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How to Prepare for a Houseguest

Updated on September 7, 2011
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Jeannie has been writing online for over 10 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—hobbies, opinions, dating advice, and more!

You've Got Company

So you've invited a friend or multiple friends over the your place for the weekend. It seemed like a fun idea at the time, but now you are wondering how to keep them entertained and comfortable. Sometimes having company stay with you for a few days can be a little stressful. However, it does not have to be stressful at all. With a little extra planning, everyone can be happy.

Before your guests arrive, make sure to ask a few questions:

  • When are you arriving?
  • How long are you staying?
  • Are you bringing anyone or any pets with you?
  • Do you have any dietary restrictions?
  • Do you have any allergies?

After finding out the answer to those questions, you also want to make sure you mention if you have any activities planned. For instance, if you attend a yoga class every Saturday morning, make sure to mention that to your guests before they arrive. You might want to just skip the class if possible. You could also see if your guests can attend with you. No matter what, anything that could cause an awkward moment should be mentioned BEFORE the guests arrive.

Cleaning and Laundry

If your guest or guests give you plenty of advance notice, it is polite to make sure your home is clean before they arrive. No one should expect your home to be completely spotless (unless your evil mother-in-law is visiting) but it is only proper etiquette to have a reasonably clean home. If you haven't seen your kitchen table in 2 months due to the piles of paperwork, junk mail, and food wrappers, by all means, clean that before your guests arrive.

You will also want to make sure you have plenty of clean towels and sheets. Nothing is more uncomfortable than going to someone else's house and there isn't a clean towel to use. Make sure you have enough for your guests. Furthermore, it might be a good idea to show your guests were you keep the towels and washclothes just in case they take a shower while you sleep. While you are at it, show them were you keep the spare rolls of toilet paper. Trust me, it is just best to share that info right off the bat.

Everyone Gets Hungry

This might sound obvious, but make sure you have enough food. It seems simple, but you would be surprised how many people invite guests over, yet they do not have any food in the house. Remember your guests are going to want to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Once again, it sounds obvious, but sometimes a person has a ton of cereal, bagels, cereal bars, fruit, etc. Somewhere along the line, they forget to get anything else.

While you are shopping for food, it never hurts to pick up a few items your houseguest really likes. If you know some things your guest will enjoy eating, make sure to pick that up if possible. It is a kind gesture to show your houseguest you care.

Sleeping Arrangements

Make sure to work out the sleeping arrangements before your guests arrive. It is a major disappointment for someone to travel miles only to find out he or she is sleeping on the floor. Luckily, many stores sell air mattresses at a discounted price now. Air mattresses are fairly comfortable and take up little space when they are deflated.

Some people will tell you to always give up your bed and allow the guests to sleep in it. I would say to offer the bed to the guests if you only have an air mattress or the floor as an option. It is polite, but also, usually the guest will not take you up on the offer. If your houseguest does agree to sleep in the bed, make sure to put clean sheets on the bed.

If you (and your guests) are lucky, you may have a spare bedroom, a foldout couch, or a futon. Either of those are comfortable options and most guests will be happy with that. Once again, make sure you have clean sheets for your guests when they arrive. No need for awkward situations with that!

Have Fun!

Finally, have fun with your houseguest. Having houseguests can be lots of fun and should not be stressful. With just a little planning, the whole visit should go smoothly. When planning activities, make sure to make plans you can all agree on. Also, make sure you have some backup plans in case there is bad weather or something falls through. DVDs and boardgames can be fun with the right people. So happy planning and have a great time!


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