Have you ever had the experience where someone shows up at your home unexpectedly and you feel like dashing around closing doors to messy rooms or piles of clutter? Or, have you ever ended up out-of-town without a place to sleep hoping that you will be invited to stay at your friend’s but in an awkward moment you realize that you might be imposing? What makes a host, whether it is you or someone you are hoping to stay with, feel uncomfortable? The main reason is a lack of preparedness. Let’s look at five ways to always be equipped to have spur of the moment drop-in guests that feel welcomed and enthusiastically embraced.
1. Clean and Clear
After a bout with the flu, my four children got the best of the house, leaving me strained, stressed and contemplating the complex challenge of returning order to our home. That same day, a girlfriend dropped by to pick up her child from a play date with my youngest. Unfortunately but as expected, when I went to call to her daughter to come up from playing in the finished basement, her mother followed me to help retrieve the child.
I actually had to ask her not to go any further because I was embarrassed at the condition of our house. If it had been more organized and clear of the clutter I could have happily been a more hospitable host. Creating a welcoming environment means that the guest is comfortable in the environment and the host is enthusiastic to have guests see the space. A few things that can help make this a guest friendly environment is to clear the clutter, organize the space and make it an inspired reflection of you.
2. Guest Towels, Extra Pillows, Blankets & Sheets
As a guest, there are only a couple things worse than sleeping on an old, discolored pillow (even if it has a pillowcase covering the sweat and drool stains) and at this moment I can’t seem to think of them. Having a new, fresh pillow will make the guest more comfortable, which will have you feeling positive about your hostess ability and that will allow you to exude comfort and graciousness. Making sure you have clean sheets, linens and blankets is also key in the host handbook.
3. Hotel Toiletries
My guests always enjoy the array of shampoo, conditioner and body wash options that are at their disposal. I collect the unused mini products from hotels I travel to all over the world. A pretty basket holds these toiletries and allows my guests the opportunity to choose their favorite scent or formula. This enhances their experience at my home and sends a message that they are always welcome.
4. Extra Toothbrush
Have you ever experienced the sinking sensation when you are traveling and have begun to unpack realizing that you forgot your toothbrush? When traveling with my family I have learned to pack an extra toothbrush because someone inevitably leaves theirs behind. As a host, I have learned that we are not alone in this experience. At the beginning of summer I always purchase a big package of generic toothbrushes for the summertime influx of Cape Cod guests that show up on our door unexpectedly, usually without toothbrush in tow. Being prepared for the unanticipated guest or situation allows you to relax and flow with ease and grace.
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5. Extra Eats
One thing that teenage boys have taught me is that you can never have enough extra quick-fix food in the freezer. This epiphany has helped me to create a welcoming home even for the surprise visitor. When I began to stock up on Annie’s Pizzas for the bottomless-pit-syndrome in which all active boys partake, I became aware that this quick-fix food option was helping me out when instant entertaining became necessary. Stock up on healthy options you can store to use in a pinch.
Being prepared for the surprises in life that will show up at your door is an easy way to gracefully maneuver life’s hurdles. These 5 simple solutions will help you feel calm & composed and create a welcoming home for the unexpected drop in guest.
Christa O’Leary, MA, MFT, founder and CEO of Home in Harmony Lifestyle is an Interior Designer, Marriage & Family Therapist and Green Living expert. She teaches people how to ‘Design Inspired Living’. As a motivational speaker, up-and-coming Hay House Radio show host and author, Christa gives people concrete solutions to live their best life by creating an inspired, healthy, vibrant home, body, mind and spirit. Visit http://christaoleary.com/free-gift/ to receive tips on how to Design your Inspired Life! For more information visit www.christaoleary.com.
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