Are you expecting out-of-towners and want to help them feel more comfortable during their stay? But what if you don’t have a spare room or bed? Years ago, when my husband and I were young and carefree newlyweds, we had a small apartment that fit us comfortably. Extra people, however? Not so much! That didn’t stop us from hosting a few out of town guests (and the occasional tipsy friend). Here’s how we did it, and on a budget to boot!
Assess your space before guests arrive.
Would you want to spend a night on your couch? If you’re leaning towards “No,” it’s safe to assume that others won’t want to either. It’s always a good idea to scope your home for guest comfort, even if you only have a slight inkling that you will host visitors. Here are some tips from Apartment Therapy (@AptTherapy) that will help you offer a warm, cozy place for your guest.
Invest in an air mattress.
I try not to promote spending, but smart spending is essential for saving. Air mattresses are cost-effective when compared to extra beds or futons (especially when you’ve inherited your couch, like us). Plus, it’s easy to store and takes up little space. A few things to keep in mind when choosing the right one includes your budget, the size of your home, and the needs of your expected guests. Here are more pointers from Sleep.org (@sleepfoundation).
Offer DIY eye masks.
I love my super bright living room, but those large windows will definitely wake my guests at the crack of dawn. My solution? I offer them eye masks to help guests sleep easier. Here is a DIY tutorial from Pioneer Settler (@PioneerSettler) that will help you create your own eye masks at home with fabric, thread, rice and essential oils (sewing skills won’t hurt either). While you’re at it and feeling crafty, reward yourself with one too!
Anticipate your guests’ needs.
Your visitors aren’t with you every day, so a little hospitality will go a long way to making them feel welcome. Offer them your good pillow or the special blanket with the high thread count. Have some breakfast food on hand, even if it’s something simple like toast, honey and fruit. Make the things they may need easily accessible before they ever ask, like a carafe of water at night or an extra towel. The writer at Design Sponge (@designsponge) suggests a few other ways to transform yourself into a gracious host.
Create a DIY nightstand.
Why should you consider providing a nightstand? Nightstands are handy for many reasons, including placing reading material, a glass of water, and hair ties. Having something (anything) that you can place your glasses on instead of the floor is a plus. Buzzfeed (@buzzfeed) offers the idea of converting a one-dollar trash bin into an artistic stand. You can use your hobbies as inspiration, too. Apartment Therapy (@apttherapy) suggests many unusual ideas that your guests will love, from using a stack of books to a drum. If space is really an issue, a large bowl or small tray will do in a pinch.
Provide reading material.
The awkward late night and early morning hours, when others are still asleep, are the most awkward for guests. This is when reading material, word puzzles, solitaire games, and other forms of entertainment can come in handy. You can also offer books or maps about your hometown if your visitor comes from far away (@@). These will also give them inspiration for sightseeing the next day.
Free closet space for your guests.
Anyone who has lived out of a suitcase will recognize the luxury of extra space. Clearing out a corner or closet is an especially good idea if they’re planning on staying for more than a night or two. According to Real Simple (@realsimple), the extra space may mean fewer headaches for you, too. Does the thought of tackling your closet, however, give you a headache before even beginning? These eight secrets from House Beautiful (@housebeautiful) should help you get started.
Stick to your normal routine.
Wanting to spend time with your guests is normal, but keeping your family’s routine is also important (@). This holds true especially if the visit coincides with work, kids’ activities and other obligations. Keeping to your regular schedule will also give guests time to fit in any sightseeing or other activities that they may be looking forward to.
Accept help in the kitchen.
This is a sensitive point for some people and many hosts won’t allow their guests within a foot of their kitchens. On the other hand, cooking and cleaning together can be fun and lead to entertaining conversations. The decision to let your guests help is all yours but here are some thoughts from She Knows (@sheknows) to help you decide when to let people help and who should make the cut.
Open up your laundry room.
If packing clean clothes before your vacation is hard, imagine stuffing unclean clothes into a suitcase. A nice touch is to let guests use your washing machine and dryer. You can also offer tokens if you live in an apartment building with a shared laundry room. For tips on how to be a good laundry host, refer to About Home (@abouthome).
Check if guests are okay with your pets.
Find out ahead of time if your guests are allergic to your beloved pet or if they are wary of coming too close to animals. The holidays are one of those times when you may find yourself in a predicament between your fur baby and visitors (especially if they have children). Here are some tips from the Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) for both the pet owner and pet-opposed.
Gift them with a toiletry bag.
Do you have a stockpile of toiletries that keeps growing with every vacation, hotel stay, and sale? Put them to good use by making gift bags! Here is a tutorial from My Poppet Makes (@mypoppetblogs) for making a cute gift bag. Guests can use these during your stay or take them home as keepsakes.
Here you have an easy-peasy list for entertaining your guests. Many of these ideas are simply common sense, while others would involve more effort on your part. As long as it saves me money in the long run, I’m in! And of course, don’t forget to deep clean your home before your guests arrive. Do you have any additional ideas to share? Which here was your favorite? Please feel free to share this list with your friends.