Moving to the countryside has enabled us to be able to have the space for people to come and stay over. Whilst we don’t have a spare bedroom, we do now have a sofa bed and space in the kids rooms to accomodate guests for sleepovers, and it is really exciting to have people come and stay with us.
We don’t allow sleepovers at this age with their friends, so it is purely limited to family. But we always welcome opportunities for their cousins (often with aunties) to come and stay over for a movie night, play date and sleepover.
When people come to stay, there are a couple of things we always try to do to accommodate them and make them feel welcome in our home. I am sure you can relate to them all too.
When we know people are coming to stay, there is usually a mad dash around the house to get it in order. I like the kitchen, bathroom and lounge to be clean for guests and whilst it takes some effort, the kids rooms too. I enjoy having things in order so they have space to play and knowing it is clean. Often the house is turned upside down once people leave, but initially I do like to ensure it is in order and everything in its place for their arrival.
Make up beds ahead of time
I always try to get bed linens washed and beds made up ahead of time. It makes things so much easier and also means that I am not scratting around at night time when people are here to try and find duvets, covers and pillows for them (though I have been known to do this!). I always imagine it probably makes them feel a little bit awkward and perhaps an afterthought if we have not prepared their beds for the night.
We have a couple of spare guest sets that we like to keep folded in the airing cupboard for this purpose but I have seen that Julian Charles also have some lovely ones too that would certainly enhance the comfort and luxury for house guests. I particularly like the satin stripe – it would look quite at home in my dusty pink and green tropical lounge on the sofa bed!
Sort the porch to accommodate extra shoes
This might seem a bit of an odd one, but I always like to go through the shoes before people are coming. Where possible, I line up the wellies, and then declutter the shoe box by filtering out some up into the kids rooms. This way there is plenty of space of the extra pairs of shoes and it means they know they are welcome and have a place to store their footwear in our home. It also means we can open the door without tripping over hundreds of shoes!
Light the candles
I love to go round and light the candles before people come over. I like the homely, calm feel of them and I also like that it fragrances our home. It is a little extra to welcome them and help them to feel relaxed and enjoy our home.
Get in a few treats/Favourite breakfasts
Finally it is important to me that my guests not only feel welcome, but that they also feel a little bit special too. When I have my nieces and nephews stay, I will almost always get in their favourite cereals, a few danishes or crumpets and some juice for breakfast in the morning. I love to see their little faces alight with glee when they spot their faves!
I will also get in treats to offer my sisters when they stay over too (usually ice cream or chocolate to share) and love to have little treats in the cupboard to hand out to the kids whilst they watch a film. These thoughtful extras enhance their stay, show we were thinking of them and bring them joy whilst in our home.
Having people over takes some prep and organization, but it is always lovely to have people in our home. I know that family don’t really care what state our home is in, and whether or not the candles are lit or their favourite cereals are in the cupboard – they are just happy to be with us. But, I very much enjoy making it nice for their stay and welcoming them. I love to hear the kids having fun with their cousins and getting giddy for sleepovers.
When we stayed with Nathan’s cousin last year, I loved that all our beds were ready for our arrival and that they also had a basket of hotel mini’s in the guest bathroom from their trips and travels. It was all so thoughtful and puts you at ease – something we want when people share our home! I think down the line I would like to adopt this cute little idea for our guests too.
What do you do to prepare for guests? Do you enjoy having people stay or do you dread it? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas too!