Get Organized For Overnight Guests

It’s four pm on Friday and your good friends are due at your house for a weekend visit in two hours.

You mentally run through the checklist of things you need to do before they arrive and realize that pulling it off will require a small miracle. Whether it’s old friends, siblings, or in-laws lots of our readers will be hosting visitors this holiday season. While rekindling those old friendships and nurturing family is usually very gratifying, getting ready for overnight guests can be incredibly stressful, especially if your life is already packed-to-the-gills with activities and work. If you’re expecting house guests in the next few months, here are a few, simple things you can do to ensure they’ll enjoy their stay without causing you to go grey (well ok, any greyer than you are now).

Alicia on ‘Pick One Detail’

‘Rather than try to be the absolute, perfect hostess, pick one detail that will let your guests know how special they are to you and how happy you are to have them in your home. In the case of my inlaws, that one detail is my daughter Lucy! So to make them feel welcome, Lucy always has a drawing made especially for her grandparents. As for our other favorite guest, my vegetarian best friend, having a container of soymilk on hand for her morning caffeine fix is one detail that is always greatly appreciated.’

Sarah on ‘Delegation’

‘Too often, women take on the entire burden of entertaining others without ever stopping to include their spouses and/or children. Not only do they represent another set of very capable hands, but they can be a great source of fun ideas too — so make sure to include them. Everybody will have more fun if you’re not frazzled and stressed out. The last time we hosted family members, my husband, Gardiner, helped plan the evening’s activities by putting together a digital slide show of family photos. Not only was the gesture as hit as we sat around, laughing about old memories, it also gave me one less thing to worry about!’

Here are three ways to keep Buttoned Up while hosting overnight guests:

#1: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things
A great way to let your guests know you are thinking about and excited for their impending visit is to find out a few of their favorites before they arrive. Whether it’s their favorite soap or favorite breakfast food, having a few of your guests’ favorite things on hand for their stay is a sure way to provide a warm and heartfelt welcome.

#2: To Do List
Even the simplest and most routine of tasks may escape your attention while you are busy hosting overnight houseguests. To keep on top of your to-dos, make a list of your normal daily activities and keep it posted in a highly visible area, such the refrigerator or family bulletin board. Commit and carve out a block of time in your calendar to take care of these tasks all at once. By doing so, you will be left with more time for the important stuff – like hitting up all those tourists traps with your out-of-town guests.

#3: Balancing Act
While you will probably need to make slight changes in your daily schedule to accommodate your guests, there is no need to put your entire life on hold while they are in town. Chances are your guests wouldn’t want you to in the first place. Instead, try and stay focused on the high importance activities. And don’t forget to let your guests know of these prior commitments. The thoughtful heads up will give them a chance to plan out this free time or even take care of the personal commitments they have had to place on hold.