Having guests over is already a stressful enough experience for most people. But when it comes to hosting people for a longer period of time, things can really get hectic. Close friends, family members, colleagues on a work trip – there are various situations where you might find yourself caring for people for an extended period of time. And if you want to make a good impression, you have a lot of work ahead of you on multiple fronts. Thankfully, with a little planning and preparation, most of that boils down to marking items off a checklist.
Clean in Places You Normally Don’t
You’re probably used to following a certain routine when cleaning your home because it has worked fine for you so far. But you should never underestimate how far some guests will go in “inspecting” the place unwittingly. They might be searching for something they’ve misplaced, or simply getting to know their surroundings. In any case, you have to throw out your regular cleaning habits here and start paying attention to all the little details that you’d normally ignore. Clean every tiny corner and crevice, and don’t make the mistake of assuming that people are never going to look there. While they might not say anything, you can be sure that they’ll probably see more of your home than you’d expect.
Go Out of Your Way to Make Your Guests Feel at Home
You might also have to adjust some of your own habits to make your guests feel more welcome. This can put some strain on your daily life, especially if you’re used to a certain routine, but you have to remember that this is only temporary. Most importantly, you might have to shift your bathroom schedule around in the mornings or evenings, and make sure that your guests have enough freedom to carry out their own routines without any interruptions. Most people would be too polite to say anything if they’re inconvenienced in such a situation, so you should pay attention to the subtle signs.
Prepare a Goodie Basket
A nice goodie basket can go a long way towards helping people feel more welcome and getting them settled straight away, and it’s not complicated or expensive to put one together, even on short notice. Make sure to include a good range of quality items. Cosmetic products from Aesop are a good example, which you can find at SSENSE. The brand has everything under the sun to keep you covered when putting together something like this, and their products are of a higher quality level than what you’d find on the general market. This can solidify the impression that you’ve gone out of your way to put that basket together, even when that might not necessarily be the case.
Keep the Fridge and Pantry Stocked
Food is another example of something that can make a guest’s situation uncomfortable without either party doing anything wrong. Your guests will probably never speak up if they’re lacking certain food items, especially if they have an option to go out and purchase them on their own. This is why you should put some extra effort into keeping everything stocked, and always err on the side of caution when stocking your fridge and pantry.
Don’t assume that you’re not going to need certain items just because they typically go more slowly in your own family. Make sure that you’ve got a lot of everything and keep track of how fast different products get consumed. This will give you a good indication of what you need to prioritize in your shopping. Remember that your shopping habits will likely have to change a bit compared to what you’re used to.
Arrange for Some Time Out Together
If your guests came from far away or if they’re not very outgoing in general, they might not be inclined to go out and explore the area on their own. It’s your responsibility as a host to help them out in this regard, and this is often as simple as arranging for a few days of going out together. This will vary according to the type of visit and how much time your guests have available, and it might not always be an option. But if you can think of something that everyone will likely enjoy doing, definitely make a list and present it to your guests. Even if they don’t agree to everything on it, simply offering them a few different options will still be better than expecting them to figure out their own entertainment.
And of course, make sure to talk! Even if your guests aren’t that communicative, you should take the lead as a host and probe them about their experience and expectations. Take note of the various small details they’ll mention in passing, because those could be good hints about things you could do to make their stay better.