Preparing for House Guests

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The thoughts of having house guests can either be a joyful occasion or one that brings feelings of anxiety and stress. Hosting house guests is a great time for families to gather together for various celebrations, and spend some time catching up. Most of us look forward to celebrating traditions with family and friends, but getting the house ready can be overwhelming. When entertaining house guests for a family reunion, wedding, or the holidays a little preparation can reduce your stress and you will find yourself happy to have house guests. Below are a few tips for hosting house guests so that stress will not rob you of an enjoyable visit.


Tip #1 Make Them Feel Comfortable
Make sure that the house is neat and clean, and that the guest room is free of clutter. The bed in the guest room needs to be made with fresh sheets on the bed. If you plan on using an inflatable air mattress for house guest be sure to inflate the mattress a few days before your guest arrives so that the mattress can air out, and to make sure there are no leaks. Make sure your guest feels comfortable in their room by having a couple of different types of pillows, extra blankets, plenty of hangers and empty drawers for clothes. Make sure the bedroom your guest is sleeping has a bedside lamp, alarm clock, radio, and TV. Add some special touches to give the bedroom a cozy feeling put out some beautiful flowers, magazines, newspapers, and a bottle of water on the bedside table. Also make sure the bathroom is prepared and stocked with fresh towels, washcloths, soap in the shower and sink, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toothbrush holder, water glass, tissues, feminine products, toilet paper, and hair dryer and brush. Be creative when getting ready for house guests by setting out toiletry items in a decorative baskets along with rolled hand towels, washcloths and add a scented sachet to give a fresh clean fragrance in the room. Place a telephone in the room, and if your home has an internet connection provide them with the information to access the internet. If possible set your guests up a work space for a laptop or offer for them to use your home computer. Also make sure there is a place for your guest to place and open suitcase easily, such as a suitcase rack, tray table, or bed bench. Place nightlights in the bathroom and halls so your guests do not injure themselves during in late night bathroom visits or an urge for a midnight snack.
Tip #2 Keep Your Guests Informed
Before your guest arrive discuss with them if they have any activities or attractions they are interested in visiting. If guests have expressed interest in certain attractions research and prepare the information like printing out the hours and prices, and look for any coupons or discounts. Prepare a map of local attractions, restaurants, malls, churches, and local parks. When guest arrive provide them a tour of your home, and let them know where they can find items in your kitchen and welcome them to help themselves. If your community is gated or if you have a security system let your house guests know and give them instructions on how to use the system. Make extra sets of keys to your home and car that are labeled so they are easy for your guests to use this can help make their visit less stressful for you and your guests. Let your guests know what your schedule is for example times you get up and go to bed, and if you have any work obligations or appointments scheduled.
Tip #3 Provide Guests with Privacy
Make sure that window treatments provide privacy and light control, so that your guest are not awakened by sunlight. You will want to plan some activities, but make sure your guests have time to enjoy their privacy. When you have guests be considerate of times they would like to relax and give them privacy by providing a fun door sign like "Shh! Thank you for my me time!".
Tip #4 Feeding the Masses
Before your guest arrive plan out menus, but make sure to ask your guest if they have any food allergies, and about their favorite foods, and drinks. Make sure to stock up on a variety of snacks, juices and bottled water. Make sure that when you go shopping to purchase enough food for your guests entire stay.
Tip #5 Make Your Home Pet and Child-Friendly
Preparing for house guests involves welcoming the entire family from small children to furry friends. If you guests have small children put away any breakables. Make sure to ask the guests the types of snacks and foods the kids enjoy so you have plenty of kid-friendly meal options. Also purchase a few coloring books and crayons, age-appropriate games, and have a few kid-friendly movies on hand. Most guests that bring their furry friends will be polite enough to ask permission and will care for all of its needs, but be a gracious host help by having items on hand such as food dishes, litter boxes, litter, treats, and a leash. Pet-proof the house by moving plants out of reach, and putting away breakables.

Remember that being a gracious host to your guest does not mean you have to entertain them 24 hours a day. Your guest will want some time to relax and rest, and so will you. Make sure you are prepared, well rested, and do not feel guilty if you take time for yourself during their stay. If you are relaxed and prepared for your guest, it makes for an enjoyable and memorable visit with your family and friends.

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