Hosting Fall Guests

In this post: tips for hosting fall guests to make your home as welcoming as possible with as little stress as possible.

October feels like the start of the holiday season, doesn’t it? If you’re like us, you’re trying to plan ahead for all the November and December festivities. A big part of that is hosting fall guests! Whether you have visitors coming to the Phoenix valley to enjoy the perfect fall weather or family coming to stay for Thanksgiving weekend like we do, planning ahead and being organized keeps stress levels low and helps you enjoy your company more.

Have plenty of self-serve foods like granola bars, trail mix and chips plus crowd pleasers like “heat and eat” soup, crackers and cheese and sandwich fixings for pb&js or ham and cheese. You might bake and freeze things like banana bread or a casserole to heat on a whim. I always have a candy bowl on the counter with chocolate kisses or caramels and it ends up empty every night!

Tips for Hosting Fall Guests from Drew Dumas Realtor written by Tabitha Dumas

Set up a coffee and tea station. Keep coffee and tea selections accessible and have add-ins like honey and sugar out with it as well as mugs and spoons. Provide written instructions for your coffee maker or tea kettle if they require it. Having hot cocoa is nice for non coffee or tea drinkers and kids.

Tips for Hosting Fall Guests from Drew Dumas Realtor written by Tabitha Dumas
The Long Awaited Home

Make your kitchen user-friendly. You want your guests to be able to help themselves, and help you! Prep your serving dishes and utensils plus clean out the fridge and pantry. This year I’m going to have pretty labels on my cabinet fronts so people can easily find what they need without asking me where something is every ten seconds.

Cozify your guest bedroom. (Yes, cozify is a word) After scouring many blog posts on the topic, here are the items every guest room needs to be comfortable:

  • a comfortable bed (duh, but make sure the mattress is truly comfortable and the sheets are soft). White sheets feel the cleanest and most luxurious
  • a lamp for nighttime readers (and some reading selections are nice, too, especially if they’re about local attractions or history)
  • wifi password and/or any alarm codes
  • tissues
  • extra pillows and blankets
  • water and snacks
  • a mirror (especially if guests are sharing a guest bathroom)
  • a hook for hanging a robe or towel
  • cleared off spots for jewelry, cosmetics, etc.
  • a suit case rack or space to store them
  • space in the closet + hangers and/or a few drawers
  • a candle is nice
  • extra toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, soap, deodorant)
  • black out shades when possible
  • a spot in the bathroom for cosmetics
Tips for Hosting Fall Guests from Drew Dumas Realtor written by Tabitha Dumas. Spruce up the guest bedroom! Headboard by Birchlane
Headboard source

We also love the idea of a fall-themed tray in your guest bedroom! This one is by our friend Mary of Trayscapes Decor. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook . Let her help you customize the perfect tray and teach you how to use it for every season just by switching out a few items.

Tips for Hosting Fall Guests from Drew Dumas Realtor written by Tabitha Dumas
Trayscapes Decor

Spruce up your front porch. Mums and pumpkins are very fallish. Also, does your front door need a paint touch-up? Is your wreath looking worn out? Could you use a new front door mat? Small details make a big difference.

Tips for Hosting Fall Guests from Drew Dumas Realtor written by Tabitha Dumas
My Farmhouseish

Keep an eye on your bathroom soap, toilet paper and towels. With a big crowd, items get used up fast and if you just have one hand towel, it can end up wet.

Tips for Hosting Fall Guests from Drew Dumas Realtor written by Tabitha Dumas

Prepare for kids. Have puzzles, coloring or craft supplies in a designated area so kids are occupied and not under foot. Have kid-friendly snacks available, too, for hungry teens or picky munchkins.

Pay attention to outdoor areas. Clean up your yard and back porch. You might even set up an additional sitting area in your back yard to accommodate overflow or just people who want to sip their coffee outside. If you have a fire pit, clean it up and make sure you have wood.

Hosting fall guests can be fun and enjoyable and we hope these tips help. Make sure you also check out

What would you add to this list? We’d love to know how you’ve kept fall entertaining and fall hosting simple and enjoyable!

Ten ways to welcome fall into your home

The first day of fall is September 23rd! Autumn is our favorite season not only because it encompasses four of the five of our birthdays (Kate September 26th, Drew October 11th, Andrew November 26th and me November 29th) but also because it means hosting Thanksgiving for 25 in our home (plus football, Halloween and pumpkin-flavored everything!). In the Phoenix valley, that means double-digit temperatures for most of the day which is a welcome reprieve from 115. Leaves don’t change much but the light is different and the Halloween decorations come out. If you’re eager to welcome fall into your home, here are ten ideas.

1. Bring in some nature. Branches, leaves and pumpkins go a long way toward adding a fall vibe. Rather than buying and storing a bunch of seasonal decor, what if you got fresh items then just tossed them out at the end of the season? Grocery stores carry a variety of pumpkins and gourds you can place on your front porch or coffee table.

2. Remember smell. You can diffuse a fall essential oil blend or or simmer cider on your stove. The spicy smell of fall is a favorite for everyone.

Fall diffuser blend essential oil blends for fall Drew Dumas Realtor

3. Make fall foods. Pumpkin-flavored everything is already in stores and pumpkin bead and muffins are obvious choices but what about an apple cinnamon coffee cake? Homemade caramels are fun and easy or whip up a homemade caramel sauce and share a few jars with your neighbors.

What’s more FALL that soup?? This is one we’re trying on the first cool day!

Below is my favorite fall go-to recipe that everyone loves and makes the house smell fabulous!


1 spice cake mix (or yellow cake mix + a dash of pumpkin pie spice)
1 can  15 or 16 oz pumpkin puree (small can, not pie filling)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix spice cake mix together with pumpkin. Scoop into lined or well-sprayed muffins.
Bake 18-20 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean).

Optional: add chocolate chips!

Easy Two Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins to welcome fall into your home from Drew Dumas Realtor and Tabitha Dumas
The Seasoned Mom

4. Add fall texture throughout your home. A chunky throw blanket, a fuzzy pillow or a wood bowl full of pine cones say fall. Other fall-ish elements include burlap, galvanized metal, sticks, twigs, stumps, acorns and leaves. Even vintage books and chalkboards bring to mind going back to school.

5. Create a fall tea station or coffee bar. Mugs, a few choices, spoons and fixins is all you need. Anything pumpkin, cinnamon or hazelnut will work and everyone loves fun add-ins like syrups and creamers.

6. Spruce up your front porch. Trick-or-treaters will be arriving soon then an onslaught of holiday guests so why not add some potted flowers, update your welcome mat or change your front door color?

Welcome fall into your home! Put out the pumpkins and all things home.

7. Dust off your fire pit or chiminea, it’s time for s’mores and chats around the fire again!

8. Set your table for fall. Bring out the fall-colored dishes and place mats and create a fun centerpiece. You could also fall-ify your coffee bar area for easy entertaining like this one from Giggles Galore.

9. Switch up your bedroom. Red or orange sheets are fun and you can add fall textures and smells here, too. Even a leaf garland over your headboard is a fun touch.

10. Yes, home maintenance is important this time of year. Check out your outdoor plumbing. Run your heat to be sure it’s working properly. Go up on the roof to make sure it’s ready to handle falling leaves and other debris. Trim up trees and shrubs. And consider a “fall cleaning” as you’re bringing in your decor and switching things up.

Fall is a beautiful time of year in the valley of the sun! We hope these ideas for adding fall to your home will help you enjoy the season even more. And of course if you are looking at buying or selling a home this fall, Drew would love to sit down with you and explore your options. Contact us to get started!