American television personality Ellen DeGeneres was once quoted as saying, “Nothing says holidays like a cheese log!” If only preparing for house guests were as easy as just putting out a cheese log there would be many less stressed hosts around. Preparing for guests at any time of the year can be time consuming and frustrating, but the rewards can be well worth it. Here are a few tips:
First Impressions Matter
Making a good first impression can be easy as long as you feel you are looking sharp in your outfit of choice, have your make-up come out just like you intended and sport a stellar hairstyle. It is much the same with our house. If it looks nice on the surface, then we feel better about having guests come inside to visit.
Whether a guest is staying for a few hours or for a few days, we still want to make that good first impression. Whether it is a short visit or a longer one we want to make sure guests don’t have the chance to find all our clutter. Here are some tips to help your house look ready for guests, even if you aren’t quite there yet.
1. Tackle the dining room table
The only thing that should be sitting on your table is a tasteful centerpiece. A pile of junk mail from the past few weeks will do nothing to enhance the table, so tackle that pile. Throw out what you don’t need and file the rest of it.
2. Bring out the special dishes
You don’t need to take out great-grandma’s fine china, but having a set of dishes that match makes you look organized. Think about buying some new glasses or cutlery if you need it.
3. Use a cleaning service
Schedule them a few days before guests arrive to handle details like dusting, washing down baseboards and door or window sills, doing windows, and deep cleaning dust from carpets, window treatments such as indoor board batten shutters, and upholstered furniture. This is a great time saver for you and it can be especially important guests with allergies. Plus your house will smell fresh and look so clean.
4. Board the pets
This will help you when it comes to keeping floors and furniture clean. It is also very helpful if a guest is allergic or has a fear of dogs. If there are any issues with the pets – make some temporary plans for them, or even find a room in the home where they are comfortable.
5. Prepare extra sleeping spaces
If necessary, borrow or buy some cots or a blow up bed and decide where they will be placed. If using a guest room or sofa bed make sure they are clean and ready for use. Make sure you have enough pillows, sheets and blankets and make sure they are clean. Buy new pillow cases.
6. Set out some amenities
To make your guests feel as comfortable as possible make sure that there are basic items available to them. Towels, special soaps, extra toothbrushes and other toiletries should be available for them. Take a moment to think about what your favorite hotel has provided and take inspiration from that.
7. Stock up on special-diet foods
If you know that any guests have special food needs then stock up on some of them. For a diabetic make sure to have sugar free items. If a guest is allergic to a certain item, such as chocolate, then make sure there is another option for them if you are serving anything with chocolate in it.
8. Get your shopping done before they arrive
You don’t want to miss the opportunity to spend time with your guests, so get those errands done before they get there. Sure, that means you will have to have your shopping done before then but it will make the visit much more enjoyable. Make it a family project or help out a neighborhood teenager wanting to earn some money. It will be well worth the cost to get this task completed.
Taking the time to prepare in advance is well worth it. Once your guests arrive you will be able to enjoy your time with them without the added stress of trying to pull everything together. The more relaxed you are as the host the more comfortable your guests will be. Since everyone will be relaxed and comfortable it will be a much more enjoyable visit for all.
Plan Early for Next Year
Immediately after your guests leave, jot down what did or did not work so you know what to do for next year. Waiting too long will make you forget small details. After all, your guests will return again someday because you made them feel so welcome so you’ll want to be ready!
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Freelance author Becky James-Muth is a self-proclaimed coffee addict. When researching sites like http://www.sunbeltshutters.com/ for the articles she writes, she is never without a mug brewed from her favorite local coffee company. When she isn’t writing or hunting for bargains at local retail shops, she enjoys spending time with her firefighter husband and their two teenage sons.