How to Be a Good Host to Your House Guests
A few days before a visit, I like to do a deep clean around the house, do laundry and stock up on essentials like toilet paper, paper towels and tissues. The extra day ahead of their arrival allows time for any problems and delays. I always email and text my address, phone number, transportation information and my Wifi network and password two days before someone arrives. That way they have two ways to find their way to your home without getting lost.
Having a copy of the keys for your guest is always nice. It allows them to come and go as they please. I like to attach a little card with suggestions for places in the area to get coffee, shop, find transportation and eat.
Nothing makes guests feel more welcomed than having a few creature comforts. In addition to freshly changed sheets (which I like to spray with a mild lavender linen spray) I also provide: books/magazines, a carafe/bottle of water, a candle and matches, tissues, a tiny plant or flower arrangement, travel lotion and lip balm, a little snack and an extra blanket.
Eat or Wash
Upon arrival, always ask your guest whether they’d like to eat something or wash up first. This takes care of their most immediate needs, removes discomfort and gives them something to do right away.
Next, show them to their room and leave them to get settled and rejoin you after they wash up or need something to eat. Having a little alone time immediately after arrival is very comforting and useful.
It’s now time to sit down, share a drink, connect and go over the evening and days ahead. This is the true and proper time for greeting. Do this too soon and you’ve got overload. Take half an hour to find out where your guest is coming from, what they’re hoping to do during their stay and share with them what your plans are as well. This is not necessarily the time to launch into hours of conversation, but the time to orient your guest and know exactly what the shape of the whole visit will look like.
Towel, Water, Bed, Bathroom
These are the basic needs of any weary guest. Make sure they have a towel on their bed, water by its side and a clear path to the bathroom you’d like them to use. In addition to a freshly cleaned bathroom, I like to provide a stack of clean towels, washcloths and a toothbrush for guests. I put the toothbrush and a travel-sized toothpaste in a clean glass on the counter so they have a little landing space for their toiletries.
It’s an extra touch, but placing fresh flowers in the room or by the bed where your guests are staying is super nice and spreads the message that you really appreciate them coming to stay.
What Would You Like To Do?
With every guest that comes into your home. Be sure to know what you’d like to do with them personally before they leave and then schedule it with them. Visits can get rushed and busy. It is super important to have a real quality connection with friends or family staying in your home. You’ll both be really happy that you do.
When It’s All Over
I think it’s nice to follow up with an email, letter or text to let your guest know how much you enjoyed having them.