sleeping on couch

Preparing for Expected (and Unexpected) Houseguests

July 7, 2011 | Everyday Living

Entertaining friends and family in your apartment should be a happy time to relax and enjoy the company. However, hosts sometimes find themselves scrambling to accommodate last-minute visitors and guests, hardly lending to a relaxing atmosphere! In light of this, we have come up with a few tips to better prepare you ahead of time in order to ensure that expected (and unexpected) guests feel right at home in your home.

Preparing for Guests:

  1. Pull Out the Cleaning Supplies: Nothing is more unwelcoming to guests than a dirty home! If you have limited time and can’t undertake a big spring cleaning type project or even your normal cleaning routine, consider this quick clean-up method, using disinfecting wipes to sterilize tables and counter tops, and spray an all-purpose cleaner in areas that need a bit more elbow grease. After surfaces have been cleansed, light a few scented candles or spray some air freshener to create a welcoming atmosphere. You’ll be surprised by how a few strategically-placed candles can completely change a home’s environment!

  2. Shop at Home: Believe it or not, you might not have to make a trip to your local grocery store to stock up on supplies before your guest arrives. Often times, everything necessary to make your place more inviting can be found in your home! Remember that collection of unopened toothbrushes, floss and mini toothpaste that you’ve received from dental appointments? These can come in handy when overnight guests forget to bring theirs, so consider leaving a stash in the bathroom, just in case. Adding those tiny travel-size toiletries you brought home on your last business trip or vacation to the bathroom is also a great way to show your guests that you’re thinking of them. Leave out tiny bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion and soap, along with a fresh set of towels and an extra roll of toilet paper.

  3. Prepare Sleeping Arrangements Ahead of Time: It’s always convenient to have extra sheets, blankets, and pillows in your linens closet, regardless of whether or not you have regular houseguests. Since you can never be too sure of your guest’s comfort level, consider leaving a couple of extra pillows and an additional blanket or throw on the bed, to ensure that your guest feels at home. If possible, make some space by clearing out a few drawers or closet space to provide guests with some room to unpack clothes so they don’t have to live out of a suitcase during their stay. Lastly, leave a bottle of water for them on the nightstand so they don’t have to find the kitchen should they get thirsty in the middle of the night. 

    If you have just moved to a new place and are anticipating several guests throughout the year, consider investing in a sofa bed or futon. These pieces of furniture can easily function as a living space by day and a guest bedroom at night! If a sofa bed isn’t for you, another convenient and inexpensive alternative is an air mattress.

  4. Stock up on Snacks: One of the easiest ways to make your guests feel at home is to stock up on their favorite foods and snacks! If you don’t already know them really well, ask your guests to make a short list of the types of food that they like and any special dietary restrictions that you should be aware of. Leaving goodies that are specific to your guests’ taste buds makes them feel more welcome in your home, and will ensure that you won’t run into any awkward mealtime moments.

  5. Give Guests the Tour: Once your guests arrive, give them a quick tour of your home. In addition to walking through each room, it’s often helpful to show guests where important items are located so that they’re able to help themselves throughout their stay. For example, show guests where glasses, plates and utensils are located in the kitchen, and make sure they know where to find the coffee in case they get up early! Also, let them know where they can find extra towels and blankets should they find themselves in need. Doing so will make your guests feel more at home and helpful during their stay.

Consider using these tips as a short checklist before welcoming a guest into your home. Not only will your guest consider you to be a professional host, but you’ll also be able to kick back, relax and enjoy your company!

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