Will you be hosting family and friends over the Holidays? I will be and I thought it might be a good idea to remind myself of a few things before friends begin showing up at our front door. Providing a comfortable, enjoyable environment for guests is a joy for me. I really do love all of the little things that go into making someone's visit with us pleasant. Here are a few ideas to help you (and me) get ready for our holiday guests.
Providing a wonderful place for your guests to sleep is one of the most if not the most important components of hosting overnight guests. It is a wonderful feeling to hear your guests say at breakfast, "I slept so well!" You don't necessarily need the most expensive mattress on the bed to ensure a great night's rest. Here are a few things to think about that will help your guests rest comfortably.
1. If you do not have a mattress pad on the bed purchase one. A clean fluffy mattress pad provides a little loft on a mattress that may be somewhat worn. It will also cover a less than pristine mattress. If you have a mattress pad currently on the bed, wash it. Use the hottest water possible with a little bleach (about half of a cup) to sanitize it. Add some fabric softener OR hang it out to dry in the fresh air. (the BEST!)
2. One of the most thoughtful things you can do for a guest is to provide a sanitary, fluffy pillow to sleep on. Do you have pillows set aside specifically for guests? If so, ensure that they are dust free.Throw them in the dryer for a few minutes with a clean tennis ball. If you can not afford to purchase new pillows you have two options; buy pillow covers, or "double case" your pillows. Watch the sales in January as most retailers put linens and bedding on sale. You can purchase some excellent pillows and other linens to set aside for future guests.
Pillow covers will typically zip at one end completely encasing the pillow. They also provide a clean, surface for your guests. If you prefer, you can "double case" a pillow by putting one case on and then adding a second pillowcase by putting the open end inside the second case. This will totally encase a pillow and provide a clean sanitary double layer surface. Pillows may also be washed in the washing machine if filled with a polyester fiber fill. (Do not wash feather pillows in the washing machine) Wash in the hottest water possible and add a half cup of bleach to the wash water. Be sure to dry completely in the dryer.
3. Purchase the best sheets you can afford. My husband knows my affinity for wonderful linens and a few years ago surprised me with 1000 thread ct. sheets. Ohhhhh my! If you haven't slept on a great, high thread count sheet you are missing something wonderful. (Of course, once you buy some you may not want to share them with your guests!) If you do purchase new sheets be sure to wash them before you use them.
4. Typically, a well made bed will have a bottom (fitted) sheet, a top (flat) sheet a light blanket and a coverlet, bedspread or comforter. I'm often surprised at how many people forget to add the top sheet to a bed. Its a good idea to put an extra blanket somewhere in the room in case someone gets chilly.
5. Make sure that you have plenty of bath towels, face cloths and hand towels.
6. I like to have travel shampoo, conditioner,disposable razors, toothpaste, mouthwash and tooth brushes on hand. Whenever Brian or I travel we always take our own bath items but will bring back the hotel provided items to have on hand for our guests. Some nice lotion on a bedside table is often appreciated as well.
7. Be sure your guest room has plenty of Kleenex, a waste basket and a couple of magazines or short story books for bedtime reading.
8. Provide an alarm clock.
9. A bottle of water on the night stand.
10. If you know your guests favorite candy place some in a pretty bowl for them to enjoy.
11. A few brochures for local attractions, restaurants and shops placed in a basket will give your guests a few ideas for exploring your area. (And may entice them out of the house so that you can catch up on some things!)
12. A little bouquet of flowers or a nice candle makes the room special. Be careful of possible allergies etc.
Whether family or friends, the thought and time that you put into creating a restful retreat for your guests will be appreciated. Of course, the more comfortable you make it the longer your guests may stay!