When close relatives or friends visit your home during holidays, it’s a priority to make the house look welcoming. After all, the art of being a good host lies in the ability to make guests feel at home. It does not matter if you own a studio-type apartment or a spacious suburban house. Just keep in mind these tricks when welcoming visitors and you surely will make an impressive host.
Guests usually come over during holiday weekends or important occasions. They inform you days or weeks in advance so that you can get ready before they arrive. This so-called preparation time is key in simplifying your life as a host while still being impressive.
#1 Get to know your guests better
You do not have to plan to the tiniest details, especially if you have a busy lifestyle. You just have to anticipate the right things about your guests. This will give you more control as a host. More importantly, your visitors will have a better experience.
You can ask your guests specific questions ahead of time. What do they need? Try to find out if there are things you can already provide for them so they can save luggage space. Are they traveling with kids? If so, is there an infant who might need a high chair? This information can also help you prepare better food options that kids would enjoy. Remember to take note of everyone’s food allergies too!
If you have kids on your own, you can tell them that playmates are coming over soon and they must try to be friendly. You can even prepare activities that the children can bond over. If there are places that your guests would like to visit, you can also make early arrangements or reservations to save you from the hassle later on. For more information about family bonding activities, click here.
#2 Keep it clean and casual
When cleaning communal spaces in the house, start with the most visible areas. Give your front porch a good sweep and shake off the dirt from your doormat. You can even place potted plants beside the main door to accentuate the homey vibe. Next, make sure to wipe out dust from glass doors and windows. You can also change your curtains and living room pillowcases according to your preference or to the holiday theme.
Give the living room a good sweep. Declutter messy tables, cabinets, and countertops. Display memorabilia like picture frames, mugs, or figurines that your guest gave you in the past to make them feel more welcome in the house. Then leave newspapers and magazines beside sofas for leisure reading during downtime.
Clean your kitchen and remove the gunk that accumulated in your kitchen sink. Don’t forget to sanitize kitchen appliances and cabinets. You can learn more about the tips and tricks in cleaning your kitchen here.
And remember to keep things casual to make your guest feel comfortable and at home.
#3 Stock guest room with essentials
Aside from making sure the guest room is clean, you should also make blankets, pillows, and basic toiletries available in the guest room. There must be enough space for all guests to settle in when they arrive. You can also stock extra tissues, towels, and slippers to save your guests the hassle of opening their luggage right after arrival.
Having extra hangers and wardrobe space in the closet can also make things more convenient for your guests. They won’t have to keep opening and closing their luggage to get what they need.
Drinking water or other beverages must also be accessible to your guests as they stay in the guest room. If the guest room is air conditioned, consider putting stand fans inside for guests who get cold easily.
Remember, the guest room is your guests’ private haven. It plays a huge factor in their overall vacation experience.
#4 Involve your guests in simple household activities
During lunch or dinner, you can give your guests simple tasks like setting the table, dressing the salad, and preparing wine glasses. This can make them feel as if they are part of the household. It can also make them feel at ease because you won’t have to do all the work.
Another good practice is keeping breakfast food like cereals and oats available on the kitchen countertop. If your guests are early risers, they won’t have to wait for you to make breakfast. You may also brief them around your kitchen so they can take full liberty of preparing what they want to eat. If you want to go the extra mile, replenish the pantry and fridge with holiday treats.
Pro tip: Ask for breakfast favorites to encourage young guests to eat with everyone.
#5 Interact and Reconnect
The essence of holiday get-togethers at home is having quality time to interact and reconnect with your visitors. This can be through having conversations over coffee or hanging out in the living room after dinner. Whatever makes the experience meaningful for you and your visitors, make sure to do that.
You may also prepare old-school entertainment for adults and kids. You can do board games, karaoke nights, bonfires in the backyard, or barbecue nights. These are great opportunities to take a break from gadgets and social media. And of course, have snacks ready for everyone.
Plan ahead and prepare contingencies
Having guests at home means performing different tasks like cooking, cleaning, entertaining, acting as a tour guide, etc. If you don’t have a game plan, you may end up ruining the experience for everyone.
With your already hectic schedule, the key to still impressing your guests is in planning ahead. You can have more control and peace of mind because when your guests arrive, you already know what to do. You can even prepare contingencies and prevent scrambling for solutions when things turn out unexpectedly.
Houzz. (2015, July 7). How to Properly Welcome and Prepare for Weekend Guests. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2015/07/07/how-to-welcome-weekend-guests/?sh=79d5b52515e7
Chatfield, K. (2019, October 2). How to prepare for house guests in 7 easy steps. Retrieved November 20, 2021, from Homes To Love website: https://www.homestolove.com.au/7-top-tips-on-how-to-prepare-for-house-guests-14745