Organizing for Guests

There are some people who love playing host and those who believe that guests and fish stink after three days. I have to admit, that I fall into the latter category. Yet, even though my guests’ visits are short and sweet, I still make sure my guest room is well stocked and my guests are comfortable for the duration of their stay. If you want to ensure that the time you have guests is as enjoyable for you as it is for them, here are my tried and true “guest rules”:

1. The guest room and bathroom should be dusted and clean, including clean sheets on the bed and fresh towels and soap in the bathroom. Have extra pillows and a blanket available. A light for reading, an alarm clock, and a working television are also nice to have.

2. Consider sleeping in your guest room for a night. It’s the only way you’ll know if it’s comfortable or if there are other issues that need to be fixed.

3. Remove any personal items that you may have been storing in the guest room. If you can’t allocate an entire dresser or closet, empty a few drawers and a portion of the closet. Empty hangers should be in the closet.

4. Let guests know about any house rules. For example, you may not allow eating outside the kitchen, and there may be specific instructions about turning on or off an alarm.

5. Your guests should be told what time meals will be served and whether there are any structured activities that are occurring on a schedule.

6. Be specific about when your guests should arrive and when you expect them to leave. There’s nothing worse than guests who arrive at inconvenient times and/or overstay their welcome.

7. If you have a vacation home, consider not inviting guests on consecutive weekends. Playing host/hostess is exhausting, so having your own weekend in between hosting guests gives you time to unwind and do what you want to do.

8. Leave some time unscheduled so everyone can relax.

9. Ask in advance about food preferences and allergies. Do any necessary grocery shopping prior to your guests’ arrival.

10. Add fresh flowers in a small vase to the guest room. Your guests feel special, and it requires minimal effort on your part.

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