by getting your spare room guest-ready now. 

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© Provided by Getty 1. Declutter

If ever there was a time to take on the piles of stuff that seem to be a feature of most spare rooms, it’s now. Make three piles: ‘things that have a home’, ‘things I need to work out where to store’ and ‘things to donate to charity or throw away’. Remember the golden rule of tidying: when you pick something up, don’t put it down again until you put it away in the right place. Leaving things out to put away later is just wishful thinking.

Gallery: Tips to keep your house warm in winter (Photo Services)

2. Launder bedding

We’re talking pillows and duvets here. Pillows should be washed every couple of months to prevent a build-up of things other guests may have left behind, such as sweat, and to deter mites from taking up residence. If yours are overdue an appointment with the washing machine, act now.

Feather, down and hollowfibre pillows can generally go in the washing machine. Choose a gentle, warm cycle and use a small amount of non-bio detergent for feather and down. Tumble dry on a low setting, and chuck in a couple of old tennis balls or laundry balls to plump up the filling and stop it clumping. 

Check the capacity of your machine before you wash duvets. If your duvet has more than a 13.5 tog rating – or is kingsize or larger – you’re better off washing it in a large capacity machine at your local laundrette.

Always check care labels first, just in case your pillow or duvet has special washing instructions.

A lamp on a nightstand © Pierre-Yves Babelon - Getty Images A lamp on a nightstand 3. Free up wardrobe space

If your house guests are staying for a few days, they’ll appreciate having space in the wardrobe or in a chest of drawers to store their clothes and belongings.

Pack away clothes you don’t plan on wearing over Christmas using space-saving vaccum bags that can be stowed away under the bed.

Freshen up the wardrobe by sprinkling bicarbonate of soda on the carpet at the bottom, letting it sit for 15 minutes, then vacuuming it up. Use the crevice nozzle attachment to vacuum inside drawers you have emptied.

To make the most of the wardrobe space you’ve freed up, use space saving hangers with vertically stacked hangers to store four times the number of tops in the same hanging space.

4. Revive curtains

The run-up to Christmas might not be the best time to tackle a big job such as washing your curtains. Instead, spruce them up by giving them a vacuum with the upholstery attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Spritz them with a deodorising spray such as Febreze Classic Fabric Refresher to freshen them. 

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