I came across another one of those advice articles. This time about what your house guests will never tell that you should prepare for them in advance of their stay in your home. You know how I LOVE well meaning advice……. (Cough, cough, throat cleared loudly) Let’s review, shall we?:
They Say: Along with good tidings, cheer, and presents, the holiday horde is guaranteed to bring stress, too. Here's how to fix any entertaining faux pas so that family and friends feel welcome. (Even if you wish their stay were a couple days shorter!)
I Say: So you got suckered into having family/friends not only come to your house over the holidays, but stay OVER NIGHT. Poor you! I take it you will have an abundance of “glad-tidings” on hand, which should bring cheer, however in some cases just brings headaches. Presents? Is it not enough that they get to stay in your home adding more stress to your life? They should bring YOU a present, YOU are their present!
They say: I can't find a place to charge my phone.
Guests shouldn't have to scramble down on all fours in order to find an outlet. Add a conveniently placed power strip or a docking station.
I Say: If your guest isn’t capable of bringing a charger for their phone, and finding an outlet to plug into, then too bad for them. As far as them having to get on all fours, well that’s their problem. In my house it’s a battle for any of us to find an available charger – I just wait and charge my phone in the car or at work. As far as outlets go, well those are all filled up too- it more than often looks like the outlet did in the movie Christmas Vacation. I’d be leery of having my guests plugging anything in. I’ll just tell them if they need to use their cell phone bring it fully charged. Puhleeze – add a docking station! For my GUESTS?? (I guess that is an excuse to buy one – I’ll try that on the hubby….)
As soon as guests arrive, let them know the house rules in a fun and friendly way. If your house has a no-shoes policy, make sure to let them know as soon as they arrive. Same thing goes for your policy on smoking, shower schedules, meals, and routines. Being up front will help you avoid problems later.
I Say: The shoes in the house thing has always been a problem for me. NO ONE wears shoes in our house- UNLESS they are company and my tongue is half bitten off from NOT saying anything. I have never been able to LET My Company know our Rules in a Fun and Friendly way?? I usually lay towels by the front door and hope and pray they get the hint from seeing our shoe-less feet to take off theirs, but they usually don’t. As far as the other stuff, do you really need a Ten Commandments for House Guests? I can just see myself, who will just walk behind your wet foot prints with a towel hidden under my foot, saying:
“So Mary, if you MUST smoke, I have placed a can outside by the shed and shoveled a little path and then laid carpet so your shoes won’t get dirty. Here is the Shower Schedule – since we want you to have the most hot water, your time slot is 6am. We also only cook ONE type of food at meal-time, as we say to the kids, if you don’t like what we cook, there will be another meal in 6 hours, you won’t starve. As far as routines go, well, just follow our lead, you’ll get the hang of it eventually!"
They Say: Your neighbors blinking Christmas lights kept me up all night.
Blackout shades are a great option for guest rooms. Plus, they're perfect for taking an afternoon nap if the kids were all up at 5am to open up presents.
I Say: If I have to put up with it, well then so do you my guests. This should cover the teens driving by in their cars with the music blaring, the guy across the street who mows his lawn EVERY SINGLE MORNING, the Woodpecker who is in love with the logs on our house and our dryer that barks like a dog.
They Say: I didn't get a chance to spend time with you.
Sharing your home can certainly affect your mental state, but do remember to enjoy your guest's visit. Relax and have fun: put off the laundry, turn off the computer, and go ahead and ask them to catch up while helping with the dishes.
I Say: So it is not OK to text, blog, do laundry while guests are visiting but guilting them into helping in the kitchen is free game? GREAT. I have a dishwasher, how about if I ask them to catch up while we clean out the cat box or paint the bathroom?
They Say: I worry about waking you up.
Guests won't fret about walking around on creaking floors or disturbing you every time they get up if you throw down a plush rug. It also helps to create a cozy and inviting space, too.
I Say: Once you have sound-proofed the house for any kind of noise the guests may make for fear of waking you up the only thing to worry about is NOT hearing them stealing your things when they leave out of frustration that you never got out of bed! Seriously, I NEED my guests to make noise so I can jump out of bed fully clothed (without shoes, of course) and pretend like I have been up for HOURS –
“Of course you didn’t wake me, I am always up at 6am!”
They Say: I don't want to miss my early flight or train back home.
Let's face it: the last thing anyone wants is for your guest to stay another night. Make sure there's a small alarm clock on their nightstand. Unfamiliar gadgets can be confusing, so see if they need any help setting it.
I Say: Better yet, the night before they leave, have them pack the car, wear what they plan to wear the next day to bed, pack them a snack for the morning, set the alarm as loud as possible right by their heads and race them out the door. That will ensure they leave on time! Also, remove the black out shades, encourage the neighbor to mow away, and remove the rugs from the floors so creaking can commense.
They Say: I drank too much eggnog last night.
Keep a coaster and water glass on their beside table. Tucking a sample-size pack of a headache medicine in a basket with other travel essentials is a nice touch, too.
I Say: Just put the puke bucket by the bed. It IS important to not forget the coaster for the water though.
Here's the secret to a perfectly prepared bed: Start with great cotton sheets, add a cotton coverlet, and then finish with a down duvet on top. That combination offers enough flexibility to deal with the most extreme temperature swings.
I Say: If you turn off the heat they will shorten their visit! My favorite part of my favorite movie Best Friends with Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn is when they are visiting his family in a high rise apartment and the windows don’t open. Another good way to get rid of company fast.
I hope you love your future house guests as much as the author of this article must.
Happy Family/Friends visiting….