Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Organizing the “Guest Room”

Now that we have had time to recuperate from the holidays, many of us are looking forward to spending quality time with friends and family. Sometimes that involves having a guest in our home and that can be a pain or a pleasure. Take a look at you “guest space” and think of ways you can organize it to be more comfortable for your guest-and you.

Whether you have a master suite with bath, a foldout sofa in your home office or a blow up mattress in the den, there are amenities that will make your guest’s stay more pleasant for him and easier on you.

Just think about those times when you have been a guest in another’s home and consider what would have provided comfort and convenience during your stay. Here are our suggestions.

The first item of business is to make sure the space is clean and uncluttered. Dust vacuum, change the linens and clear surfaces of extraneous items.

Make sure you have space for your guest to store clothes on hangers in the closet or on a wrack and space to fold things in drawers. If that is not possible, have a sturdy surface on which to place a suitcase.

Gather clean towels and washcloths for your guest and place them in a basket or decorative box with some nice toiletry items. Milled soaps, lotion, mouthwash or aftershave are some ideas to consider.

Give guests an opportunity to take care of midnight munchies by providing a container of snacks and a bottle of water. Fresh flowers and some candy, fruit or cookies in the room are ways to let the guest know how special he is.

A comfortable place to sit, stationery and writing implements, an alarm clock, adequate lighting and a radio or television are nice to have available.

If the guest is going to be keeping a schedule that is different than yours, think about providing a house key, security codes, public transportation schedules and a list of taxi and limousine companies. A local map is also a helpful item for guests who are not familiar with the city.

When your guest arrives, give him a tour of the house paying special attention to location of the bathroom you expect him to use, the kitchen and location of the iron and ironing board. Explain methods of entry and any security issues as well as any house rules. Point out any computer connection he might use if he travels with his laptop.

Taking time to do the tour saves time in the long run and allows the guest to feel better able to take care of himself.

Hosting guests is supposed to be fun. So organize the space for their comfort and convenience, then sit back and enjoy the visit.

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