How to Prepare for House Guests

Laurie WallLifestyle and Entertaining

Christmas, family in the kitchen

If you are entertaining family or friends as house guests this holiday season, you want to make sure that your home is inviting and comfortable for them. Below are some suggestions about how to prepare for house guests so that they feel welcome and at home.

Spruce Up the Common Areas

Take a critical look at your home as an outsider would. Do the draperies need dry cleaning or the curtains a fresh wash? Do it now. While the curtains are down, clean the baseboards in the rooms your guests will frequent. You may want to rent a carpet cleaner or hire a company to clean your carpets professionally. If you have throws over any of the furniture, toss them in the wash, too.

In the Guest Room

Spend a night in your own guest room to check the comfort level. If you don’t want to do that, lie down on the bed. Is the mattress sagging or lumpy? Are the pillows flat or too unyielding? You can refurbish a mattress on the cheap by investing in a good quality pillow-top cover for it. Also, make sure that guests have an array of pillows from which to choose.

If the guest room doesn’t have a ceiling fan, add a small desktop fan. Alternatively, provide your guests with a couple of extra blankets in case it gets cold.

Unless someone is allergic, a bouquet of fresh cut flowers is an elegant touch. It’s also generous to stock guest bathrooms with some basic toiletries, and, as you prepare for house guests, don’t forget to buy plenty of high-quality toilet paper. 

Safety First

Without getting into major renovations, here are some quick fixes to make sure your house guests are safe:

  • Get rid of any floor mats without rubber backing that could cause a guest to slip or fall.
  • Make sure that all the light bulbs in lamps and overhead lights are the correct wattage and working.
  • Put night lights in halls and guest rooms so guests can easily find their way to the bathroom at night.
  • Check all smoke detectors and replace the batteries if necessary.

Special Considerations for Children and Seniors

If there will be babies or young children staying with you, you’ll have to child-proof your home. Get rid of toxic plants, or at least make sure they are out of reach of the toddler set. If your home has steps, buy an inexpensive baby gate to block stairways and prevent accidents.

Many older guests get cold easily and may like to have their bedroom warmer than the rest of your home. A small, safe space heater can ensure their comfort during the night.

A Few Little Extras

Your kitchen should be well stocked with snacks—healthy, sweet, and savory. Let guests know they are always free to graze between meals.

Buy some current magazines of interest to your guests. Leave them in their bedrooms or out on a table for them to peruse during down time. 

Guests may feel funny asking you for the WiFi code, so make sure that they have access to it and don’t wind up burning through their data plan allotment during their stay. It’s also a nice idea to have a couple of extra chargers on hand for guests to recharge their cellphones and other electronic devices.

A Home Away from Home

Prepare for house guests by making your home a welcoming oasis. Anticipating their needs and ensuring their comfort will make them want to return.

Make It Comfortable

Would a bigger house or a different layout make it easier for you to have guests? Take a look at the available homes in your area.