While you can find significant advice on how to cater parties and be a great host, there is surprisingly little advice on how to cater to guests with as little effort and hassle as possible. Here are five life-saving tips to help you cater for guests. These tips will also avoid many common conflicts hosts have with overnight guests.
Set Expectations at the Start
Set expectations at the start instead of having conflicts erupt afterward. If you will not permit smoking in your home, tell your guests the ground rules before they arrive. If sections of the home will be off limits, say so. If you expect guests to assist with housework, let them know before they arrive while giving them the opportunity to go somewhere else if they think this is unreasonable. If you don’t want other company coming over, such as mutual friends and relatives visiting while guests are in your home, discuss it in advance.
Own the Right Furniture So Everyone Sleeps Soundly
There’s little point in hosting guests in your home if you don’t have a place for them to sleep. An offer of the couch is a step below letting them sleep on the guest bed and could drive them to the nearest hotel. The solution is to invest in a guest bed, but we don’t all have room or money for beds that we rarely use. The ideal solution is to buy trundle beds such as couches that hide guest beds underneath and twin beds with a second guest bed and trundle you can pull out to create a queen size bed. Look online for a wide selection of beds for guests, one collection that I love is Happy Beds’ guest beds which you could start browsing.
Prepare So They Don’t Need You There
Prepare your home so that your guests don’t need you waiting on them hand and foot. For example, have snacks and single serve beverages in the fridge ready for them upon arrival so they can eat and drink as soon as they sit down.
Leave guests information they need to get by even if you’re not there. This could include the wi-fi password, instructions on setting the home alarm, notes on where over the counter medication is located in the house and warnings if appropriate. Put soap, towels and toilet paper where they are blindingly obvious. Place a laundry hamper in the room or guest bathroom so they know where to put items without asking you.
Make the Room Comfortable
A guest bed in the sun room may be unbearably hot in the summer or cold in the winter. A room often used to contain the cat creates respiratory problems when used as a guest bedroom by someone allergic. Lay down in the room at night and think about the obstacles they may need to navigate. Consider adding night lights to avoid late night trips on the way to the bathroom and lamps so they can have lights on when desired.
Give Them Time to Settle In
Don’t jump into socialisation until after your guests have had time to settle in. This means giving them an hour or more to unload luggage into the guest room. Let them have a snack and use the bathroom before you start asking them about their trip. If someone has literally been traveling all night, let them sleep and tell you about the trip over breakfast.
Nobody wants to be a bad host, but many people end up making crucial mistakes out of pure ignorance or lack of foresight. If you manage to follow some of the tips in this article, your guest will have nothing but fond memories of their stay and will be more than happy to return the favour.