How To Prepare Your Home for Guests

8:52 AM

One of the best parts of marriage has been having a place to share with Joe. I was so excited to finally have my own space to throw parties, host guests, and make memories together in! This past weekend, I had the pleasure of finally hosting overnight guests!! It was of course for a special event... Joe would finally put on his white coat to commemorate the start of medical school.

In preparation of my in-laws and a dear friend coming to stay at our place, I put some extra effort into making sure our place was comfortable and as a result would make their stay comfortable. Here are some of the steps I took to making our place as cozy as possible for them!

  1. Up your cozy factor with lighting and good smells
It’s amazing the difference a few candles and lamps can make for the ambiance of your home. I wanted their first impression of stepping into our home to be “Ah, this is comfortable”. So, I made a run to TJ Maxx and got some good smelling candles to light before they arrived.

Since our first round of guests would be arriving at night, I prepared the place by turning off all overhead lighting and using only lighting from the candles and warm lamps.

  1. Address your guests main discomforts as soon as they step in your door
When you have finally stepped out of your car from a long car ride, there are essentially two things that are on the top of your mind.

1) You need to use the bathroom
2) You need to eat something

Knowing these facts, I made sure our place was stocked with snacks they could immediately grab to eat as soon as they walked in our door (Snack packs of oreos, cookies, etc). I also made an effort to ask them if they needed to take a shower or use the bathroom as soon as they walked in. I wanted our guests to know they were not only welcome at our place but that we were overjoyed to host them.

To show our enthusiasm for having them at our place, we bought snacks personalized for each person. For example, Joe’s younger brother loves Reese’s Pieces and Sourpatch Kids so I made sure to grab boxes of these. I knew that Joe’s little sister loved gourmet chocolate so I got a bar for her, etc. We also made sure there was plenty of fruit that they could snack on as well for a healthier option!

  1. Keep Your Guests Well-Fed (and ask about food allergies!)
This again is something I know from experience, but I love eating. If you feed me well, I will love you. And so, I made sure our place was well stocked with food for our guests. We also stocked up on loads of breakfast options so that even the pickiest eater would be happy eating at our place!

For breakfast, we stocked up on bagels, cream cheese, eggs, coffee, wheat bread, peanut butter, oatmeal, oatmeal toppings, apples, oranges, etc. This way, our guests could make their own breakfast comfortably even if we were not present at our apartment to feed them. When I was in the apartment during breakfast time, I made sure to cook breakfast for them!

  1. Keep Well-Forgotten Items Stocked and Available
I know that one of the first things I forget when I go somewhere is my toothbrush. Knowing this, I didn’t want our guests to feel uncomfortable asking for a spare toothbrush and even worse not having a spare to give them! And so, I made sure the guest bathroom was stocked with toothpaste and new toothbrushes they could use if they needed to.

Additionally, I set out all of our towels so they could grab a new one whenever they needed it. I also wanted our guests to know they wouldn’t have to pack all of their toiletries when they came to our place so I stocked up the guest bathroom with all necessities like travel lotion, sanitizer, floss, Q-tips, cotton balls, etc. Next time I’m also going to add spare razors to this list!

  1. Provide Entertainment Options
This is one area I can definitely work on next time (but in my defense, there’s not a lot to do in Greenville). Our board games got put to good use last weekend and I’m going to stock up on some good coffee table reads for our guests to peruse in their down time.

Some other options would be: going to the mall, checking out a park/pool, checking out the recreation area at ECU, going bowling, watching a movie, going downtown to drink brews, etc.

You definitely don’t want your guests to sit in your home all day because you aren’t initiating anything to do!

  1. Set out fresh flowers
Now I love this and appreciate this prep step probably more than my guests will but seeing flowers grace a vase in the living room, the bathroom, and even the guest bedroom will add a touch of beauty that will subtly bring pleasure to your guests’ stay!

  1. Clean and Declutter
And this goes without saying but definitely clean your space so that your guests are walking into a space that will not make them uncomfortable. Even small things like putting your bills away and clearing the desk in the study for them to use will help them feel more at home and more able to place their personal items in your space.

And for next time, I will do the following:

Display your wifi password prominently

Make Welcome Baskets
It seems like a bit of overkill but I wanted guests to have all the things they would ask for in our home readily accessible to them so the basket would hold things like their own personal towel, facial wipes, washclothes, etc, Snacks, Toiletries, and a cute welcome note!

Stock up on Snacks and Drinks
We did a pretty good job this round with this but I want to have disposable cups so they can take coffee to go for when they head back. I’d also like to have more options for drinks other than soda, coffee, and water so I’ll stock up sparkling water, juice, etc.

Make their Sleeping Area Cozy
Next time I’ll be prepared with pillows and guest sheets. Hopefully by then we’ll be able to sneak a daybed into Joe’s study so that we can convert it into a guestroom when we have friends stopping by.

Do you enjoy hosting guests? What do you do to prepare for their stay?

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