Whether you have friends or family coming to spend a night or a few weeks with you, it’s important to make them feel as welcome as possible. Try to create a home from home, relax and be yourself and let your guests do the same.
Begin with a spare room sort-out – nobody feels at home in a dust-covered dumping ground, so take time to de-clutter and clean. Try to think of everything your guests will need for a comfortable stay.
Firstly, make sure you provide a bed that you would be willing to sleep in. Neither a lumpy futon nor a too-short sofa bed is going to cut the mustard, so spend a bit of money on a decent bed. Always make up the bed before your guests arrive – it’s awkward for guests to watch their host fiddling around trying to locate sheets in the airing cupboard and you may want to keep the condition of the ancient mattress under wraps.
Provide good pillows and make sure you invest in crisp new duvet covers rather than rehashing the worn and faded linens from your childhood. You may think it uneconomical to shell out on pricey bedding for a room that could go months without being used, but thanks to Sainsbury’s large selection, saving money doesn’t mean sacrificing on quality.
Clear space in the cupboards so that your guests can unpack – don’t forget to empty drawers and include hangers in the wardrobe. Prepare a hotel-style basket of goodies, including toothbrushes, cotton wool, shampoo, soap and a small sewing kit and always provide a hairdryer. An arrangement of sweet smelling fresh flowers, a couple of glasses and bottles of water by the bed will give your guests a great welcome. For a touch of luxury, fluffy bathrobes and slippers are a good addition to the spare room.
If your guests have had a long journey, they’ll need some time to relax and unwind. Make sure they know that they can help themselves to tea and coffee whenever they like. Try to strike the right balance between entertaining your guests with good food, drinks and outings and allowing them to have the occasional break and to come and go as they please by giving them a spare key. Put together a choice of reading material – consider novels, magazines and maps and guidebooks of the local area if this is their first visit. Ensure that you provide good reading lights by the bed.
Jot down useful information on note cards such as the Wi-Fi password, how to operate the dodgy shower and the code for the alarm. Many guests feel more at home if you let them help around the house – we’re not talking about issuing a long list of arduous chores, but enlisting their help in laying the table or washing up can make them feel useful and lighten your workload.
Leave no stone unturned when it comes to thinking about what your guests might need for a comfortable stay and you’ll all be sure of a happy and relaxed time together.