I hope you guys all had a great holiday weekend. Our company stayed a bit longer than we expected so it feels like we’re just now getting back into the swing of things this week. Summer is a great time for hosting overnight guests because the days are longer and the pace is slower which makes it so much easier to linger over a fabulous meal, relax near the water or curl up with a good book without any agenda at all.
I know it takes us (and maybe you too) a few extra days to get ready for guests because we want to make sure the house looks its best. I’ve realized over the past few years the basic premise of welcoming people into our home whether it’s having friends over for dinner (yeah for Saturday Suppers) or hosting overnight guests, the gifts of hospitality stay the same. Here are a few things to keep in mind before company arrives…
Make Sure the House is Clean and Clutter Free – Amp up your cleaning schedule a few days or weeks before your guests are set to visit. The house should be clean, clutter free and smell inviting.
Create Cozy Guest Quarters – Make sure the bed is comfortable and the linens are the best quality linens you can afford. Provide a soft place for your guests to place their feet first thing in the morning and soft blankets for napping during the day. Set out extra towels and common toiletries in the bathroom so they are easily accessible.
Put Together a Welcome Basket – A welcome basket instantly says, “I’m so glad you’re here.” Most of the time you’ll probably know your guests pretty well which will make it easier to customize a basket full of their favorite goodies. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive just make sure it’s thoughtful.
Write Down the Basics – Keep a note card with the Wi-Fi passwords, basic television remote instructions, local amenities, restaurants and entertainment venues your guests may enjoy. Having these items accessible when guests arrive means they can look through these activities at their leisure and help you plan adventures during their visit.
Give Your Guests a Little Space – If guests are staying for a few days leave drawers and closet space open so they’ll have a place to hang up and put away clothes or have luggage rack available for them to use. Make sure there are plenty of outlets for charging electronics and extra surface area on the nightstands for things like glasses, phones or tablets.
Stock the Fridge and Pantry – Although we tell overnight guests all the time, “help yourself to anything in the fridge or pantry,” few actually do. We started leaving baskets of fresh fruit, healthy snacks, boxes of chocolates and bottles of flavored water on the kitchen island so if they’re hungry during the day or late at night they have access to snacks without feeling intrusive. We also make sure to stock the coffee bar and prep the coffee pot the night before so our guests wake up to a fresh pot of coffee.
Plan Ahead – You may have some people that come to visit and want to completely relax while others may want to be entertained for several days. Plan ahead but leave room to be flexible regarding mealtime and activities or entertainment options.
Relax – After a few weeks of cleaning and preparing for houseguests it can be frustrating to leave those last few items on the to do list unfinished but you have to find a way to let it go especially if you find yourself pressed for time. When the host is relaxed, guests also feel more relaxed. Be present in the moment and enjoy your company – you never know what adventures await!
I fully understand sometimes it can be scary to invite people over to your home. It is, after all, your sacred and most intimate space. Maybe your house doesn’t look the way you want it to, maybe your kids are crazy messy or maybe you have multiple animals and you’re afraid the house is going to smell like a litter box. While, yes, those things need to be addressed they shouldn’t keep you from opening your home and heart for a fun night or long weekend.
The people you’ve invited over are coming to see you. The true beauty of hospitality is that each person brings a different perspective. It’s not about perfection at all. It’s about embracing the imperfections with grace and ease. It’s about stepping out of our comfort zones to offer our best gifts to others.
If you’ve been a little nervous or hesitant in the past to have people over for whatever reason, let this summer be the summer you make a bold change and commit to hosting an event. It could be a quiet dinner, dessert buffet, a movie night or even a bonfire. Your best gifts are enough, go celebrate them!
See you guys back here tomorrow. We picked up a lot of plants over the weekend and it feels so good to have our hands back in the dirt! I’ll share an easy container garden you can use as a summer centerpiece or give as a gift. Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.