Some of my favourite childhood summer memories are the times I would spend at my Aunt Linda and Uncle Tom’s family cabin, it was a chance to catch up with family and friends while having an amazing trip filled with adventures.
Little did I know at the time, how much work goes into the planning for out of town guests, and I will tell you my Aunt Linda takes top prize for being the GREATEST hostess.
At times there must have been 15 plus people staying there, and everything seemed to run perfectly smooth. From daily activities planned, to amazing meals, and our favourite desserts (my Facebook and Instagram post show the Snack and a Half recipe, which is a family favourite). Besides these things, my Aunt Linda took the time to make everyone who stayed there feel special. I remember her giving us little diaries to write our adventures of the summer, having our favourite snacks on hand, and taking us for one on one dates.
Having guests stay at your house is a great time to entertain and have some fun, however, it can be intimidating when you start to overthink, and if you are like me, I tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to our house, and want it to be totally prepared so my guests feel comfortable, have a nice stay, and feel like they are at their home away from home.
As Jason and I moved to Toronto, much of our family and friends still reside in Newfoundland, while preparing for out of town guests I use what my Aunt Linda taught me throughout the years, and incorporated a few tips and tricks that I use for preparation and thought I would share them with you. If you have any, please feel free to share in the comments below!
Little touches can go a long way in making your guest space feel welcoming. Things such as a vase of flowers on the dresser, a welcome note for your guests saying how much you are looking forward to hosting them, a couple of their favourite chocolates on their pillow, even a bottle of wine and a small snack are nice! None of these things takes a lot of time or money, but they let your guest know that you are excited about their time spent at your home.
Other ways to prepare for out of town guests are:
Provide a Place for Guests to Unpack.
It is great to have an area where guests can unpack their bags. Add a dresser to the room, and clear the closet so they are free for the guests to use. If you do not have areas like this, add a stool or small table where they can set their suitcase to have easy access to their items.
Have a Light and a Nightstand by the Bed.
Especially with first-time guests, they will not be familiar with the new space so ample lighting is great for them to be able to move comfortably around the room. Placing lamps on nightstand tables by the bed, make it so they can easily turn on in the middle of the night is a great added touch. Also, it’s a good idea to leave key small lighting on throughout the house at night, so guests can find their way around. I also like keeping a nightstand with a drawer by the bed, and keeping an extra phone charger in case they may have forgotten one, and it allows the guests to be able to keep their phones and other personal items close by at night.
Lots of Pillows and Extra Bedding.
It is always nice to have extra pillows of different firmness available so guests can choose how many they want to use at their own liking. Also, having an extra cozy throw blanket at the end of the bed is also great if they get cold. You should also tell your guests where you keep your extra linens so that they can grab them as they please.
Have Extra Toiletries Available.
Most guests are going to forget a few things, or will not have the room to pack everything. One cute way to provide toiletry items guests may need such as lotion, shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, and sample packs in a glass container or basket.
Have Towels and Washcloths Easily Available.
Have towels and washcloths visible and easily accessible for guests and let them know where they are located. I personally like to have them laid on their bed so they do not even have to ask for a towel and it makes everything easy.
Not everyone has a guest room, and if you do not, try giving them an area of the home that they will have some privacy, your guests will thank you for this. If you do have a guest’s room, make sure you have blinds or curtains to your windows so they can feel safe and secure.
I always like to ask guests what they would like during their stay, and if they want anything specific to eat or drink. Always have coffee, tea, milk, and water available, and any other staples you think your guests could need or want, and again, have them easily available. To make things easier when we are hosting guests, I plan out the meals we will be cooking before they come, it ensures you have all the food in the house and allows more time to spend with your guests.
If you know me, you know I like a clean house, especially a clean bathroom. Have the shower and toilet super clean so that your guest feels comfortable using the facilities. If you have a separate bathroom for your guests, a good idea is to clear out your personal things so that they do not have to tiptoe around your items. Another thing is having extra toilet paper and a plunger available to avoid any embarrassing moments with your guests.
Living Room Items.
Having guests stay with you is also a chance to do that de-cluttering you have been avoiding. As you will be fitting more people into the living areas, get rid of all the stuff that doesn’t belong, or you no longer need. I like to have books, magazines, board games, and other entertainment available so they do not get bored during their downtime. Also, have some extra comfy pillows & throws laying around so everyone can feel cozy & comfortable.
And most importantly…Relax!
Yes, it can definitely be a little stressful at times having guests at your home, because you want them to have a good time and you may worry if they are comfortable. But keep in mind, guests that are staying overnight in your home, are most likely comfortable enough to tell you if they need anything. So, try not to stress, have a great time with your house guests & enjoy!
Is there anything you would add to this list? Everyone is different, so I would LOVE to hear what you do to prepare! Leave a comment below, find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/katie.parsons.5836) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/kmparsons1/)