The holidays are all about family and friends, and if your loved ones happen to live out of town, it might also be a time for you to play host. While you likely enjoy their company, inviting people into your home does bring a certain amount of pressure. You want your guests to enjoy themselves, and they don’t want to disrupt your space too much. Fortunately, with a little planning, you can spend less time stressing and more time enjoying the season. Here are our favorite houseguest tips.
Start Preparing for Guests Early
Like anything, half the stress of hosting and entertaining comes from the last-minute scramble. Make a list now of things you’d like to accomplish before your guests arrive, and then start checking items off. Some will have to wait until closer to your guests’ arrival date, but many others can be taken care of well in advance.
For example, you can de-clutter your guest bedroom ahead of time and then leave only the touch-up cleaning for the week of. Make sure you have adequate sheets, towels and toiletries a few weeks prior, and finish any laundry a day or two before guests arrive. Need room for multiple people to stay? Choose a sofa bed or shop for a trundle bed ahead of time. Breaking it down in this way makes it more manageable. Too late for all that? Then it’s time to prioritize. Concentrate on the things that will have the biggest impact on your guests’ comfort. Think about what you’d need if you were visiting someone, and start there.
Give Them a Place to Retreat
Even the most outgoing people need time to themselves. Take a fresh look at your guest bedroom and think about ways to make it more inviting, comfortable and relaxing. Guests will appreciate having an area where they can recharge solo, and you’ll like having a chance to decompress as well. Make their bedroom especially welcoming by adding some creature comforts.
Along with a comfy bed, make sure to have plenty of blankets and pillows on hand so your guests can stay cozy at night or during downtime. A fan is a good idea, too. It will help them regulate the temperature themselves and also provide some white noise. If you have the floor space, think about adding an accent chair or bench. Seating helps indicate that the bedroom is for relaxing, in addition to sleeping, and lets them rest without having to recline on the bed.
Add an alarm clock to the nightstand so they always know the time. The nightstand is also a good place to add a note with your WiFi password. People often like to do a little browsing when they take breaks. Putting a couple of your favorite magazines or the local newspaper out is a nice touch, too.
Guests will appreciate having a suitcase rack to use as well as closet space for hanging items. A trash can is a must, and a basket filled with tissues and other toiletries will save you and your guests some hassle if they forget something. Providing a handful of snack options is a considerate extra. Guests will appreciate the gesture and the fact that they don’t have to ask or dig into your cupboards.
Plan a Flexible Itinerary (Including Downtime)
Don’t schedule every hour of the day, but do think ahead and have some options. Consider what you’ll do for meals and whether you need to stock up on groceries. Research local events you can attend together or solo. If you’ll have pint-sized houseguests, make a list of family-friendly destinations or activities (and get a few age-appropriate toys). Be ready to give some shopping and restaurant suggestions, too.
For days or nights in, help guests help themselves. Jot down some basic instructions for the TV. Involve them in food prep (they’ll most likely enjoy having something to do), and let them help with simple (and not-too-grimy) chores if they offer. Set up a bar cart so they can mix their own cocktail. When they can do things for themselves, they’ll start to feel more at home, and you’ll both be more relaxed.
You and your guests want their time in your home to be as comfortable as possible. With some planning and a little prep, you’ll be able to avoid stress and focus on enjoying their company.
Content provided by Hayneedle’s Editorial Team. For more tips, home inspiration and access to exclusive offers be sure to visit hayneedle.com.
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