6 TOP TIPS TO MAKE OVERNIGHT GUESTS FEEL AT HOME THIS CHRISTMAS
The season of celebrations has begun and you are probably expecting a couple or a handful of guests to stay over at your place this Christmas. Overnight guests need not throw your routine into a tizzy and there are plenty of things that you can do to make the stay as comfortable as possible for your guests.
Many homes have the luxury of having a guest room that allows for comfortable accommodation and other arrangements. But this is also becoming increasingly rare in space-starved homes and apartments in big cities.
The best part about hospitality is that you can nail it with plain thoughtfulness and care, even if other luxuries are absent.
Guests enjoy their stay and feel welcome at your place when you provide them the basic things, which they might need throughout the entire duration of their stay.
Here are a few tips for you to get your hostess act together and enjoy having guests stay in your house, and ensure that they too feel the same about the time spent in your home.
1. PUT YOURSELF IN YOUR GUEST'S SHOES
More often than not your guests will have a purpose behind their visit. If you live in a hot tourist destination, sight-seeing will definitely be on top of their minds. So ensure that you make some plans to take your guests around to see your town. You can also provide them with a list of lesser known but worthwhile locations that can be a pleasant surprise. Leave tourist brochures or an interesting book about the history of the area where you live are for guests eager to savor the local experience.
You can also check with your guests beforehand and book tickets for popular shows or events, or Christmas celebrations. These are small, thoughtful steps that go a long way in making your guests feel at home and loved.
If you know that your guest is a bookworm you can get a couple of trending titles and keep them on the night table.
Sometimes your guests may have professional events or meetings to attend. Ensure that you make limited plans for outings together and do check beforehand whether they will find the time. Many a time it so happens that guests are so exhausted after their engagements that they just want to crash at your place.
So have your guests' requirements on top of your mind when you are making plans. Let it be all about them and less about you showing off your hosting abilities.
2. ENSURE SUPPLY OF TOILETRIES
Sometimes guests arrive with their own supply of personal use items. But it is essential that you leave a basket with basic items like soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotions, use-and-throw razors, toothpaste and a few new toothbrushes for your guests to use. You can place the basket on the guest bathroom counter so that they have everything ready and on hand.
Other essentials that you can stock on include basic medical supplies like aspirin, antacids and first aid. Antiseptic bandages, wipes and sanitizers are also good, especially if there are kids with your guests. Over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can also be helpful for guests who forget to pack them.
3. PROVIDE A COMFORTABLE BED
Guest beds remain unused for a considerable period of time and this may cause sheets to smell musty and stale. Ready the bed a day before the guest arrives. If possible, lie on the bed and see whether the pillows are soft and the bed is comfortable. Lay out fresh sheets and make sure that there are plenty of pillows as well.
If you do not have a guest bed, you can provide an air mattress or a comfortable couch in the living room for your guest. There may be guests who do not feel comfortable enough on an air mattress. Air mattresses are filled with air and may take out body heat as you sleep. Put a fleece blanket beneath the sheets to make things more comfortable. A gel foam mattress topper can also do the trick and elevate the quality of sleep.
Also, do not place the air mattress on hardwood floor because it will squeak as you move. Ideally place the mattress above a rug, carpet or a blanket for better sleep.
Though air mattresses are typically not the most comfortable you can improve the experience a great deal if you make them like regular beds. Clean sheets, blankets, comforter and soft pillow top should make your guests' night as comfortable as possible.
4. GUESTS WILL NEED SPACE
The first thing you need to do when you know that guests are expected is clear the clutter in the guest room. Provide clear flat space like a small table, a shelf in the bookcase or luggage racks where they can keep their belongings.
A free flat space to keep their laptop or their electronic gadgets for charging will be most welcome. Also, keep in mind that clutter-free space is soothing and relaxing.
If there is no guest room in your house, try to provide a section in the wardrobe where your guests can keep their clothes and accessories. There should be enough space in the coat closet and make sure that there are extra hangers to hang clothes. This will make things easily accessible and super convenient for your guests. Hanging their outfits will make getting ready in the morning easy.
Invest in a set of cedar hangers that you can set aside for guest-use. They look great, have a garden-fresh scent, repel moth and mildew, and are long-lasting.
5. BE NICE
It's not easy to be a gracious hostess when you have your own busy routine and a family to care for. But it's not that difficult to host overnight guests either.
Provide a power cord/power strip so that your guest does not have to run around to find extra outlets. Also, write down the home Wi-Fi password on an easily accessible card for your guests to use. A vase of fresh-smelling flowers will make anyone feel welcome in your home.
Provide an extra pair of house keys so that the guests can come in any time. A water carafe is a must-have by the guest bed so that they need not walk to the kitchen in the middle of the night for a glass of water. An alarm clock is also a helpful addition on the night table.
You can keep the battery powered flameless candles in the bathroom. They are not only safe and economical, but they are also super pretty. There will be few guests who will not complement you on how nice they look.
Guests will hesitate to ask you for anything and will try to make good with what they have. Ensure that you have the bases covered and there is very little your guests will find lacking.
6. HELP YOUR GUESTS FEEL PART OF YOUR FAMILY
Your guests will want to help you out and may offer to do so. Allow them to chip in and help with minor chores. Maybe they can help set the table and lay out the silverware. Or they can stir the steaming soup on the stove.
This will make your guests feel at home and comfortable. They will also feel glad that they were able to chip in to help you.
Having guests over will help you form new bonds and lasting relationships. A gracious hostess is always remembered with love and gratefulness. By keeping a few important things in mind you can host overnight guests hassle free and ensure your guests leave happy. Also, remember that guests who really care know that you are doing your best and will be happy with what you give. Enjoy the time spent together and make sure that you as well as your guests have a great time.