I am feeling excited this morning because some good friends of ours are staying with us for the weekend. I always enjoy visitors, but having guests over requires a lot of preparation. This has got me thinking about how I usually prepare my house for guests. So today I’d like to share some tips with you in the form of a handy checklist to help you organize a bit before your guests arrive, because you know with the holiday season rapidly approaching, you are bound to have visitors eventually!
Let’s start in the bedroom
No matter where you will have your guests sleep, whether it’s in an actual guestroom, in one of your kid’s bedrooms, or on an air mattress or couch in the living room, you will need to prepare the space to meet their needs. Here are a few things to consider:
- If you can’t provide a bed or bedding, don’t forget to let your guests know their options for sleeping arrangements and whether or not they have to bring their own sheets, blankets, and pillows.
- If you have a bed for them, be sure that the sheets are clean and that there are sufficient blankets depending on the current season.
- If you have special decorative quilts or pillows on the guest bed, it’s a nice practice to fold down the bed before it’s time to sleep so that your guests aren’t confused about which pillows or blankets they are supposed to use and which are just for decoration.
- Consider the space in the room where they will be staying and be sure there is enough of an area for them to store their belongings. You want guests to feel comfortable and not at all like they are being stuffed into a cluttered room where there’s absolutely no place to set their suitcase.
- Keep in mind that some people do not like to sleep with any kind of lights or noises. Do you keep any clocks in the guestroom that tick loudly? Are there any electronic devices that give off bright lights? Offer to remove these items if they will be a distraction.
- Get creative and think about little accents you can add to the guest room to make it more accommodating. For example you could set out some reading material or even something as simple as a box of tissues.
Next let’s move on to the bathroom
Maybe your house only has one bathroom, or maybe your guests will be using a bathroom different from the one everyone else usually uses. Either way, you should make sure it’s stocked and ready with everything that your guests might need.
- Be sure to have clean towels and wash cloths available. It’s also nice to lay a set out for each person so they don’t have to search around.
- Speaking of towels, make sure there is an obvious (and clean) hand towel in the bathroom. If you have decorative towels that are separate from your hand towel, make sure the distinction is clear.
- Check to make sure that the shower/tub is stocked with shampoo, conditioner, and soap.
- Be sure your liquid hand soap isn’t empty, or if you use bar soap, that there will be enough to last the length of your guests’ stay.
- Keep an extra roll of toilet paper in a visible location so your guests will not have to go searching through your cupboards to find one when it is most inconvenient. If you don’t like the sight of random rolls of toilet paper lying around, then consider storing them in a decorative basket
- Empty your waste basket so there is no chance it will get too full while your guests will be using it.
- Clean everything! Be sure to clean the toilet, sink, shower/tub, and floor. There’s nothing worse than a dirty bathroom.
Let’s head into the kitchen
We’ve taken care of the bedroom and bathroom, so that leaves us with one more area, the kitchen. This space isn’t as important as the other two, but there are still some things to consider in your preparations.
- Give your guests a quick tour of where things are that they might need, like breakfast foods, beverages, ice, or snacks.
- Be clear about your policies regarding what they can just take and what they should ask for. If you want your guests to understand the concept of “what’s mine is yours”, then tell them. Some people might be timid to just take without asking.
- Find out about your guests’ special dietary needs or allergies. Do you they like something (e.g. coffee) that you don’t normally provide for yourself? Either be sure you have what they need or have them bring their own.
- Save yourself some stress and plan ahead for meals. Do your grocery shopping ahead of time and get detailed with your menus.
Besides the obvious cleaning and straightening of the rest of your house, there will always be more things you can do to better prepare for guests depending on your unique situation. Here are just a few questions you can ask yourself:
- Are your guests coming from a different climate? Be sure they know what’s best to wear in your weather.
- Along the same lines, consider accommodating your guests’ temperature needs. Will they be hot if you do not run your air conditioner? Will they be cold if you keep your thermostat too low?
- Are your guests bringing children or perhaps a baby? Do you have children of your own? There are always things to consider when adding little ones to the mix. If you don’t have kids, consider ways you can child-proof your house if necessary.
- Will your guests bring their pet(s)? Do you have a pet? Consider allergies and the fact that some people are uncomfortable around animals. Also consider whether your house is animal-proof.
- Do you know your guests’ sleeping schedule? Do they go to bed early or do they like to stay up late? When do they usually rise in the morning?
- Do you go to church? Will your guests come along with you or will they stay at home?
I could go on forever here, but I think this is plenty to think about for now. There are lots of details to consider and you will just have to examine your own lifestyle to see if you have any more items to add to your checklist.
Um, aren’t some of these things a little obvious?
Have you been visited by the same people for years now? Of course you know what you need to do to prepare for them. This checklist is more meant for the uncommon or new guest, but it is certainly also a great tool to use on those days when you are running out of time and the doorbell is about to ring. Lists always help you to get your brain in order and can prevent you from forgetting something important.
Do you do anything special to prepare for guests? I’d love to hear some creative ideas!