Alaskans are crazy popular. Why else would people fly thousands of miles to trudge through rain, sleet, and snow just to visit us? Head to the lower 48 for a day and you'll find yourself inundated with self-imposed invitations from family, friends, acquaintances, and even random strangers that want to come meet us in all our Alaskan glory. And once the summer slew dies down, it's time to prep for the holiday visitors and winter arrivals.
Between the last days of fall and the first days of winter comes a little window for us to reflect upon our place in the grander scheme, and ready ourselves (and our home) for the next onslaught. I've gathered a few crafty ways to prepare your winter getaway for guests, and score a few more of those sought-after popularity points.
Posh hotels score high for their cleanliness, plush linens, and thoughtful accessories. No matter your budget, a few tricks can take you a long way from house to hotel.
Clean the Nooks and Crannies
Everyone has their own idea of what feels "clean," so when readying for guests it's best to go above and beyond. After completing your usual cursory cleaning take a minute to go around the house with fresh eyes. Imagine you're the guest and suddenly you notice the pile of papers left in the corner, the cluttered closet that once stored jackets, and the computer or TV cords jumbled about. File away your excess items and clutter, and leave at least one closet with space for guests to hang items. Cinch up cords with yarn or string to keep them orderly. Whether you have a pull-out couch or a guest room, make sure the sleeping area is super-clean.
Clean sheets, blankets and towels are the first steps in creating comfort. To organize the process, buy a spool of colored ribbon for each guest you have. Then, place guest items in a basket or drawer labeled with a "guest" tag, tied on with the colored ribbon. Add a tray with water in the room and label the water glass with the ribbon by wrapping a strip around the bottom and taping it in place. Stitch a small square of the ribbon onto each guest towel so they know which is theirs for the stay.
If the accessories make the outfit, then the toiletries make the guest room. Providing a small tray with a few items like soap, shampoo and toothpaste is handy in a pinch, and if left unused can be ready for the next guest who may visit. Top the entire room off with a proverbial "chocolate on the pillow" to win extra points. To make chocolate mints from scratch, simply take chocolate, condensed milk and peppermint extract. Melt the ingredients together, pour into molds, and let cool. Follow the recipe at www.recipestar.com/recipes/view/chocolate-mints-5422 for a lovely little pillow-topping morsel.
However you ready your retreat for winter guests, remember they are here to see you and get cozy and comfortable for a few days. So as long as it's clean, and you keep the cocoa coming, everything should work out fine.
This article first published here by The Capital City Weekly.