Comet….it makes your mouth turn green
I’ve got a BUNCH of guests coming through town this week, some from far far away, and some from not so far away, and some from down the street. Point is, I want to be a good host. I’ve spent the last couple of days spending a few minutes here and there straightening up – as I am somewhat anal-retentive about cleanliness, my house actually doesn’t need much work. I will admit that the real “deep cleaning” doesn’t happen as often as I’d like it too, but having a bunch of guests always kick starts me into motion.
You already know how I feel about kitchens and bathrooms, and since acquiring the “sartorial doggie” I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping floors and the couch vacuumed at least weekly, if not more. Actually, her arrival made me have to go and actually buy a vacuum, as I have hardwood floors and up until that point relied on my broom. I will admit, I’m a sucker for technology, and as I’m not such a dirty person rely on a swiffer mop to go over the floors after vacuuming happens. If you have pets, like I do, it’s really nice to get up as much pet hair as possible, not only to damper down allergens (though do this a day before, not the day of guests especially if you know they are allergic – the vacuum will just stir it all up the day of) but so that pet hair doesn’t get all over guests clothes.
Make sure you’ve got clean towels and sheets on hand. I’ve got two extra sets that I usually use as my bedding but as I am in an apartment and don’t have a TON of room, I don’t have sheets that are “guests only” quite yet. I do have some guest only pillows, and it’s always good to have those on hand. Same goes for towels – make sure they are on hand and clean.
Just like as if you were planning on having a guest of the….overnight shared sheets type, have some basic necessities handy in case something has been forgotten at home. Toothbrushes, especially are easily forgotten. I also have a few different kinds of shampoos and soaps in the shower so that there is an assortment. Assortment is nice and isn’t relegated to the bathroom alone. Have some beverages on hand, juice, beer, wine and water are a good start. I also keep a few sodas in the fridge for guests – though admittedly I’m becoming a very big fan of Diet Pepsi. Really, I love regular Coke, it’s my fave, but it’s wickedly bad for me and DP tastes more like Coke than Diet Coke does. Swear.
Clean the house well. I always kind of think that a bathroom that smells faintly of bleach is super clean. This is not always true but usually it is. I’m not saying burn out your nasal passages or anything, and if you have sensitivities, well use natural cleaners, but make sure the shower/tub is really spotless, the sink is devoid of dried on toothpaste, and the mirror doesn’t have splashes of hair gel or um….more toothpaste splatter on it either. Make sure the toilet sparkles. This isn’t rocket science, but knowing that your house is really clean will take the edge off wondering if that’s the case when guests arrive. It also lets them know that you care enough about their presence to go the extra mile for them. Remember, if you go the extra mile, there’s usually no traffic. Cheesy, but true. Preparing in advance means you’re generally not going to have surprises, like running out of toilet paper.
Make sure that the room your guests are staying in is especially clean. Even if it’s just the couch in your living room (which in my case, it mostly is) make sure the room is clean, and there are some empty surfaces so that your guests have places to put their stuff. One thing that I do that makes my guests know I care is that I’ve got a bunch of nightlights strategically placed around my house. They’re fairly non-offensive, but it makes life pretty easy when they have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and can just follow the path of lightly glowing least resistance.
Have some plans! You all know how I feel about plans! If you can, have some menu’s from local restaurants and pubs at your avail so that you have suggestions. You can even go the extra mile and email some websites of places you like so that when your guests come they are excited and have an idea of what they might like to eat. If you KNOW what they like to eat – as in one of my guests is gluten-free and I’ve made sure we’ve got plenty of fruits and veggies and protein and rice products on hand – we’ll be able to make a meal together without much issue. I also know that I’m having a very much looked forward to John Waters movie sleepover and I’ve got the makings of midnight snacks as well.
Take an extra few minutes to find out if there are any special happenings going on in your town/nearby cities while your guests are in your home. Heck, you might even find something that you’d really like to do as well!
As I’ve said repeatedly, it really is the little things that you do for people that shows them how much you appreciate and care for them – and when guests stay at your home this is even more evident. A little bit of planning and a little bit of cleaning and a little bit of common sense pretty much ensures that both you and your guests are going to really enjoy the stay.
What do you do to make guests feel at home?