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December 03, 2015
“Come visit us during the holidays! You’re more than welcome!”
Did those words really come out of your mouth? They must have because now here you are, trying to create a comfortable place for your guests to sleep this upcoming holiday.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve had overnight guests, here are some tips for making them feel super comfortable and welcome. These tips serve as a guide even if you don’t have a designated guest room.
This should be obvious but surprisingly, it can be overlooked. Spend a night sleeping on your guest bed before you deem it comfortable, instead of just sitting on its edge or pushing down on it with your hands. Only by sleeping on it will you be able to determine if it sags in the middle, has a demon spring or causes backaches. If you don’t like sleeping on it, your guests won’t either. And remember, guests who don’t sleep well become crabby guests – and the holidays are fraught with enough stress already.
While you’re judging the mattress, remember to take note of the blankets. Are they itchy? Warm enough? Since everyone has their own “thermostat,” it’s a good idea to make the bed with a lighter blanket, and keep spare blankets or throws handy to add on.
These are personal and diverse. Some people like a single firm one; others like to sink their heads in a cloud of feathers. Best way to accommodate all is to have both on the bed. You may have noticed a lot of hotels doing this. Just make sure that whatever pillows you use are still supportive and not lumpy.
If your guest mattress doesn’t have one – get one. Accidents happen, especially if you have young children visiting. Being able to whisk off the bedding for laundering is easier and less awkward for your guests than having to deal with a stain on your mattress.
The holidays come in winter when most of us are stuck inside, sharing germs. Put a box of Kleenex in your guest room along with a small trash container to dispose of said Kleenex. Anyone with allergies or the sniffles will appreciate this.
Pretend you’re a hotel and place a small card with your Wi-Fi password on a nightstand or dresser. This thoughtful gesture avoids your guests having to bother you late at night after they’ve retired to their room.
You may have thought your pot roast was delicious, but your guest may have just been politely nibbling. Be nice, and leave individually wrapped snacks, fruit and bottled water in their room. Be naughty, and include candy and wine.
Music docking station
Spending time together may be the purpose of the visit, but we all know there’s such a thing as too much togetherness. When tempers flare, it’s nice for your guests to be able to retreat to their room to listen to their own music. Plus a docking station can charge some phones – another benefit.
Remember that your guests aren’t as familiar with your house in the dark as you are. The only thing that should go bump in the night is a certain red-suited visitor and his reindeer. Having a little nightlight can help prevent your guests from getting hurt.
Space for their stuff
Clear a spot in the bathroom so your guests have room to put their toiletries. And if they’ll be sleeping somewhere other than in a designated guest room, like on a sleeper sofa in the den or an air mattress in the living room, provide a place out of the way for your guest to store their belongings. This allows them privacy, and keeps things from being in the way during the day.
Keep pets out
Not everyone likes cats or dogs, and many have allergies to them. Try to keep your animals out of your guest room. (Of course, that’s only going to make your cat more determined to go in there. I know this, I have cats.)
In spite of all these tips, remember that the most important way to make your guests feel welcome is for you to relax and truly enjoy their company. Enjoy your holidays!