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Prepping Your Home for Holiday Guests {Win a $50 Lowe’s Card!}

This post sponsored by Lowe’s.

As the holidays approach, in the rush of decorating and gift buying, it’s easy to overlook getting your home ready for holiday guests. But it’s not that hard to do, and a few minutes can add warm touches that will make your guests feel extra special.

Inspired by the recent Lowe’s Holiday Ready Home live webcast,


I’ve compiled three tips for getting your home ready for holiday guests — easily and quickly!

Plus, I’ll share with you how  YOU could win a $50 Lowe’s Gift Card to help with your holiday decorating!



christmas tree challenge at tatertots and jello

Tip 1: Make your home’s entry inviting.

(The picture above is from the 1905 Cottage Porch.)

You may have an apartment or not much of a porch. You may have a spectacular portico with plenty of room to decorate. But no matter what your porch/front door looks like, you’re always going to be pressed for time to make it look festive and inviting.

One of my favorite quotes from the Lowe’s Holiday Ready Home live webcast was this:

“You don’t have to recreate the wheel. You just have to make the wheel a little bit cooler.”

So while you can spend hours creating an amazing porch-door-entryscape, you don’t have to if you don’t have time. But you can clean it and add a festive wreath — which doesn’t take hours.

Every year, we spend only about 30 minutes cleaning our porch to make sure it looks inviting for our holiday guests. We usually stock up on at least one new broom from Lowe’s (this year our push broom had bit the dust so we picked up a new one). We clean the leaves out of the gutter, which goes quickly, and then sweep all of the accumulated leaves and dirt from the porch. We remove autumn decor and any cushions that might not stand up to winter weather. And finally we add some of our favorite holiday decor to the porch — like we did at the cottage. (Yes, I’ll be talking about the porch at my home soon.)

(One of my favorite segments of the Lowe’s Holiday Ready Home live webcast — on the “porch” — had some great ideas, too:


Tip 2: Don’t store it – display it!

One of the great things about being a decor blogger is that I get to change my holiday decor every year. One of the downsides of being a decor blogger is that I change my holiday decor every year. So even when there’s something I really liked from a previous year, odds are it won’t fit this year’s color scheme. While I do donate some of my decor and give some to friends, there are some favorite pieces I can’t bear to part with.

(We store all of our past decor in identical plastic tubs in a storage closet built to fit them — tubs and wood for shelving all from Lowe’s.)

As you’re unpacking your holiday decor, put aside a few favorite items you can make into a holiday vignette for your guest room or wherever your guests will stay!

For example, I’ve used last year’s chalkboard ornament — part of the Winter White Photo Tree — to write a welcome message in our guest room.

tatertots and jello chalkboard holiday frame


Tip 3: Add the Personal Touch

This, too, takes only a few minutes. When you’re out doing holiday shopping or even grocery shopping, you can pick up an inexpensive, small gift — or even a few — for your guests. Does your mother in law love dark chocolate? Pick up a small chocolate bar. Stopping by the dollar section in your favorite store? Grab a few simple items to keep the kids entertained.

Again, inspired by the fun segment on the Scandinavian tradition of receiving small gifts in winter boots, you might use some winter boots as decor in your guest room, or anywhere, really. Grab some LED Christmas lights in a color that complements your decor — you can even get a small string of battery-operated ones — at Lowe’s. String some in the top of each boot, and set the small presents in the top.

You could use any small container for this idea; I’ve even just created a small “nest” of lights — with a few presents on top — on the guest room dresser.


What’s your favorite holiday guest decor prep tip?

(Self-medication is not the answer I’m looking for – LOL!)


* * * * * * *

To help you get started with YOUR holiday decorating,

Lowe’s is giving one lucky reader a $50 gift card!

Here’s how you can enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also follow  Lowe’s on Facebook for more great ideas and sign up for their FREE Creative Ideas Magazine with TONS of great DIY  ideas and instructions!!



What are YOU most excited to create for the holidays???

Let me know in the comments!!

Have a FESTIVE day! 


jen signature

Thanks to Lowe’s for providing sponsorship for this post; the opinions and content are mine. See my disclosures.


  1. Great decorating tips and FABULOUS giveaway! I’m sharing on Pinterest :) Hope you have a great rest of your week!

    Diary of a Debutante
    Stephanie @ Diary of a Debutante recently posted…Cyber Monday Giveaway: Preppy Monogrammed Gifts

  2. Darla Bunyan says:

    Shared on google+, fb, and pinterest. I need this one!!!!!! Thanks Jen for the chance!

  3. Love your yellow door!!! Did you buy it that way or did you paint it? Would love a yellow door :) I’m inspired!
    Edith Pont recently posted…A Framework for Success-Part5: Work Life Balance

  4. Mary Gardner says:

    My tip fr guests is to keep thinks like assorted nuts, cheese, crackers, olives, cookies and candies in your pantry to have when unexpected guests arrive. Just put them in silver or glass bowls and trays for a nice but quick snack

  5. Mary Gardner says:
  6. shared on twitter!
    Kelly M recently posted…Fun Fonts For Free!

  7. I shared this on Pinterest!

  8. I tweeted about this giveaway https://twitter.com/jessrwarfield/status/406866658943184896
    Jessica w recently posted…Labor Day Weekend

  9. I shared! Thanks for the good tips. :)

    Debra Womack recently posted…I got pulled over…

  10. I love everything about the holidays and this year I get to spend it with my first grandchild who will be 11 months on Christmas.

  11. Nataly Carbonell says:
  12. Amanda Sakovitz says:
  13. Thanks for a chance to win this gift card from Lowes… we don’t have a christmas tree, winning this give card can be a great blessing for us to go buying one :)
    Helen Gullett recently posted…Quick Quilt Card: Bountiful Season

  14. Donna Ingalls says:

    I’m most excited about making a Christmas wreath for my front door out of items purchased at Lowe’s.

  15. Anjie Behunin says:

    I don’t normally have any guests for the Holidays at least not ones that stay for longer than coffee and a chat. But I AM inspired to make my small porch and “entry way” a little more inviting even for those short visits.

  16. This year I am decorating my house red, silver, and aqua. We recently moved and my regular decorations are still in storage. So I am creating my own things. They are adorable! I did see a few things to add to the fun at Lowes. I can’t wait to decorate!

  17. I really enjoyed this post! I’m not the greatest decorator in the world and tend to get a little overwhelmed this time of year. These tips made everything seem really doable. Thanks!
    Annie Haste recently posted…Howdy

  18. I think the best idea to welcome guests is a wreath. I just love doing mesh deco wreaths. I did one in silver to match my silver theme. One in lime green to match my white/green theme. A candy cane one to match my Red/White theme. I plan on doing one for my sil in red with recycled diet coke ornaments.

  19. So many great tips Jen. I agree- it can be hard to part with certain favorites – changing them up to fit the new theme is something that has been on my mind.

    Loved seeing your reflection in the window :)

    Hope your Thanksgiving was blessed- you were on my mind.
    Gina recently posted…Dark Chocolate Almond Biscotti

  20. Decorating ! and two whole weeks of NOT driving the kiddos to school. It’s an hour trip in each direction, twice a day. I LOVE school holidays.

  21. Super fun giveaway! Thanks, Jen!
    Tara @ Suburble recently posted…Making Christmas Cheer with Adhesive Cardstock (And a Silhouette Black Friday Promo!)