I recently had family from all parts of Canada in town visiting. Normally I am what you would call a neat freak, and since I had 9 guests, including a baby, in my modest-sized 3 bedroom house I needed to let go of the impulse to constantly straighten everything out or clean up every mess right at that moment. Usually, when no guests are around, everything is in its orderly place, neat and clean! (No, I don’t have kids yet!) This weekend taught me how to relax, enjoy the company of my loved ones, and get to the mess later. It actually felt quite liberating - I felt free!
(Amusing side note: while cleaning up after all my guests left, I did however find certain things misplaced and rearranged in random areas, like upside-down picture frames, straws lining picture frames, I even found a plastic lemon from my bar cart tucked away in my sofa..
So that said, I naturally wanted to ensure that I had everything set up just right to make my family feel at home and as comfortable as possible! Here are a few tips that I find helpful when I am hosting a big family gathering:
Making up the guest rooms is the obvious first step. You don’t have to go out and buy all new things- you can shop your home to update your guest rooms and make it cozy and comfortable. That’s what I did -- fresh sheets, throws, and pillows are basically all you need! No flat pancake
Make sure you have plenty of towels available in an easily accessible place for your guests. You can even have a basket in each room made up with towels and other necessities such as soap, face cloths and cream etc. -
Coffee, Coffee, Coffee – I think it’s a nice gesture to have coffee made first thing in the morning - I know we went through
Alcohol – If your guests are anything like my family, they like to drink! Hey, we’re from Cape Breton! I like to have a couple of beers and a few bottles of wine handy to offer a drink when my guests arrive. Not to say it’s an open bar for the majority of their stay, because that can get quite expensive, but it’s always nice to offer your guests a nice cold beverage when they
Snacks – Having snacks out on the table is always a necessity. That
WIFI – Everyone loves to save
Temperature - Be mindful of the temperature (if you can control it). I didn’t realize this until I had so many people stay at one time. Half of my guests were cold while the other half
Window treatments – this one was definitely trial and error for me, I have guests that don’t mind the sun shining in on them in the morning and I have others that like to block it out. I like to keep all my
Itinerary - If you don’t have anything in particular planned for when they visit, offer up an itinerary of things to do and see. Luckily my family came for my annual street party this year, and we also organized a baby shower, so there was already plenty to do. Other times they’ve visited, I have planned dinners, shopping, and made sure to research any fun events happening locally. If they are from out of town, it’s nice to have some options for them to choose from. But that said, there’s also nothing wrong with sitting on the couch with a cold
And lastly – have fun! Enjoy your time with your friends and family, especially if you only get to see them a few times a year like I do. Worry about the mess later!
Hosting guests is a lot of
I would love to hear some of your tips on how you make your guests feel right at home, so I can add them to my list for next time.