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Kiki answers questions…What should you have on hand for guests?

Kiki answers questions…What should you have on hand for guests?

Today’s question is prompted by an anonymous follower who says, “I’d love to hear more factual tips and tricks to hosting.”

First of all a disclaimer, I don’t claim anything on this blog is “factual” except for the address. When I do use “facts” from subject experts they are referenced, usually with a link for more information. In these days of Fake News, Alternate Facts, and Optics (whatever that means) I want to be painfully honest about the material I am disseminating.

With that said, how about some tips on Guest Accoutrements? Or Stuff to Have on Hand for House Guests. This does not include food. That’s for another post.

When my husband and I first set up housekeeping in our “garbage level” apartment, guests were lucky to get a spot on the floor and directions to McDonalds. Strangely enough we still had A LOT of company. Must have been the cable. As we matured, along with our guests, we were able to offer better accommodations.

For beginners, remember you are doing someone a favor. There is no need to go crazy with a bunch of stuff you don’t normally keep on hand and will never use again. At a minimum, you need to offer a place to sleep that is as quiet and private as you can provide along with clean linens and towels. If you cannot provide these basic things, you should let the guest know in advance so they can make arrangements. For instance they may need to bring a sleeping bag or their own pillow, and that’s OK. You should also leave a note on paper with your address, phone number, and—if you trust this guest—you internet access code.

Once you get more established (and have accumulated freebies from enough hotels) there are things you can add to that list. Here’s what Adele from Arkansas suggests:

“Provide a place for their suitcase, some empty horizontal space for them to set out their things, an empty drawer and some empty closet space with hangers, an empty small basket or two.  Provide shampoo, conditioner, blow dryer, toothpaste.  Have a few feminine products available just in case.  Be prepared to provide just about anything—in case their luggage didn’t make it– hair brush, deodorant, new toothbrush (I always have plenty from my trips to the dentist). Have a lined and covered trash container in the bathroom (so that your dog does not get into their trash).  Put a container of water and a couple of glasses in their room.  Have a throw blanket handy.  Be sure to ask if there is anything that they need.  Make sure there is a variety of bed pillows – some folks like firm, some like soft and some need an extra pillow for their knees.  If possible provide a place to sit and read in their room for when they need some peace and quiet.  Provide a radio that is easy to turn on, change channel and set alarm.  And, very important, provide some kind of night light so that they can safely find their way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.”

Whew. She’s good!

For the advanced host, I would add to that list: noise machine; flashlight; and brochures from local attractions.

If Adele and I have forgotten anything please let me know in the Comments section below.

Thank you for visiting and I’ll be back on Wednesday with House Guests and Graduations.


To strip or not to strip…this week’s houseguesting question answered.

My very first “question of the week” comes from Colorado, and you can bet she gets a lot of company.

“What is the best practice when it comes to bed linens when you’re leaving? Should house guests strip the bed or make it?”

When we lived in Seattle we had so much company, and I changed so many sheets, I felt like a Vegas motel maid with hourly rates (the motel, not the maid). So my answer is yes, strip the sheets and leave them in a heap on the bed along with the towels you used (unless the towels are wet, then drape them unfolded over a towel rack).

There are three main reasons for this:

  1. It’s easier for the host to collect stripped sheets for laundering;
  2. If the host has more than one bed in the guest room, they will know which bed was used. This is much more pleasant than a sniff test;
  3. If a guest makes the bed, the host might assume that guest simply makes the bed and doesn’t change sheets between occupants in their own home.

Feel free to disagree with me, it wouldn’t be the first time.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you’ll stay tuned for next week’s post,


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