five tips for hosting overnight guests10:46:00 AM
Graduation + wedding season is just around the corner, which means friends and relatives will be flying in to join the celebration. While it's great to have everyone come together, sometimes it's not so great to have a million people (or two) staying at your place. Usually this comes down to lack of preparation and then feeling embarrassed by your messy place or annoyed by your guests' snoring while sleeping on the floor next to you.
Growing up, we had countless visitors come to stay, and my parents always went out of their way to make our guests as comfortable and happy as possible. Thanks to them, I've learned a couple of go-to tips for when people come to stay at my home that help everyone to feel happy upon arrival and departure☺
1. Give them a space of their own
First things first - people need their space! No matter how much you love your best friend of 20+ years, being cramped in a tiny space for more than 3 days is bound to have you thisclose to killing each other. Try, as best as you can, to divide up some space between you and your guests. If you're short on rooms, try using a partition for a little bit more privacy, or maybe plan to spend a few nights at a friend's house, just to give you and your guest some space. This does NOT mean you don't love your cherished guest -in fact, it means you love them even more because you want the both of you to be happy and sane and have a great time, and that often involves having some alone time to decompress. Make sure to also carve out some space for their clothes and toiletries, so they don't feel like they're taking over your home.
2. Make them comfortable
In addition to having their own space, make sure your guests feel as cozy and comfortable in your home as possible. Use your best (clean) sheets and duvet covers, do a quick vacuum/dusting of their room, and anticipate some of those more awkward moments by providing extra blankets, towels, toilet paper, and even a plunger (it happens!) in plain view so that they don't feel like they are bothering you. Remind them to let you know if they need anything, and make sure to act relaxed - even if you're actually quite stressed or anxious. I want my guests to feel like they're at home in my home, and that happens much more easily when I feel comfortable myself. We set the tone for our homes, so light some candles, play some nice music, and enjoy having your friend over to visit.
3. Stock up on amenities
Similar to having extra blankets, TP, etc., it's a great idea to also have some extra little amenities so that your guests feel really cared for. Hit up your local Target (or even dollar store) and grab a bunch of those little travel-size bottles of mouthwash, shampoo, conditioner, etc. If you're a real pro, like my mom, save the amenities from fancy hotels and put them out for your guests. Make sure to have all the things that you usually see in a hotel room, such as toiletries, a hair dryer, extra toothbrushes, and maybe even a disposable razor. I also love the idea of setting up a little drinks station in my guestroom, with bottles of water, granola bars, tea/coffee (only if you have a little water heater or small coffee maker), and some maps or brochures for fun things to do in your town. I'm not quite on that level yet, but I think it's such a nice idea if you remember/have time.
4. Help your guests to help themselves.You may know exactly which chair is the wobbly one, or where you stash your paper towels, but your guest does not, and they may not feel comfortable asking you. Help your guests to help themselves by anticipating some of these problems. Upon arrival, give them a tour of your home, including where the laundry room is, where to find a water glass, how the shower works, etc., and stock your fridge with breakfast foods and snacks in case you're not around (and especially if they don't have a way to get around town without you). I've seen a lot of ideas for framing your wifi password (you can even print this one out!), so that your guests don't even need to ask, and then wait while you scramble around your desk trying to remember where you put that post-it.
5. Create an itineraryHaving people over to stay is a great way to rediscover your home. Plan a few fun activities for you to do together, and enjoy showing them around your town. Go shopping in a place that you rarely frequent, try out a new restaurant or take them to your all-time favorite one, visit a museum, tour a brewery (can you tell I'm from Colorado?), go to a botanical garden. Having guests over is a great way to force yourself to enjoy where you live and discover places that you didn't know about or never got to visiting. Make sure to also get input from your guests, in case they have any things they want to see or do while visiting.
Of course, these tips do not guarantee total success, but don't stress about it too much. The NUMBER ONE tip I have for people having guests over is to stop apologizing. This article has a great explanation of why you should never say 'sorry', if you want to check it out. It basically comes down to the fact that you should never apologize for your home not being perfect, because NOTHING IS. Your home is your home, and your guest is pretty darn lucky to be invited to stay (for free, no less - unless you're a jerk who charges their friends to stay over!) in it.
Accept the fact that one of your faucets has a leak, or that your dog has chewed up half your furniture. Worse comes to worse, some of the biggest disasters we've had with guests over have become the funniest stories to laugh over later. Like that time our dishwasher broke and flooded the kitchen (and our guests), or that other time that the fondue we made for dinner totally flopped (and we still ate it!). Good times ☺
So, what do you think? Do you have anything to add? P.S. If you're in the area, you're more than welcome to stay at our place!
(all images via pinterest)