I read somewhere once that you should always stay overnight in your guest room before your guests stay at your house. I am always too busy cleaning and getting ready to even bother. But, this past week, I took a shower in what would be considered our guest shower. From this, I learned that we need a new shower liner, the rings are cute but don't really work very well and our shower pressure is absolutely awful. So sorry Ed and Ken. I didn't realize it was so bad.
I have had some interesting experiences being a guest. A few tips to make your guest more comfortable:
1. Always wash the sheets fresh right before your guest arrives. You never know if your kids have eaten a cracker while playing on your guest bed that week and there is nothing worse than crumbs.
2. Always have extra blankets out and available to your guests. Guests can always add one if they are cold or remove one to find the right temperature. Last year we had a guest and after a little wine, I didn't realize how cold it was in our house. I gave her some thin blankets right before bed. In the morning, I was so sorry and embarrassed. She must have froze the entire night in our cold loft area.
3. Make sure your towels don't smell musty. Wash them fresh and remove them immediately for your guest. As a past guest, I have had this happen to me a few time. Not talking, just saying.
4. Leave out extra shampoo, conditioner, tooth paste and soap. And then, check with your guests to make sure they didn't forget something. I always forget something!
5. Have something special for your guests for breakfast. It can be quick and easy like bagels or donuts but don't just leave out cereal. No thanks!
6. Invite your guests to help themselves around the kitchen and in your home. I show them where everything is and then encourage them to get their own drinks throughout their stay. The first one is on me. After that, I would love for them to help themselves in case I forget to ask.
7. Sit down and talk to your guests. Although I love good food, I came to visit to see you not to watch you cook for my entire visit. I'd rather you order pizza than have you worry so much about the food that we don't catch up and talk. Be with your guests.
8. Is there something special that your guests like? We know that one of our friends likes good, expensive wine. He usually brings better wine than we have, but I at least try to buy something decent for his visit. He also likes peanut M&M's and Diet Coke. We always have M&M's and Diet Coke out when he is over. As a Coca-cola lover, nothing makes me happier than when a host has an ice cold Coke available for me.
One of my favorite memories of being an overnight guest was when my friend Julie turned down the lights, poured wine, lit candles and had a great mix of music arranged on her i-Pod for our visit. She was relaxed, the wine and conversation flowed easily and we all caught up as friends. Entertaining is hard work. But when you plan well and let the conversation happen naturally, memories are created and friendships are strengthened. I will make an effort to spend some a night in our loft before our next guest arrives. I know that I will have more blankets and covers for our next guest. I will be ready next time!