I enjoy having guests at my house, but I don't love all the prep that goes along with hosting. So I've assembled 8 essential tips for whipping your home into shape so you don't waste your whole day preparing, and your guests feel welcome and comfortable.
1. Welcome your guests with fresh flowers. A bouquet adds a cheery touch to your space, and your your guests will appreciate the extra effort you put in. And you don't have to spend a fortune at the flower shop - the lilies above were $5.99 at my local grocery store! Or pick a few buds from your backyard if it's not the dead of winter.
2. Create self-serve snack trays. Guests may not want to ask for food, but odds are they'll be hungry after a long day of traveling. Place a variety of snacks out in plain view so they can help themselves.
3. Provide extra blankets. When I'm traveling, I don't want to bug my host with a million questions - but I'm always cold whether I'm in sunny Florida or chilly Vermont. And I know I'm not the only one... so be sure to leave extra blankets and throws in both the living room and the guest bedroom so your visitors don't have to ask for them.
4. Leave out some reading material. Are your friends big readers? Put a couple of your favorite books on the dresser for them to delve into. Magazines are a nice touch as well, especially for those lazy Sunday mornings.
5. Provide extra toiletries. Whether they forgot something, or they didn't have enough space... your guests are sure to appreciate a thoughtful arrangement of mini toiletries. And you won't have to transport your own bottle of body wash from bathroom to bathroom every morning.
Tip: Try adding a personal touch... does your friend love to do at-home manicures? Leave mini bottles of nail polish and remover for her.
6. Ensure that your guests have plenty of extra space. Make sure you provide empty hooks to hang wet towels, as well as an empty drawer and some empty closet space so they can hang up their clothing. There's nothing worse than trying to fit the contents of your suitcase into a cramped, cluttered space!
7. Make room for the essentials. Ensure that the bedside table has a reading light, a bottle of water and tissues... a jewelry dish can also be a nice touch. And don't forget a to leave a treat or two!
8. Make a spare set of keys. If your visitors plan to be in and out, give them a spare key. This will give them a sense of independence, and it will eliminate the logistical nightmare of trying to coordinate schedules.
Hopefully these ideas will help make your guests feel right at home. Do you have any other tips for preparing for house guests? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section!