Having guests in your home for any length of time is often nerve wracking, whether it’s for 10 minutes or for 10 days. Before you find yourself catapulted into a frenzy of worries and stress, take a few minutes and read over these helpful tips. As you keep these 10 actions in mind, you can forget about making every little detail perfect and focus on the things that will matter most to your guests instead:
1. Copy your favorite host/hostess. Think back on all of the people you have visited. Which visits were your favorite? What did the host or hostess do that made you feel so comfortable? What stands out in your mind as the most memorable part of your visit? Whatever makes the top of your list is a great place to start when considering how to make your home more comfortable for your guests.
2. Make sure the bathroom is stocked with toilet paper. Few things are worse than running out of toilet paper at someone else’s home. You can easily prevent this uncomfortable situation by checking the toilet paper in the bathroom before guests arrive and always stocking an extra roll or two in an easy to find spot inside the bathroom.
3. Include some house tips in your welcome speech. When your guests first arrive, you should offer a warm welcome and give them a quick rundown on what to expect during their time in your home. This may be as simple as asking them to remove their shoes upon entry and showing them where to find the bathroom. For overnight or multiple night guests, you can include more information that will be helpful like what time the automatic sprinklers turn on at night, how to handle your playful puppy, where to park, etc.
4. Make the trash can accessible. While you may love hiding your trash can away out of site, this can be problematic for guests. No guest wants to rummage through your home looking for a place to deposit their trash. If you hate the idea of having a trash can out in the open, politely show your guests where to find the most accessible trash can in your home when they first arrive. For overnight guests, leave a few extra empty trash bags in their room. They can use these bags for their dirty laundry, extra trash, etc.
5. Always have cold beverages and simple snacks on hand. Get in the habit of keeping cold beverages stocked in your refrigerator. Even a pitcher of cold water will do if family members remember to refill it. Individual water bottles, juice bottles, cans of soda, and juice boxes are also good options if your family drinks them any way. The key is to stock beverages your family normally drinks; however, by keeping up on your stock you will always have something to offer a guest, even when they arrive unannounced. The same is true for snacks. Keeping a revolving stock of simple snacks in your home will benefit your own family, as well as your guests. Try to focus on foods that are easy to eat and will likely appeal to most of your guests.
6. Offer comfortable seating. While your formal “sitting room” may be the most put together room in the house, this may not be the most comfortable place for visiting guests. If another room in your home is more conducive to relaxing and conversing, invite guests to join you in another room. Depending on the time of year, the most comfortable seating may even be outside. If you don’t have enough seats for everyone, bring in extra chairs or even pillows that guests can use to sit on the floor. If you are expecting overnight guests, read over these tips for planning sleeping accommodations.
7. Inform your guests right away of any pending obligations. Your normal routine may interfere with a visit, especially when guests drop by unexpectedly. If you have an obligation that requires you to leave your home at any time during the stay of your guests, politely notify them of any conflict in your schedule upfront.
8. Fill a basket will small toiletry items for overnight guests. This small gesture will be greatly appreciated as your guests won’t have to stress about asking you to borrow something they forgot. You can use small samples you have collected from your own travels, or purchase small travel size items for $1 or less per item.
Consider the following items:
- toothbrushes and toothpaste
- shampoo and conditioner
- disposable razors
- shave gel or lotion
- hand or body lotion
- hand sanitizer
- wet wipes
- feminine hygiene products (for female guests)
- air freshening spray
- stain removal wipes
- gum or mints
- small water bottles
- simple snacks
9. Plug in nightlights in common areas. Sure your family members have probably mastered moving through your home in the dark, but your guests may not fare so well. Keep nightlights in the guestroom, bathroom, hallways, kitchen, and other common areas.
10. Relax and smile. Having guests in your home for any length of time can be stressful for you and for the entire family. Just remember to relax. When things don’t go as planned take a few deep breaths and go with the flow. And don’t forget to smile sincerely and frequently. Your relaxed attitude and warm and welcoming smile will go a long way in making all guests feel at home.