The holiday season is approaching, which means we’re already making plans to spend more time with family and friends. Some of them might even stay the night at our place. If you’ve never had overnight guests before, you might be worried about how to prepare for their arrival. That’s why we’ve decided to write down some suggestions that will help make your guests more comfortable.
Whether your in-laws are coming over for the weekend or your best friend from college is bringing the family for a mini-reunion, these tips will make their stay enjoyable without you have to turn into their concierge. While it’s true that having guests over does require a bit of preparation, you don’t need to overdo it. Just treat them the way you would want to be treated if you went to someone else’s home – a little pampered, but not too much, or you’d feel bad causing so much hassle.
Helping your guests feel at ease may seem complicated, but all it takes is a little hospitality, a friendly demeanor, and a few extra touches here and there to make them feel special.
Clean the House
This seems pretty obvious, and you probably already had this on your to-do list without us having to mention it. We do, however, want to point out some things you may overlook.
One is the microwave. Your guests may want to reheat food, and you don’t want them to open the door to the microwave and see all the oil stains that have been building up for several weeks and maybe months. Cleaning the microwave is something we all tend to put off, so you’ll want to make sure you include it in your list.
Then there are the stove burners. If the stove burners aren’t clean and your guests try to cook something, it will fill your home with that unpleasant smell of smoke nobody want to feel just before breakfast.
Another area people tend to overlook is the front door, but it’s the first part of your home that your guests will come into contact with, so you want it to look nice and welcoming. Plus, if you’re having guests over for the winter holidays and you live in a region with cold weather, you may have ice at your front door that can lead to accidents.
Stock the Fridge
Even if your guests want to spend the majority of their time outside of your home, it’s still customary to provide snacks and drinks. Ask them if there’s anything specific they want to eat or drink. If they say that anything will be fine, ask about allergies and dietary restrictions just to make sure that you don’t waste time and money buying and preparing food your guests can’t enjoy.
You’ll want to stock up on a variety of drinks and snacks like water, soda, juice, milk, coffee, tea, chips, nuts, fruit, bread, and eggs. The coffee and tea should be in plain sight, as should the sugar and creamer. For breakfast, you’ll want to get some eggs, bagels, and fruit – nothing too elaborate.
To make things easier, you can prepare a meal plan so you have the ingredients you have at home and can spend more time with your guests instead of doing groceries.
Provide Instructions for Electronics
Even if you don’t have a lot of complicated gadgets around the house, you’ll want to provide written instructions for the ones you do. Your guests will feel embarrassed if they can’t figure out how to watch Netflix on your TV. Tell them what electronic entertainment devices you have available and give them the instructions just to be sure.
Of course, if you have important electronic devices or appliances that aren’t working properly, this would be a good time to get them fixed. It depends on who your guests are. If you’re having some good friends over, it might be ok if you just tell them that this or that device is a little tricky. However, if you’re having your in-laws over and your boiler isn’t working better, you may want to get it fixed on rent a temporary boiler. This goes for other major appliances as well.
Prepare the Guest Room
Having a well-prepared, comfy bedroom ready for your guests is the best way to make them feel at home. First, you’ll want to clean it thoroughly, especially if you haven’t used the guest bedroom in a long time. Make sure all trash is taken out, tables and nightstands are dusted, and beds are made up with fresh linens.
Give your guests extra towels, sheets, pillows, and linen so they can use as many as they need and don’t feel constrained. You can also tell your guests where you keep your extra towels and linens so they can take them whenever they want. It’s better to offer too much than too little.
Next step is to check the light bulbs on lamps in case any of them need changing. You should also buy some extra ones if you don’t already have them in your home.
Prepare the Bathroom
Then there’s the bathroom. You’ll need to de-clutter the bathroom sink counter if needed, clean the toilet, shower, and floor, as well as wash the bathroom rugs.
Your guests may have forgotten some of their toiletries at home, so it would be nice if you bought some basic products like soap, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash for the guest bathroom. If you’re sharing the bathroom with them, store your products in another room and put the toiletries you bought for them in a basket, and leave it in the guest bedroom.
You should also put extra rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom and make sure your guests know where to find them.
Lastly, place a plunger next to the toilet in case it’s needed, so they don’t have to ask you for one and feel embarrassed.
Prepare the Kids
If you have kids, you’ll also have to prepare them for receiving kids. Kids don’t instinctively know how to behave with overnight guests, so you’ll need to teach them what respecting their privacy means.
Sit them down and explain your expectation for the duration of the visit. This should include not taking and playing with personal items that belong to your guests and being quiet while your guests are resting.