My House is Your House


You’re having a house guest come for a visit.

Living in Florida almost guarantees having an overnight house guest at some point. Whether family or friends, you want to be sure they are comfortable and have a good time. The key to being a gracious host is to ensure that your houseguests are comfortable and feel even a little pampered.

Imagine You’re the Guests

If you were the guests visiting at your house, what would make your stay just right? Walk through your house, with special attention to the guest bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room. Imagine being a guest in your house. What items and touches would be convenient and welcoming? … Room by room.

The Guest Room

Wherever your guests will sleep, this room is the most important. Just as staying in a hotel, you would want the bed to be comfy. So check the bed. Choose pillows of varying firmness, as some people prefer firm pillows to soft ones. If the weather is cold, an electric blanket or quilt is welcoming.

Next to the bed, a reading light, alarm clock and tissues are essential. Extras could include a CD player with some nice music selections, fresh flowers in a vase, and reading material.

Houseguests need some space for their travel clothes and items. Be sure that the guest room is cleared of clutter before they arrive and has ample closet space with hangers.

Extras that an especially gracious host could provide would include a clean bathrobe, disposable slippers, a pad and pen, and a TV in the room with a remote.

The Guest Bathroom

Some items are essential for a host to provide. Clean towels, bath-size as well as hand towels and washcloths, are necessary for any guest’s comfort. Be sure that the towels are not so fancy that a guest would be afraid to get them wet or dirty.

Be sure that the bathroom wastebasket is clean and that extra toilet paper and  tissues are easily accessible. Don’t be shy about showing guests where you keep the extra toilet paper and tissues. A guest might feel embarrassed asking for a replacement roll after using the last piece, or finding the roll empty. A good host never wants a guest to feel embarrassed.

Extras that a gracious host could provide would include sample shampoos, hair conditioners, toothpaste and lotions in a small basket, along with cotton swabs, nail clippers, shave cream, hair spray or gel and mouthwash.

The Kitchen

Put either a pitcher of water or bottled water in the refrigerator along with an assortment of juices and let guests know they’re there. Have a bowl of fruit and some assorted snacks in a basket or bowl on the counter, and be sure to tell the houseguests that these are for them. It is also nice to have some assorted cereals, or pastries out for guests. Assorted teas,and coffee for brewing also make houseguests feel welcome. Houseguests don’t wish to leave a mess, so talking to them about what to do with their used dishes can help them feel at ease.

The Living Room

Make sure it is clean and that there are cozy blankets or throws on the couch, and an assortment of videos and books put out for the guests to choose from.

The walk-through and making a list of guest amenities for each room that your guests will enjoy are the keys to a successful time hosting houseguests.

“Here, at whatever hour you come, you will find light, help, and human kindness.”
– Albert Schweitzer.





Michael French, is Agenda’s Home from Home columnist. Contact Michael at [email protected]