Hosting friends and family is one of the joys of the season. Preparing in advance can make it less stressful to receive visitors anytime. Whether you have a dedicated guest room or a more improvised arrangement for overnight guests, there are many things you can do to make hosting headache-free for you and your family.
Reserve a special set of linens for guests, including towels, washcloths, an extra blanket and pillowcases, and set them aside in a basket or plastic bin so they will stay clean and ready. In the same bin, you might also include back-up toiletries such as toothpaste, shampoo, soap, tissues, and feminine hygiene products. The bin can be stowed in a closet or under a bed and retrieved easily when visitors arrive.
When preparing a room for guests, consider adding a few amenities to make their stay more comfortable, such as curtains, a reading lamp, an alarm clock, a wastebasket, a mirror, and a night-light. Leave space for suitcases, clear off a table or dresser where small items can be unpacked, and leave an outlet accessible for charging devices. Place a small pitcher and an extra water glass by the bed. You might also provide extra slippers or a robe for an especially cozy touch.
Providing guests with some information about your local area is a great way to make them feel welcomed and less dependent on your as their host. A neighbourhood map, a guide to public transportation, tourist brochures, and other local publications can help to orient your guests about your local area and give them something to read once they are tucked into bed. Depending on the time of year, you might also keep extra umbrellas, mittens, or hats by the door so they can head outdoors comfortably in all types of weather.
It is easier to be a gracious host when you are not caught off-guard by visitors. Making these easy preparations ahead of time will make the arrival of guests a welcomed treat rather then a stressful surprise. We wish you a season of joy and togetherness.