Tips for Preparing for House Guests

As you all know, or at least as you’ve been able to gather by looking through our blog, we are big on planning.  There are times when planning is less important, and times when it’s the only most important thing.  Trust me on this one: having house guests is one of those times when planning is absolutely essential.  I hope this post and the printable checklist at the end will make this process easy and enjoyable for you.

Most of the useful information in this post is found in the printable.  There you will find all of the tasks that are usually forgotten when hosting guests.  The printable includes all of the necessary tasks such as cooking and cleaning.  It also includes the extra effort you can take if you want to the guests to take back some great memories.

Do some deep cleaning

Whether your guests are coming for a few hours or a few days, one of the most important tasks to start off with is some deep cleaning of the house. No one likes dirt, dust and yellow stains around the bathroom and kitchen. It not only gives a gross feeling but also puts an impression on your guests that you don’t value hygiene. Give special attention to the tiles, toilet bowl, washing area and of course your portico and start your cleaning routine a few days before their arrival.

Check the bedroom

Once you have done the cleaning, it’s time to hit the bedroom and make it ready for the guests. Make sure you change the bed sheets and keep at least 2 pillows per guest. Keep 1-2 light blankets in the closet if you think the night gets chilly. Don’t forget to check if the lamp and night bulb is working. If you have an attached bathroom, place freshly washed towels and toiletries for the guests to worry less. If you wish to redecorate the room, make sure you don’t get over the board with too many things around the room. Keep it simple and useful. You can also make the room special by placing fresh flowers, candles in the room or by keeping your guest’s favourite magazine and snacks on the bedside table.

Sometimes, your guests might not come to spend the night but may want to take a nap or you might want to use the room for the kids to do their activities in one of the rooms.

Upgrade your kitchen stock

The next thing to focus on is the kitchen grocery. Depending on the preferences and duration of your guests visit, prepare a weekly menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Apart from the welcome meal which should be special, it is always my suggestion that you keep the menu consistent in the number of dishes. Don’t present too many things in the first few days and then lower the quality and quantity. Make a schedule and budget it accordingly.

Do your grocery ahead of time, and if possible, do some pre-cooking to save yourself from the last minute hassle. Additionally stock up some sweet and savory evening snacks such as pop-corns, ice-creams, drinks, juices and crisps for late night hunger pangs.

Woman standing in the kitchen

Make a plan

It’s always nice to search for some places where you can take your guests. Make a plan and inform your guests what you have in mind to entertain them. If you want to take them for a picnic or to the beach informing them prior will allow them to bring some appropriate clothes and shoes.  The days you don’t plan to go out, keep some activities ready to make memories at home.

Hosting and Entertaining

Usually, you will not only be hosting the houseguests, but you’ll also be entertaining them and serving as your city’s tour guide.  For this reason, you’ll need to plan both the logistics of having extra bodies to house and activities for them.  The printable checklist will help break down these processes, but you’ll want to remember that planning both is important.

Don’t be too busy

The best way to make your guests uncomfortable is to do everything right in front of them and not give them time or attention. While you will try to do lots of things before the guests arrive, there will always be a lot more to do right on the spot. If your guests offer you some help, let them join in and you can enjoy the time together while the work gets done.

Emergency numbers

If you continue to work while your guests will be at home, make a list of helpline and emergency numbers to avoid panic. Either handover this list to your guests or keep it near the telephone for immediate use.

People chilling around fire in backyard

Household instructions

Guests that intend to stay for long eventually become part of your living and are a big help in your daily chores, especially when you are out for work. There is no harm to allow them to share your work if they are doing so willingly. Share with them the instructions as to how your home appliances work, what time the mail boy comes or how the alarm system works. Also, if there is a timetable that you all follow at home, inform the guests about it so that they prepare themselves beforehand.

Prepare kids at home

If you have children at home and they haven’t met the guests before, talk to them and tell them about the guests. Make them familiar even before they come and instruct them how you would want them to behave.

Train the pets

Not all pets like guests and not all guests like pets. If you are a pet lover and you have one at home, inform your guest about it. If you can’t keep the pet away for some time, train them for the guests to come and take special care for their maintenance.

Dog in the house

Keep welcome/good-bye gifts ready

If you wish to give your guests a welcome or good-bye present, think beforehand what you wish to buy, purchase it and package it before they come. Running to the mall, searching for a gift once they have arrived will definitely embarrass your guests.

A Note About Last Minute Guests

In this case, obviously, there’s less planning you can do.  The best bet here is to always be prepared for house guests, especially if you have teenagers.  When you’re able, keep extra snacks, clean sheets, clean towels, and extra hygiene products on hand (especially toothbrushes).  Doing this will alleviate a lot of the stress of last minute overnight guests.