Getting House-Guest Ready

My maternal grandmother has this set of peachy, floral sheets.  These sheets are legendary among her granddaughters.  They smell of honeysuckle and shared memories, and while they’ve become worn and rather faded after years of summer visits, to us girls they are a treasure.  We know whenever we spend the night at Grandma Katie’s home, we’ll climb into bed, snuggle under the covers, and those peachy, rose sheets will be there welcoming us back home.

Creating a special space for guests in your home involves more than just preparing a comfortable place for them to lay their head; it is an opportunity to ensure they feel welcomed and relaxed.  So how do you ensure a memorable visit for your houseguests?  Whether you are expecting house guests soon or not, follow these easy ideas for preparing your place ahead of time, so when you do have guests, they will feel at home and you can enjoy the company without the stress!

The Guest Room

To create a relaxing space for your guests, low maintenance is key.  Dress the bed or air mattress with clean sheets and, as a usual rule of thumb, two firm and two soft pillows.  Then, gather a set of cotton sheets, two pillow cases, a light blanket, and a heavier duvet in complementary colors, tie with a pretty ribbon, and set at the foot of the bed.  Be sure to let guests know that making their bed is entirely optional for their stay!  Decorate the nightstand with a nice clock (with working batteries), a stack of books/magazines (think of your guest’s taste), and a small glass container with a few small blossoms (be mindful of allergies and fragrances).  Also, place a Bible and a devotional in the top nightstand drawer.  To help with creaky floors, add a rug for added comfort.   Set a tray of fruits, a couple of bottles of water, a few tumblers, and an assortment of snacks – think granola, cinnamon and sugar popcorn, specialty chocolates, and pretzels for that midnight craving or early morning riser.  Also, store a power strip for charging electronics.

The Bathroom

To assure your guests feel at home, stock up on bathroom essentials.   With a basket of your choice-rustic, wire, or glass—fill the inside with the following mini-toiletries you can pick up at any drugstore or take home with you from a stay at a nice hotel: bar of soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, body lotion, and  deodorant.  For a touch of pampering, consider adding a few spa products as well (think facial mask, special cream, or satin hand treatment).  For every guest, gather two plush towels, two face towels, and two washcloths, sew a colored ribbon on the end of each towel (so guests may tell their towels from other guests), tie all linens together with a pretty ribbon, and set on the bathroom counter.  Be sure to stock up on candles, matches, toilet paper, tissue, hand soap and lotion, and trash bag liners; store under sink or in cabinet for easy access for guests. Help guests maneuver their way back to their rooms with plenty of nightlights in appropriate locations.

The Closet

Make sure guests have ample amount of closet space so that they may unpack their contents from their suitcases for a true at-home feeling.  Provide an assortment of hangers, an iron and ironing board, a laundry basket and a full-length mirror.  Also, depending on your relationship with your guests, offer to take their laundry basket each morning or point them to the stocked laundry room with detergent and stain remover.


The Extra Touch

To make your guest’s time at your home memorable consider prepping the following for that extra touch of pampering.  Depending on your guests’ schedules, consider fixing a homemade meal upon their arrival and sending them with a come-again-soon favor upon their departure.  Children?  Stock the guest room
with a basket of age-appropriate toys for endless creating, imagining, and playing.  Make a user-friendly binder for all household electronics.  Prepare a list of emergency contact information that includes your number, address, and neighborhood information.  Provide your guests with a bright key chain with their own house key for their stay.  Make a folder that includes local restaurant menus, including that fabulous little bakery on Main Street, a map of the city/state, and brochures of the city’s entertaining hot spots.  Finally, be sure to let your guests know that they can come to you for any need that arises and invite them to join in on your family’s activities.

Having house guests is a wonderful way to share your home’s blessings with others.  Consider finding your own signature housewarming welcome to your guests, whether it be your own set of vintage sheets, an antique tray of homemade lotions, or a special tea set for equally special guests.  Preparing ahead of time lets your guests feel pampered and takes the stress off of you, the hostess.

Here’s to making your house a home!