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Based on the book: 

Holiday guests are the best: your trial run.

With November and December now in our laps, the holiday season of entertaining and hosting are upon us. There is no better time than now to give your guest bedrooms and baths a "trial run" for Masters.

Take a good look at your guest bedrooms. How are the mattresses, mattress covers, pillows, sheets? This is a perfect time to sneak in a few new linens or pillows to give the bedding a fresh appearance. Where will your guests hang their clothing? Next comes the second tier of guest preparation: Are there reading lamps adjacent to each bedside? What about shades or curtains to keep out the light? Are there easily accessible plugs for laptops and cell phones? Extra blankets available? Is the ceiling fan dusted? Lightbulbs in every lamp? Has the floor beneath the bed and dresser been dusted? Are there cobwebs in the room? Look at your guest rooms as you would a hotel you'd secured for a weekend. Would you be pleased to sleep in the room? Next tackle the guest bathroom. There's nothing like a stack of fluffy white towels. Costco sells such towels by the bundle, and they wash beautifully. Do you have fresh soap in the soap dishes? Stores like TJ Maxx, Homegoods, and Ross sell lovely bar soaps and pump soaps. Consider setting out a pretty basket of travel sized items your guests might need: lotion, bandaids, hairspray, razors, deoderant, Tylenol, make up remover, cotton swabs, vaseline, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc.... Are there fresh bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, mouthwash, disposable bathroom cups? Is there an ample supply of tissue available? Bathroom deoderizer spray? A nightlight lighting the way to the bathroom? And last but not least....HOOKS. Where will your guests hang their robes and towels? (There is nothing so nice as a set of hooks in a bathroom to avoid tossing clothing onto the floor.) And always be sure your guest bedrooms and bathrooms lock for privacy. Remember, what works for your personal family needs to be reconsidered when others are visiting. This "trial run" during the holidays will allow you to consider what changes should be make prior to renting for Masters. Remember, during Masters, you will be a hostess from afar, so take advantage of holiday preparations to fully assess how your home will be used by others.

- Laurie Easterlin is the author of "So You're Renting Your Home for the Tournament" and is available to talk to women's groups and garden clubs about her system of creating a gracious space for Masters renters.


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