12 Tips for Happy House Guests - And Their Hosts

Whether you’re a natural-born host – or get stressed by the thought of houseguests – these tips will make it easier to prepare for the upcoming holidays.

  1. Don’t overcommit. If you and your spouse both work full-time and you have a houseful of kids, limit overnight guests to those who blend in well with your family.
  2. Inevitably, there will be times when you have a high-maintenance guest. Determine ahead of time what you can do to make their stay meaningful without escalating your stress level.
  3. Get your immediate family (including kids) involved early so there won’t be any surprises when sleeping arrangements change and there are extra people occupying the bathrooms.
  4. Be sure the guest room and bathrooms are super clean. Place extra pillows and blankets on the bed so your friends can have some control over their sleeping environment.
  5. Contact your local Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) for a list of things to do and places to visit. They may even have swag bags with local samples, goodies and coupons.
  6. Create a gift basket that includes the CVB items and a few snacks. Add a welcome note that includes information such as the Wi-Fi password. If you’ll be at work during your visitors’ stay, provide them with a house key or entry code.
  7. If your upcoming visitor gave you a piece of home décor, family heirloom or other meaningful gift, be sure it’s on display and not stashed in the basement.
  8. Although you aren’t running a restaurant, it’s nice to find out if your guests have any food allergies or aversions. Ask if there are certain types of coffee, tea, soda or other beverages they drink regularly so you can have some waiting when they arrive.
  9. Speaking of allergies and aversions, remind your upcoming guests about your beloved Fido and Fluffy. Vacuum or lint roll your furniture shortly before their ETA.
  10. No one likes bathroom surprises, so be sure you have a non-disgusting plunger and plenty of toilet paper available.
  11. Good smells. Bad smells. It’s time to neutralize the odors. Although it’s obvious that bad smells should be eliminated, quite a few lifestyle blogs recommend scented candles throughout the home. Proceed cautiously since some people are very sensitive to scent.

Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself! Your visitors came to see you and your family, not to judge your culinary skills, housekeeping or concierge services. Of course, it’s wonderful to put your best foot forward and be considerate – just don’t make yourself crazy in the process.

It’s also good to realize that most guests want to be good visitors, just as much as you want to be a good host. So relax, enjoy and make memories.

- By Janelle Sabin, Sep 13, 2016