How to Guest-Proof Your Furniture for the Holidays

Holiday Dinner
The holidays mean togetherness. Family members you only get to see once a year gather in one place. Children who were just born last year are now walking. Friends and co-workers make time to gather and celebrate. Many peoples’ homes fill with lights, food and festivities. Unfortunately, all that traffic can result in a mess when you find yourself as the host of the holiday festivities. Find out how guest-proof your home so you can enjoy the season without having to worry about your furniture being ruined!


Assess Vulnerabilities

Before you start planning your party invitations, walk through your home and try to look through fresh eyes. Don’t just evaluate main living areas. Take a look at bathrooms, bedrooms and hallways, since guests tend to spill over into all areas.


When a large group visits one home, more cars park outside and not everyone uses the sidewalk. What might be on their shoes when they walk through the front door? Are your guests likely to walk through damp grass or muddy areas to get to your home?


If young children will attend, what do you have out that’s breakable? It’s easier to move it out of reach than to replace things once they’re damaged. Also look for items with sharp corners or hard edges little ones can run into, dinging furniture and hurting themselves.


Start with Your Table

When you look at your dining room table, you probably think of what dishes and table linens you’ll use and envision the happy faces that will soon be gathered around it. Your table likely gets more use this time of year than any other. When more people are passing around food and drinks, there’s a higher risk of damage. Take these steps to protect your table.


  • Use felt padding – Hardware stores sell pads with adhesive backing in a wide range of sizes. Put small pads under your chair legs to protect your floor and cut down on noise. Attach larger ones to heavy objects guests might move around, like centerpieces and candle-holders.


  • Use a tablecloth – You know not to slide items across your table’s surface, but your guests might not. Prevent tabletop scratches by placing a table pad on the surface, then covering it with a cotton or linen tablecloth.


  • Quickly clean spills – Spills happen, especially when there’s a large group. Wood tables absorb stains quickly, so don’t let liquid sit on your surfaces. Offer coasters to guests to absorb condensation from drinks.


  • Beware of heat – A tablecloth isn’t enough protection for hot dishes. Pots and pans that are right off the stove can leave scorch marks on your wood. Put down a hot pad or trivet to protect your table’s surface.


Guest-Proof from Spilled Wine

Be Prepared

You want to be able to enjoy the party, not worry about cleaning up any mess that may occur. The key to preventing stains is treating them quickly. Assemble a cleanup kit so you can address any issues as soon as they occur. Place these items in a bucket under your kitchen sink:


  • An absorbent cloth or sponge
  • Paper towels
  • A sodium percarbonate product (OxiClean) for wine spills
  • Your favorite spray cleaner or degreaser for surface spills
  • A small dust pan and hand broom
  • Wood furniture cleaner


Being prepared will lower your stress level before the party, and if something does happen, you can turn a potential disaster into something that is easily dealt with.


Cover Upholstery

Some people reason they paid a lot of money for their furniture, so it doesn’t make sense to cover it when they have company. However, it’s much less expensive to buy a slip cover or decorative throw than to replace a sofa. Choose a seasonal cover you can reuse every year or invest in fitted neutrals for a clean look you can use year-round. Watch for sales and pick up inexpensive rugs for high-traffic areas.


Guest-Proof from Spilled Coffee On Carpet


Offer Small Tables

When guests don’t have anywhere to set plates and drinks, they perch them on ledges and window sills. Children might not know any better than to leave a plate of cranberry sauce and a mug of hot cocoa on your sofa. Place small tables where people are likely to gather so your furniture stays safe.


Be Proactive

Circulate during the party to make sure furniture stays covered and guests know where they can place food and drinks. If your aunt places her sweating iced tea glass on your piano, offer to get her a coaster. When your friend is dancing near your favorite chair with her red wine, offer to hold it for her.


Offer to clear away plates and glasses if guests look like they’re through. If you can, enlist help from your spouse, children or best friend in regularly clearing away trash. The longer food and drink sits out, the more likely it is to end up spilled on upholstery and ground into the carpet.


With a little preparation, you’ll be ready to welcome your family and friends into a guest-proof home. Once they arrive, you can relax and enjoy the food you worked so hard to prepare. Savvy Home can answer all your questions on furniture care.





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