Hosting overnight guests? Follow these nine helpful tips as you prepare for your company.
You know the feeling you get when a friend calls/texts/e-mails you that he or she is coming to visit … and wonders if he or she could spend the night?
You’re excited to spend time with your friend, but you start to panic when you look at your home and think of everything you need to do.
Hosting overnight guests can be a lot of work … as in cleaning and cooking and extra laundry.
But before you completely stress out, relax. Hosting overnight guests can be such a blessing. You’ll be able to spend time with your guests – there’s something special about late night or early morning visits.
You also get to be a blessing as your guests can stay in a welcoming haven and skip the expense, inconvenience and discomfort of a hotel. (Don’t get me wrong – I do like to stay in hotels, but I rarely get a good night sleep. A homey atmosphere helps me rest better.)
Personally, I tend to get caught up in preparation details, and always am relieved once my guests arrive so I’m forced to slow down, visit, and be a friendly hostess.
To make my preparation process less stressful, I try to remember that I can bless my guests in my home during their stay. By doing this, I switch the focus from myself to others … I think a lot more about their needs and less about my own convenience.
Preparing for overnight guests
If you know you’re expecting overnight guests, how can you prepare? Here are nine tips for your preparation process.
1. Know who is coming to your house and who is planning on staying.
Find out exactly who is coming so you know how many guests to prepare for.
2. Know how long your guests will be visiting.
When are they arriving? How long will they stay? Are they planning to spend all their time with you, or will they be out and about?
3. Know where your guests will sleep.
Do you have a spare bedroom? Perfect. Cramped for space? No worries. Find out how many people are staying at your home and how many beds are needed.
Once you know who is coming, figure out your sleeping arrangements. Will your guests sleep in beds? On a pullout couch? On a sofa? On an air mattress? If you have children, will they need to sleep on the floor in your bedroom so your guests can use a bedroom?
4. Decide what bedding you will use.
Do you have enough pillows? Blankets? Sheets? Gather them from your linen closet … or buy or borrow what’s needed. (If you’re comfortable with your company, ask your guests to bring their own. They may prefer to sleep on their own pillows, anyway.)
5. Gather what your guests will need in the bathroom.
Pull out bath towels. Collect sample sizes of toiletries and put them in a basket – then, if your guests forget to bring something, you’ll make traveling a lot easier for them.
6. Clean the bathroom.
Make sure you clean the bathroom your guests will use … even if it’s just a quick clean. A clean bathroom always is a welcome thing!
7. Think about what would be helpful for your guests’ stay.
Is an alarm clock near the bed? Is an extra house key necessary? Would they enjoy some books or magazines to read? How about local travel brochures or a map? Do they have a copy of your home’s Internet access code? What about bottles of drinking water or a little bedtime snack for the bedroom?
8. How many meals will your guests need?
Do you need to plan for dinners and lunches, as well as breakfast? Do you know your guests well enough to know their favorite foods? How about food allergies or sensitivities? Plan your menu accordingly.
9. Can you think of any special touches to add?
Maybe you remember certain music that will bring back memories, a special movie to watch, or a place you just know you have to take your guests. Think about how you’d like to spend your time together and make any preparations you need.
The thought of hosting overnight guests may seem like extra effort, but you can alleviate a lot of stress by planning ahead and making thoughtful preparations.