Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Preparing for Guests {5 Tips to go the Extra Mile}

I really enjoy hosting guests. Whether for dinner or a full blown vacation, I find joy in making my family and friends feel at home.
Besides the typical prep that you would normally do when a guest is arriving (and by that I mean cleaning and picking up), I like to go the extra mile with 5 other steps.
These tips mostly apply to overnight guests, but you can apply one or even more of these steps to best fit your home and family.

Tip One: Fresh Linens and Sheets- To some of you this may seem obvious, but more often than not hosts can over look this detail. I know in our guest room I have "never-used" sheets on the bed, but if someone were staying the night tonight I would STILL change the sheets. I love the feel of fresh sheets right out of the dryer with the lingering scent from the dryer sheets. I feel like replacing the sheets is a way to say 'I care'. Same for towels. I like to freshen up my towels in the wash and fluff them dry with a nice fresh scent.
Additional tip, if you know that your guest is prone to allergies OR if you are not sure at all...I recommend washing your guest's linens in Dreft (Dreft Laundry Detergent - 170 oz -110 load size-NEW BIGGER SIZE).

Tip Two: Welcome Tray- This is a small gesture that makes your guest feel welcomed. The picture of my guestroom tray is above. As you can see I have a small box of tissues for convenience, several beverage options (you can customize those options based on your guest), a glass for the beverage (add more for multiple people), a tiny treat of Godiva chocolate, and a simple quote by Aristotle. You can create your tray whichever way appeals to you. You know your guest the best! If you don't have a guest room to display a tray, try a welcome gift bag including some of the items I just mentioned.

Tip Three: Meal Planning- If you plan on cooking while your guests are in town, it would be my suggestion to plan your meals before hand. This is helpful for two reasons; first, you are able to stress less while your guests are in town because you already know what you are cooking. Second, this allows you to check with your guests about the meals. I'm not saying you have to send them a full fledged menu... I mean you want to surprise them with your cooking skills! All I'm saying is you can check to see if there are any special dietary needs and/or food allergies to be aware of. That way you don't prepare a meal your guest cannot eat.

Tip Four: Create a Sightseeing Book- If your guests are from out of town, they may not know all there is to do in the area. I find it thoughtful to put together a small book or binder of some things to do; especially if they might be venturing out on their own some days. Just pick up some brochures from local attractions, some menus from local restaurants you enjoy, and even a town event schedule for music and festivals. This doesn't have to be a huge book, we have the internet for that...just a few options for them to see where they might like to visit.

Tip Five: Plan Ahead at Work- Often when guests come into town for an extended stay we take off a few days to spend time with them...if we're lucky! There are some times we can't get away or take vacation. When this happens, simply plan ahead. Let your co-workers and boss know that you have guests arriving on this date; and while you will be at work throughout the week, you will be leaving promptly at close of business (or the end of your shift) and unable to answer calls outside of business hours because you will be entertaining.
Now...I know what you are thinking...' Yeah right Katrina! My boss could care less about my personal entertaining of guests...he'd call me if I was in the hospital to do work!'
I'm not saying tell your boss what you are doing and disregard the policies at work. All I am suggesting is if you can't take time off while your guests are in town, then if you plan ahead you could lessen your work load while they are here. Maybe you stay late the week before to get ahead on your work, or maybe it is as simple as talking to your boss about not working overtime that week. Whatever the case, your guests came to visit you, not your job.

Hope this helps give you some tips for hosting guests in your home!  I would love to hear how you get ready for guests! Tweet me a picture (@youngnasawife) or leave a comment below.

And for those wondering about the quote in my guest room...


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