We love having overnight visitors. My mother is coming to visit next week (and staying for three months so she’ll be here for the birth of the baby – hooray!) and we have been excitedly preparing for her arrival. Because I love a clear “to do” list to help me feel less stressed about any job I have to do, today I am sharing five simple steps for how I get ready for a house guest.
Having this list of tasks has made it easy to include the kids in the preparation, as we simply take one step at a time. Though some of the tasks they have observed more than gotten involved in, they have still enjoyed the process of getting Grandma’s room ready and have even created a few pieces of artwork to greet her upon her arrival.
Hosting guests offers a great opportunity for us to discuss thoughtfulness and consideration, as well as generosity as we get ready to share our space and belongings with others. We have also talked about special manners to use when we host guests, such as knocking on a bedroom door before entering and being especially quiet when someone is asleep during the early morning hours. I hope empowering the kids to see themselves as hosts helps them learn practical skills for the future.
Here is our list of things to do to get ready for a house guest:
#1 Prepare the bedding.
Each time a guest comes, I try to make sure the bedding in the guest room is appropriate for the season. Right now it is hot, hot, hot here in Brisbane so I am using a coverlet, but in winter I would make sure we had the electric blanket on plus extra coverings available for especially cold nights.
#2 Clear some closet space.
Whether it’s a set of drawers, a shelf, or a closet, it’s always nice to offer guests a place to put their belongings so they do not have to live out of their suitcase.
#3 Assemble a snack basket.
I like to prepare a little basket of snacks for my guests. Depending on the person, I might include bottles of water or juice, a selection of fresh fruits, crackers, muesli bars, and/or chocolates. This is especially important for overseas guests as adjusting to a new time zone can be hard on one’s tummy! I know as I have woken up hungry in the middle of the night many times after international flights!
#4 Provide necessities.
This includes: towels, shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste (I also keep extra toothbrushes in storage in case guests forget theirs), extra toilet paper that is easily seen/found in the bathroom, air freshener, laundry basket, and any other accessories that your guest might appreciate.
Then, there are the drinks/foods that are considered necessities (some people MUST have their morning coffee/tea or a treat before bed!). My mother is a coffee drinker so when Nestlé offered me the opportunity to try out their new NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Circolo Capsule machine, I thought it was a great idea. I was a bit intimidated by capsule coffee machines before but after making one drink I found out how truly simple and easy it is. The drinks are delicious plus it’s so fast, too! I set the machine up in the guest room so that my mother can make her morning coffee in peace (without the kiddos seeking her attention!) and am sure she will love it.
#5 Make a list of restaurants and excursions your guests will enjoy.
I keep a folder in our guest room of tourist-targeted pamphlets and restaurant menus that I have picked up around town. This is great for finding places to go and things to do when we have visitors, and also gives them a range of choices instead of me having to plan the schedule without input. I find older visitors often prefer this hands-on method of browsing excursion opportunities, as websites can get a bit overwhelming.
My husband and I also have a running list of favourite places to go (i.e. parks suitable for picnics) that we keep on email titled “Places to Go.” This is so that when we are recommended a new place to go, we have a place to write it down and can easily find our list via search function when needed.
What other tips do you have about preparing for a house guest?
Thanks to NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto for sending me a Circolo machine and a range of capsules to review for this post. All opinions are my own. To find out more about advertisement and reviews on my website please click here.