I love, love, love having friends and family stay with me! You could call them “houseguests”, but for me, they are friends and family who stay for a few days. Start the visit out with a super warm hello and “We’re so glad you are here!”.
Here are Some Ideas for a Warm Welcome:
- A couple weeks before your guests arrive, ask yourself “What one home improvement could I complete that would help make my guests feel more at home?”. When we asked ourselves that recently, we decided that repainting our odd, light mint green bathroom would be the best improvement we could make. Try to find something you have been WANTING TO DO / MEANING TO DO and use your guests’ visit to spur you into action. (Hint: when you are going to paint a room, … if you are like me, you will make multiple trips to the hardware store to get everything you need to get it right. Nope, battleship grey did not look good in our bathroom. 3 coats of white over that! Leave time for some experimentation and accompanying snaffus!).
- Send Preview Photos! “Huh? What’s that?”, you ask. Now, this one is fun! About a week before your guests arrive, take a quick shot of your home or neighborhood on your phone and send it to your friends with the message “6 more days!”, “5 more days!”, “4 more days!”, etc. This takes about 5 whole minutes to do and it will make everyone smile. My photos have ranged from a gorgeous shot of the local lake to my kitten sitting happily on the trashcan!
- Take 15 Minutes to Get Each of These Super Cleaning Tasks Done. Clean the top of your cabinets and fridge. Wipe down the inside of your kitchen cabinets and fridge. Tidy up the cabinet under your bathroom sink (Your guests might be looking for extra kleenex, a blow dryer, etc.).
- Dust Off Your Pictures / Family Photos. You, my dear reader, may not need to do this! But, I do. Just a little Windex on a towel. Shine everything up. 5 minutes.
- Sweep the Area by your Front Door. Wipe down the doorframes. Clean the window sills (if you have them) and wipe down the frames and glass.
- A Vase with Fresh Flowers in their Bedroom. If you could only do one thing,…I would do this! For me, this just says “Welcome!”. Wildflowers, flowers from your yard, flowers from the grocery store or florist,…anything. (If you are worried about your cats jumping up and knocking the vase over, use a recycled glass vase so that if it breaks you are not heartbroken.).
- Make Sure they are Plugged In (or branché as the French say). Your guests will most likely arrive with multiple devices that they will need to charge. iPads, iPods, laptops, phones, etc. Put a multi-plug outlet/extension cord into their bedroom so that they have a dedicated charging station. Let them know if you have extra USB cords that they might need. And, if you have WIFI,…print out the WIFI password so they can hook up!
- Clean Out and Dedicate a Bedroom and a Bathroom Drawer Just For Them. Yeah, I know, this is hard. At my house, that means I have to take all my stuff out and put it in one or two empty plastic bins take make space. But, for a couple days, you can rough it! Hang a handmade name tag on the handle of the drawer so they know the space it is just for them.
- Put Some Goodies by the Bed. This is easy. A couple bottles of water are perfect. You can add little snacks too (how about bite size chocolate bars?). Put a box of kleenex in the room.
- Leave Information about Your Area/Region. A local newspaper or magazine or pamphlets on local activities would be great. Have a good tourist office? Pay a visit so that you have brochures you can tempt your guests with. Add a couple post cards from your area with the stamps already on them. Put a nice pen right by them.
- Put Together a Little Bathroom Kit. I take a cute bag I got at IKEA and put bath towels and a couple face clothes in it, along with some soap. Why not include your basic soap for the shower and a special soap for by the sink. If you have some cute “minis”, throw them in too (everyone likes minis).
- Set Out Toothbrush Holders for Your Guests. Okay, this is a little over the top (maybe a lot). BUT, we have the most beautiful lavender terracotta yogurt jars that match our bathroom perfectly. That’s what WE use for OUR toothbrush and toothpaste. I save extra jars for guests and then make a little name tag that I attach with string. People love them and you’re helping the environment 😃.
- Set up a Coffee / Tea Station in the Kitchen. I need coffee first thing in the morning and I really love having an afternoon pick-me-up! Put out mugs, spoons, the beans/ground coffee and tea bags and sugars. If you have an even mildly complicated coffee machine,…print out instructions so your guests can independently get their caffeine fix whenever they want.
- Have an Extra Set of Keys Ready. If your guests are going to be exploring on their own, make sure they have a set of keys.
- Happy Trails Gift(s). When it is time to say “goodbye”, present your guests with a little take-home message! I saw this great idea for Homemade Trail Mix at www.diyjustcuz.com! Click here for the original post at DIY Just Cuz! It’s perfect.
You could also give your guests something homemade, such as homemade jam, a lavender sachet, a special photograph, or a homemade CD for the road. Or, run out and pick out some local snack items, a mini photo album, or a book you think they will enjoy reading on the plane or back home. Attach a small notecard that says “We’re so glad you came!”.