How often do you host others in your home? How often would you like to host others in your home? We recently hosted our family in our home for Thanksgiving, and it was a delight, and a helluva lot of work! Below are some suggestions for making guests feel welcome, comfortable and at home, in your home:
- Prior to guests arriving, ensure your home is picked up, smells favorably and has a generally pleasing feel and look. Clutter, dust, dirt, dog hair, crumbs, smears and piles should all be cleared, wiped, swept, mopped, cleaned up and put away.
- Welcome them at the door, with a smile and a hug. Smiles and hugs set the tone for your visit!
- Offer to help take coats, purses, hats, etc, showing them where they’re hanged and stored during the visit. Set the tone for ensuring they feel welcomed into your home and space.
- If it’s their first time in your home, give a quick tour to show where bathrooms are, where the kitchen is, and a few highlights such as art or family photos. A few personal touches around make the stay more memorable.
- If they are staying overnight, show them their room, bathroom, already have towels and linens out for them, with of course fresh linens on the bed for them. A small personalized gift is an extra special touch – their favorite candy, some funny socks, handwritten note or sleep mask.
- Ask how their drive over was, and listen with your whole self. Ask how they are doing, and listen with your whole self.
- Offer a beverage and snack—or a glass of water at minimum, if all are declined.
- Have prepared questions to guide a conversation, if no activity is happening, such as a meal, game night or craft time. Ensure your time with guests is spent respectfully and wisely, and there aren’t many lulls in conversation. If your guests will be staying overnight, allowing time to themselves for reading, working, personal activities is a definite must.
- During their visit, prepare in advance any local restaurants or attractions to entertain them with, if they are from out of town and/or staying overnight.
- Toward the end of their visit, for overnight guests, ensure they know where to place linens for laundering and ensure they are equipped for the next phase of their journey with snacks and drinks and charged phones.
- Toward the end of their visit, for guests over for a short time, such as tea or dinner, make sure they’re okay to drive or order a cab or Uber if libations have been shared, to help them get home safely.
As a general rule, regardless of circumstance and time stayed, help your guests feel welcome, respected, relaxed, seen and heard. After all, isn’t this all we are seeking in the world anyway?
Photo by Lee Myungseong on Unsplash