Hosting family and friends during the holidays is a special time filled with the joy of the season and the expressing of love for each other. Preparing for guests should be an exciting time as you think of creative and unusual ways to make them feel welcomed and comfortable in your everyday living space. One of the things I like to do as I prepare for guests, is to transform my home into a hotel/vacation getaway. Here are a few simple, classy and cost effective ideas to help you enjoy the preparation efforts, be creative and honor your guests.
,BATHROOM PREP 101
Cleanliness is next to...... . You know the cliche. Because you super cleaned this space earlier, a quick wipe down of the vanity, commode, mirrors and the shower should do the trick, just prior to their arrival. Don't forget to hang a fresh, new shower curtain liner.
DECORATIVE BOX OR SERVING TRAY Gather your toiletries and place them in the decorative box or on the tray for easy transport, if you are giving up your space for your guests. Allow them to have full access of the room.
2-PLY NAPKINS W/ THEIR INITIALS This simple touch sends a message of "I prepared this especially for you." Be sure to crumble a napkin or two and throw them in the waste basket, so your guests will follow suit and not flush the napkin.
COMPLIMENTARY TOILETRIES Collect all of those high-end (hotel issued) shampoos, conditioners and body washes. Place them is a small dish and display it on the counter (or just inside the cabinet door) for their convenience.
ESCORT THEM TO THEIR ROOM(S) Present the space to your guests. Be sure to mention where other items such as towels, sprays and hygiene products are located. As the host, be mindful to do a quick check, on a daily basis, to replenish certain items as needed.
BEDROOM PREP 101
How can I be most considerate of others? That question should be at the
forefront of our intentions. Making guests feel wanted and at ease is the goal
of any host whether it is in business or in a social setting. Transforming your
bedroom to accommodate family and friends can be a challenge. After all, this
is your most personal and private space. So prepping it for others to inhabit
for a short while requires some strategic planning.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL Dust furniture and window treatments. Manage floor care.
REMOVE PERSONAL ITEMS Secure a small flat tote to place novels, personal journals, pictures and other personal items in. Make sure it is small enough to slide underneath the bed. Once your guests leave, pull it out and return your items to their proper places. Quick and simple.
FRESH LINENS Take advantage of linen sales. Purchase a set or two just for guests. Crisp linen, comfortable bed, that's heaven. During the warmer months, have a spread designated for guests and a blanket for the colder months. Pillows are tricky. Dont be offended if they choose to bring their own.
ELECTRONICS Print simple (step by step) instructions on a small piece of paper and place it under the remote. Practice the steps for accuracy before your guests arrive.
STORAGE Create storage space for luggage by clearing space in a corner of the room. Condensing hanging items in the closet creates space for luggage and allows space for your guest to hang clothing.
WELCOME GIFTS “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou As a host, your goal is to evoke joy and happiness from your guests. Welcome gifts and snack trays are a great way to show you are prepared to receive them. Snack trays or boxes can be as simple or as detailed as you want. Beverages, breakfast biscuits, something sweet , something salty, along with fresh fruit are just a few ideas. If small children are visiting create a small box of goodies for them. Top it off with a gift card, so they can enjoy a day of shopping and sampling eateries also. For more experienced hosts, fresh flowers, gourmet coffee or tea by the bed are great. Gifts can be as specialized as you choose. Him and her gifts are very thoughtful and should be reserved for those guests you are very familiar with. Place the trays or gifts on the nightstand or directly on the bed. They will talk about your thoughtfulness for visits to come. They will remember how special you made them feel while visiting your home.
SEE SLIDE SHOW BELOW FOR GIFT IDEAS
Terry Brooks-Allen is one of central Indiana's top ten leading Etiquette Specialists and Image Consultants, coaching and training
T. Brooks-Allen | Business, Social, and Dining Etiquette