Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Welcoming Guests by Being Prepared

I'm not sure how you respond when you realize you're expecting guests or family for a couple of days or even a week. I'm always excited since we're a pretty good ways from all of them. So, when they come, I want to ensure that I get to spend as MUCH time with them as I can. Wouldn't you?

With our guests now come and gone, I thought I'd sit down with you and give some of my own advice to help you with keeping things from becoming hectic and crazy during their visit. It's all about enjoying each other anyways...right?

I am by NO means a pro at anything I do, but I've had a lot of practice and have leraned through my own mistakes and chaotic moments that sometimes a little preparation will help make life a bit easier on you and everyone else.
1.  Welcome them. If you're expecting your guests, make sure to prepare for them. Freshen up the room they'll be staying in. Make sure the sheets are clean and the bed is made. A fresh and fluffed up room with give them a more comfortable and inviting welcome.

2. Shine the outhouse. Run through the  bathroom they'll be using to make sure it's clean. Who wants to walk in to a messy bathroom? Pull out towels, washcloths, soaps, etc. I like to lay out some small essentials; travel size items just in case they didn't bring any. This will keep you from running to the store later.

3. Declutter. Walk through your house and pick up stuff. Everyone knows that a house is NEVER magazine perfect, but it does offer a nicer welcome if the clutter (ie: toys, blankets, pillows, etc) are off the floor and in their rightful homes.

1. Keep meals simple. Even though I would love to spend as much time as possible with my guests (which mostly happen to be family), I always want to ensure that I give them a home cooked meal. However...I don't want to slave over the stove when I could be walking down memory lane with them. So to help with that, I keep meal times short and sweet. Simple as cake...or pie? Hmm... Here are just a few meals that might find on my menu when guests are in my home:
             *Baked Chicken
             *Taco Bar
             *Veggie and Ham Soup
             *Breakfast Casserole
             *Cold cut sandwhiches
             *Personal pizzas
These aren't written in stone. They are easy though and most of the time I can guarantee I have everything I need in the pantry/fridge/freezer.

2. Use your dishwasher. *smile* I can proudly say that I'm not a frequent user of my dishwasher. Not that I don't like it or love it. It's just most of the time we don't use enough dishes to fill it up. But...when we have guests that's simply not the case. I ALWAYS use my dishwasher when we have extra eaters. It keeps kitchen duty on the easier side, the noise level down, visit time is increased and life is just easier.

3. Keep items at bay. There is nothing worse than knowing my guests are thirsty or hungry. Sometimes people will get that way simply because they're afraid to ask where something is in your kitchen. To prevent this from happening, I make sure I show them where the plates, cups, etc are. This way they can fix themselves a glass of sweet tea and actually make it to the front porch to rock instead of looking all night for a glass.

I love it when we have visitors. I love spending time with them and making memories  and talking about the old. So anything that I can do to make the time that they're with me flow better and run smoother...I'm all about it!

What do you do when you have guests on their way? Do you have "guest" routines? Speical meals? Do share! I'd love to hear about them.
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