Preparing for Guests

Each of the four seasons brings with it a different reason for out-of-town guests to come knocking on your door. Winter has its family-friendly holidays, autumn is ideal for long scenic drives and spring and summer have weddings, vacations, and family reunions. Regardless of the season or the reason, having guests in your home can be a lot easier on you if you prepare in advance.

It’s always best if you have an understanding of exactly how many people are coming to visit. It can be frustrating when someone’s on the fence about visiting, especially if you’re opening up your home to them. To prevent any last minute arrangements or surprises, politely ask the guests exactly who is coming so you can have everything ready. Hopefully, your guests will respect you enough to give you plenty time to prepare for their visit. This will also give you time to get off work if they have vacation time scheduled and you don’t.

When you open your house to more than one guest, it can deplete your stash of toiletries very quickly. Be sure to stock up on soap, toilet paper, laundry detergent and paper towels. It also helps to buy paper plates so you’re not stuck doing a ton of dishes or running the dishwasher after every meal.

Try to find out in advance if anyone is following a personal or medical diet. You want to be able to make meals that everyone can enjoy. Also, it’s a nice gesture to order some food on the arrival date. After traveling, your guests will probably be tired and you’ll want to spend as much time with them as you can, so ordering a couple of pizzas or a platter of lunch meat can allow everyone to get re-acquainted without having to take time out to cook.

If you have extra bedrooms where your guests will be staying, make sure the bedrooms have been thoroughly cleaned and the linens replaced with fresh sets. Having a television in the room will be appreciated by the family insomniac. Likewise, if children are visiting, it’s a good move to have night lights in the hallway and in the bathroom so they can find it if they need it at night.

Air fresheners or candles can add a fragrant improvement to your guest’s rooms although they work best if you know they like the scent. There’s nothing worse than sleeping in a room that smells like roses when you can’t stand the scent of roses! If your guests are staying for a week or longer, you may want to empty the drawers in their rooms so they have a place to keep their clothes rather than in their suitcases.

After about three days, it may be time to get everyone out of the house. Plan a visit to a local attraction that everyone will enjoy, or pick a family movie for a night out. If your guests are staying over a weekend and they happen to have a different religious preference, find the worship center that they will appreciate and have the directions and ceremony hours ready for them.

If someone is driving to your house and they haven’t been there in a while, or they’re visiting for the first time, make sure you give them easy to follow directions. Also give them a cell phone number where you can easily be reached if they become lost. You should use easy to identify landmarks because they make the best guidelines.

Having guests can be a strain on your household supplies and groceries, but keep in mind that these people could have gone anywhere and they decided to visit you. Keep calm, stay respectful, plan ahead and everything will be okay. They’ll eventually leave.

Dave Donovan is a freelance copywriter living in Atco, N.J. An electrician for 15 years, an injury forced him to pursue his true passion - writing.