Be Our Guest

Hosting is one of my favorite pleasures in life, and I absolutely love having people stay overnight.  Prepping for an overnight visitor can be stressful, however (especially depending on how long the visitors plan to stay!).  These simple tips can make your guest feel welcome and wanted, and give you the game plan to make overnight stays stress free.

The Basics
  • Clean Those Sheets. This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised at the number of people who don't.  Feel that it's excessive? Consider this: the average person sweats anywhere from one half to one full pint a night.  And that doesn't even include the other fun stuff, like drool, dead skin and oil.  All of that combines to make a tasty combination for dust mites (and other 6-legged bed-mates).  Does that sound like an appealing bed to you? 
  • Towels Aplenty.  Make sure to set some clean towels and washcloths out pre-guest arrival.  While, most likely, your guests won't immediately strip down and want to shower, it puts people at ease to feel like they have the option to freshen up without having to root around in cupboards.  (Want to make them look pretty? Roll them up and place in a basket, or pile them and tie a colorful ribbon around them)
  • Bedside Table. Having only recently graduated up in the world to having a "Guest Bedroom," I am aware that many people who entertain guests do so without the luxury of a designated space.  And that's totally okay.  Whether you're using a couch, futon, air mattress or sleeping bag, try to provide your guest with something next to the bed that they can use as a nightstand (try a crate, stool, chest, desk, shelf...).  Include a lamp that they can use to read by, a spare alarm clock and even a small dish that they can use to corral rings, watches, change or other small items.
  • Amenities.  Is it necessary? Of course not. But having a few extras for your guests (soap, shampoo, lotion, conditioner) instantly adds class to your set up and can also work to alleviate stress in your life if your guests forget them.  I also always have a spare toothbrush on hand, as it tends to be an oft-forgotten item.  Most travel-size products can be picked up for less than $1 at a Target or Walmart, or just save the miniature complimentary items from hotel stays.
  •  Emergency Info. Okay, so it's not the happiest of thoughts, but it's a practical precaution. Keep a list on hand (the fridge is a good place) with numbers for local police, fire and neighbors. Include the nearest hospital, as well as your own address (in emergencies, your guests might forget their location).
The Extras
Going for the title Hostess With the Mostess?  Try upping your game with these ideas:
  • Brighten Up. Try adding Fresh Flowers or a Scented Candle to the bedside table.  Both up the cheer factor to a friendly visit.
  • Book a Room.  Include a few Magazines or Books in your layout.  Sometimes having something to read.
  • Charging Station. What's the one thing that nearly everyone does at night? (Mind out of the gutter, you.)  Charge their phone.  Make sure that your guest has a place to plug in and power up.
  • Stay Connected.  Create a Guest Network for your wireless internet.  Guests will be able to log on without having your personal passwords. 
  • Snickity Snack. One of the most frustrating things about traveling is that any meal schedule goes out the windows.  Give your guests a break by putting a small snack (like a granola bar, piece of fruit and bottle of water) in their room.   
  • Guests from out of town?  Take some time to print up a map or two of the area and make a quick list of your favorite places to eat, shop or sight see. Once you type the document, you can keep it on your computer and print it up anytime guests are in town.  
  • Last Minute Minutiae.  Most houses (or apartments) have a thousand little idiosyncrasies.  As owners, we know them.  As guests, we don't. Create a quick reference guide for visitors and include instructions on how to operate the TV (I can barely figure out the slew of remotes in my own house, let alone someone else's), "tricks" to locks, doors, or showers, and any additional miscellaneous info that affects day to day life (For example, "The hot and cold faucets in the upstairs bathroom are backwards" is a good thing to know pre-nudity). 

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