6 Ways to Give Guests a Warm Welcome...and a Quick Tip for Tidying
Does the thought of upcoming houseguests make you giddy with excitement, or anxious about the state of your home? If it’s the latter, read on for tips to make your guests comfortable and quickly straighten up your home!
Think like a hotel
What do you appreciate having when traveling? What might you forget to pack? What amenities would be nice to have? Stock your guest room (or wherever guests may be sleeping) and bathroom with things to make them comfortable:
snacks (especially if they arrive late in the evening—they may not want to ask!)
travel or sample size toiletries
make-up removing wipes (bonus: they may save your towels!)
Anticipate their tech
It’s always nice to have an extra charger or two. Find an easily-visible outlet and make sure it’s empty so guests don’t have to worry about what they can unplug. While you’re at it, write down the WIFI name and password and display it for your guests so they don’t have to ask.
Plan for where they’ll put things
Command hooks are a lifesaver in a shared bathroom, making it easy for guests to hang their towels if the towel bars are already in use. And speaking of towels—if you have a lot of guests, providing towels in multiple colors makes it easier to tell whose is whose.
If guests are staying in a bedroom, clear out a drawer and some closet space so they can unpack. Clear a flat surface (part of the dresser, a night table) to create a place for wallets, phones, jewelry, etc.
Make sure there’s a place they can put their suitcase so they’re not tripping over it, whether it's a corner or a luggage rack.
Think about any specific needs
Are they traveling with young kids? Maybe they could borrow your pack-n-play or highchair instead of lugging their own. If they’re flying and space is tight, offer to pick up diapers and wipes. Are they older, and would it be helpful to have a shower bar or a place to sit (other than the bed) while getting dressed?
Clean the space
Open the windows for a few minutes and air out the room, especially if it’s not used often.
A day or two before they arrive, go through with a microfiber cloth and dust baseboards, headboards, lights, etc.—all those odd spaces where dust collects.
Always clean the toilets right before people arrive, even if you do nothing else! And if you leave a plunger and a toilet brush in a visible spot, it may save your guests some embarrassment.
Add special little touches
Do your guests love your chocolate chip cookies? Or have a favorite beverage? Having things they love on-hand is a great way to welcome guests.
If you have a programmable coffee pot, set it up the night before so guests can help themselves if they’re early risers. Or leave K-cups, tea bags, mugs, and sweeteners in a visible spot so they can help themselves without going through the cabinets.
Thoughtful little touches will make your guests feel welcome whether they’re sleeping in a guest suite or on an air mattress in the home office. And if you're worried about what they'll think of the state of your home? Relax—most people don't walk through someone else's house with a critical eye. But since we probably all have a relative or two who do ;) here are some tips for tidying up quickly—because you certainly have enough other things to do this time of year!
Use 10 or 15 spare minutes to pick a room and walk through with a trash (and/or donation) bag in-hand. Months-old magazines? A puzzle with a third of its pieces missing? Kids meal toys? Expired coupons? Toys that are no longer played with? Into the bag and out of your house they go. Less clutter; neater looking house!
Focus on places your guests see and use: clean off the living room coffee table so there's a place to put down drinks. Do a quick clean out of the hallway closet so guests have a place for coats (bonus points for donating coats you no longer need—the coat that makes it hard to close your closet door may be the difference between being warm or cold for someone else!). Anticipate questions they might have about where things are (i.e. extra toilet paper, clean towels) and make the answer obvious!
Most of all, keep it manageable. If guests are arriving in two days, don't overhaul a room—just focus on small ways to reduce clutter. It will make a big difference in how your home looks. And your guests are sure to appreciate your thoughtful touches. Happy hosting!