If you’re part of my Facebook community, you might have seen that I’ve had my (Minnesota-based) sister and her family to stay. I loved spending time with this gorgeous little family, and I must admit I’ve been pretty sad since they left.
Having 2 extra adults and 2 small kids in my compact, usually work-friendly apartment was quite a challenge!
It all went off pretty smoothly though, thanks to just a little organization.
While they’re fresh in my mind, I thought I’d share some ideas to help you prepare for house-guests.
How To Get Organized For House Guests
1. Organize Breakfast
Even if you’ll be taking trips and eating out most days, chances are you’ll have breakfast at home before setting out.
- Ask in advance what your guests like for breakfast, especially if there are kids. The more at home everyone feels as they start the day, the more relaxed things will be.
- It’s a good idea to have a decent supply of breakfast foods on hand. Store them together in your pantry and on fridge shelves, so people can easily find things and help themselves. Include:
- Great coffee
- Tea, including herbal options for people who don’t like caffeine (weird, I know )
- Cereal, muesli
- Plenty of milk
- Bread for toast
- Spreads – butter, peanut butter, Nutella, Vegemite, etc
- Show your guests where to find the crockery, cutlery, cups and mugs, and how to use the coffee maker. This will make things easier on everyone.
- Get the newspaper delivered so it’s available at breakfast time.
- Set the breakfast table each night so everything’s good to go in the morning.
2. Organize Meals
Have some easy-to-prepare food on hand to eat at home or take with you on trips.
- Bread (store extra in the freezer so you have plenty)
- Luncheon meats and spreads for sandwiches
- Fruit – especially easy-to-grab-and-eat fruit, like apples and bananas
- Salad vegetables
- Snack foods (if you like to have them available)
- Yoghurt tubs
- Pasta and sauces
- Frozen pre-made meals.
3. Organize The Guest Bedroom
Of course you’ll want a nicely made bed with fresh sheets for your guests.
Here are some extra touches to help make your guests feel welcome and comfortable:
- A bedside lamp (a big help if your guest wakes during the night or likes to read before sleep)
- A box of tissues
- Extra blankets
- Extra pillows
- An easy-to-set alarm clock
- A bottle of water and glass
- A cheerful potted plant or vase of fresh flowers – but keep it somewhere well out of the way
- A few books and magazines on the nightstand.
4. Organize The Guest Bathroom
Stock the bathroom that your guests will be using with:
- Fresh towels, bathmat and hand towel
- A place to dry their towels (if there isn’t enough room on built-in towel rails, could you put up a few temporary hooks?)
- A basket of toiletries, in case your guests run out of or forget something –
- Scented soap/shower gel
- Hand cream
- Spare toothbrushes
- Small hairdryer.
Idea: If you have international guests, it’s a lovely touch to fill your bathroom with local scented products.
5. Organize Entertainment
Whether you guests are planning a tourist extravaganza or just want to hang out, it’s wise to do a little research and find out what events and sights might be of interest.
- You’ll want to strike a balance between doing too much and too little, so select a range of possibilities and let your guests choose according to their interest and energy
- If there’ll be kids staying with you, have some age-appropriate DVDs and/or games on hand – if you don’t have any in your library, borrow from friends or the video store
- Have some board games, fiction and non-fiction books, and magazines in the living area for down time.
These strategies can help you and your guests relax and enjoy the time together.
What are your best tips for getting organized for house guests?
By the way, if you feel you need to get your whole home organized before you can think about having house guests, then you might like my 52 Missions Home Organizer. It’s a fast, proven way to declutter, simplify and organize your home, in only 30 minutes a week.
[Image by James Jordan]