Simple ways that ensure the visits go smoothly
By Nancy Mattia, CTW Features
You may have the best of intentions but it’s not as easy as it may look to be a great host to summer weekend guests. Of course, you’ll give the house a good cleaning, and you’ll stock up on snacks and drinks before your guests arrive but a clean bathroom and a six-pack of Dr. Pepper aren’t enough to build a good visit. First, acknowledge—even if you’re eager to see them—that loved ones will be invading your space and that you may have to do things a bit differently while they’re in your home. Second, by anticipating guests’ needs—without totally putting aside yours—you’ll keep everyone happy and relaxed. Below are a few tips on what a good host needs to do to host guests successfully:
Consult your guests about their agenda
Do this before they arrive so everyone knows the plan. Are they expecting you to choose all the activities during their stay, or will they figure it out themselves, including making dinner reservations or getting tickets in advance? If you’ll be the organizer, tailor guests’ outings to their interests, whether it’s visiting local art galleries or hiking, or both.
Make them comfortable
Having everything they might need in plain sight means they won’t feel like they’re bothering you with requests. Some must-haves: a set of towels, an extra blanket and pillows (one soft, the other firm) that you leave on a chair or the bed in their room, as well as a list of local restaurants and a notecard with your home’s Wi-Fi password.
Supply an extra set of keys
This is crucial if they’ll be venturing out on their own and may return before you do. It’ll give you and them a sense of freedom.
Give them a mini tour of your home
Besides pointing out their bedroom, show them how the coffeemaker works, where you keep the paper towels and toilet paper and the location of the best place is to charge their phones.
Show where you keep the snacks
Even guests who aren’t big eaters may appreciate something to nibble on before or after a day’s excursions. Let them know that your pantry is filled with healthy snacks like nuts, your fridge holds the fruit and the cookies are stashed in a drawer near the dishwasher.
Have basic toiletries on hand
Think of essentials they may have forgotten to pack like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, tissues, sunscreen and body lotion.
Make room in a drawer or closet for their clothes
You may have to temporarily relocate some of your own things in order to fit theirs. Stock the closet with wooden hangers, not the flimsy wire ones from the dry cleaners.
Be honest about helping out
If you’d like them to help you with the cooking or cleaning up, ask them for it; if not, pull up a chair for them so they can sit near you and chat while you make dinner.