‘Tis the season for house guests. Not for me, mind you, since all my family is local, but I know that other people are
suffering anticipating a houseful of company.
(Just for today, let’s pretend this is my guest room and not one I found on Houzz.)
As if the preparation for weekend (or longer) guests wasn’t exhausting enough, we’re bombarded with magazine stories and HGTV slideshows picturing “the perfect guest room” (like this one) along with tips to ensure our guests enjoy their stay. Some suggestions are very practical (like clean bedding and ample lighting), but quite often they include suggestions for items that are totally unnecessary. Over-the-top, even. Call me selfish, but if I don’t have a mini-fridge in my room, my guests aren’t getting one in theirs. Ditto their very own in-room coffee maker with a selection of gourmet coffees and a snack basket with nuts, cheese, chocolate and imported biscuits.
I prefer a much more practical approach to providing for my guests. These are my tips for making your guests comfortable:
- Yes, give the room a good cleaning, air the mattress, and add fresh linens.
- Remove any unnecessary items. For me, that would be the treadmill and my workout equipment.
- Put a few current magazines and books in the room.
- Pull out a season-appropriate extra quilt or blanket for the end of the bed.
- Forgo the room fridge, coffee maker, and snack baskets; instead, show your guests around the kitchen and encourage them to help themselves anytime, day or night.
- Keep a selection of extra toiletries in the top drawer of the bathroom vanity and let guests know where to find them.
- Locate (or have made) an extra key, in case your guests will be going out on their own. Area maps are also helpful.
Maybe I’m just fortunate, but anyone visiting me overnight is close enough to feel comfortable asking for anything they need. And with two grocery stores, a drug store, a Starbucks, and a dozen restaurants within a few blocks, we have easy access to anything I don’t have on hand.
A long, long time ago, I made myself crazy in the anticipation of guests. I scrubbed every inch of the house and fretted every stray crumb or bit of fluff the entire time they were in residence. One day while at an arts & crafts fair, I happened to see a little plaque that read something like this:
What a wake up moment for me (and a heads up for any unexpected visitors)! People were coming to visit ME, not my house! I still cleaned before scheduled visits, but I no longer worried (too much) about anything I might have missed. Instead, I concentrated on enjoying the visit. I think my guests enjoy the visit more, too. Andrea at Simple Organized Living had an interesting observation this week in her article, Why I’m Not Cleaning for Company Anymore: “[Guests] don’t like coming into a home that is perfectly clean. It’s less inviting, less people-friendly, less welcoming.”
I agree! I’m not sure I ever achieved perfection, but for a long time, I wasted a lot of time trying! Now, I just do my best to make it all comfy and inviting, and then I relax and enjoy the visit!
What do YOU do to make your guests feel at home?