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  • Writer's pictureBonnie Palmer

12 WAYS TO MAKE VISITS NICER FOR HOUSEGUESTS (AND FOR HOSTS)

Are you getting ready to share your home with overnight guests? Or will you be hitting the road to stay with family or friends? With the yearend holiday season upon us, it’s an excellent time to revisit ways to make guests feel welcome and comfortable in your home—and how to be the best houseguest if you’re visiting others.

Beyond cleaning and decluttering rooms, consider taking a few extra steps to roll out the welcome mat.

FOR HOSTS:

1. Make space.

If your guests are staying in a spare bedroom, ensure there’s room for them to spread out and unpack their things comfortably. That might require boxing up and temporarily relocating your stuff, so guests have some closet space and a couple of empty drawers.

2. Deck out the bed.

Opt for the most comfortable sheets and blankets possible, with a couple extra brackets or throws for added warmth, if desired. Make the bed with a mixture of soft and firm pillows so every guest can find something that suits their preferences.

3. Quench their thirst.

Place bottled water or a pitcher and glasses in their bedroom, so it’s easy for guests to grab a drink. Also, set up a self-service coffee and tea bar so early risers can make a cup without your help.

4. Make snacking easy.

Hungry guests may not feel comfortable asking for food, so eliminate their worries by making snacks visible and accessible. For example, you could set out several glass canisters filled with pretzels, popcorn, dried fruit, or nuts. Or, assemble a basket filled with single-serving snack items.

5. In case they forgot.

Pull together a basket of toiletries that might have been left behind, like a toothbrush and small containers of toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and lip balm. You might also want to throw in a comb, brush, and nail clippers.

6. Offer welcoming words.

Leave a handwritten note in the bedroom that says you’re delighted they’re visiting. Add any helpful details like your wifi password or where to find extra towels. And set out some interesting reading material, including a local visitor’s guide.

7. Consider kids.

If you don’t have children, but your guests do, you may want to offer some age-appropriate activities that will help keep them engaged and occupied. Also, pack up that fragile bowl on the coffee table and anything else that youngsters might accidentally break.





Tips for Houseguests

When the tables are turned, and you’re visiting others’ homes, reflect on what you’ve appreciated from guests you’ve hosted. There are numerous ways to lighten your hosts' load and acknowledge their hospitality.

8. Say thanks with a gift.

To show your gratitude, bring a token of your appreciation. Possibilities include baked goods, a bottle of wine, or fresh flowers. Depending on the length of your stay, consider taking your hosts out for dinner—or preparing an at-home meal for everyone.

9. Pitch in at mealtimes.

It’s always nice to offer help in the kitchen. But if your host declines, look for easy ways to lend a hand, like setting or clearing the table, boxing up leftovers, washing the dishes, or loading the dishwasher.

10. Keep the bathroom clean.

If the shower has a squeegee, it’s probably a clue that your hosts would appreciate wiping down the shower walls and any glass surfaces. Also, wipe out any hair that collects in the drain.

11. Pre-departure prep.

Before you leave, offer to strip the bed, gather any used towels, and stack linens in the laundry area. Empty any small trash containers from the rooms you used.

12. Final walkthrough.

To avoid asking your host to retrieve (and potentially mail) things you’ve left behind, carefully check that all your items are packed. Charging cords are common culprits, especially if they’re hidden behind a bedside table.

Most of all, enjoy the opportunity to share time, once again, in each others' homes!

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