Danielle McCarthy


9 things house guests always notice

9 things house guests always notice

Sure, you love having people come stay with you, but hosting can also be exhausting and nerve-racking. Even before they arrive, a large chunk of time is dedicated to cleaning and supermarket shopping, making sure everything is spic ‘n’ span and guest-ready. Save yourself the stress by focusing on the areas your guests will actually notice. And no, it’s not about dusting under the TV stand and laying out the cloth napkins at dinner, as lovely as that is. Follow this short and simple list of things and you’re guaranteed to make a good impression – without putting too much pressure on yourself. Hopefully they’ll pick up a tip themselves for when they inevitably return the favour.

1. Smell

Guests have sensitive noses. They can smell the fact that you pan-fried salmon the night before, the fact that your dog skipped his last bath, the spilt kitty litter tray and the fact that you’re using incense or potpourri as a decoy to mask something far less savoury. Even worse, they have a uncanny ability to pick up on smells that not even your nose can detect. To neutralise the odour and make the room fresh again, use an aroma diffuser with essential oils, light a scented candle, or simmer a pot of citrus peel and cinnamon an hour before your guest arrives. And don’t forget to vacuum any stray pet hair while you’re at it.

2. Pillows

A good pillow is just as important as a comfortable bed for getting a good night’s sleep. Your guest pillows shouldn’t feel like cotton wool balls stuffed into a scratchy sack. If they’re starting to lose their shape, replace them with ones you’d feel comfortable resting your head on. And always cover with a crisp and clean, stain-free pillowcase. Go easy on the fabric softener in case your guest has allergies.

3. Table clutter

Tables – like most flat surfaces – are clutter magnets. Whether it’s your high-school mates or your in-laws, your guests are going to notice the accumulated mess on your dining table or kitchen counter. Shunt old newspapers, remotes, mail, wrappers, mug, toys to the side. Throw out anything you don’t need, keeping some items in boxes or baskets and reorganising everything else in a logical order.

4. Tidy entranceway

That means hosing down the door mat, vacuuming the rug, clearing the shoe and umbrella pile-up and Magic Erasering the walls, doors and baseboards. Cleaning your entranceway is a no-brainer when it comes to hosting houseguests, like batting their hands out of the way when they try to load the dishwasher.

5. Basic amenities

For a guest to feel welcome in your home, they need to feel comfortable – and part of that is providing the right amenities. Yes, stock up on the essentials – like toilet paper, paper towel and tissues – but also make sure you have shampoo and conditioner, a toothbrush and toothpaste and a clean, fluffy towel for your temporary housemate to use during their stay. If your towels and wash towels are beginning to grey, fray and thin, use this impending visit as a reason to upgrade immediately. Also, three-ply and over only.

6. Clean bathroom

Once you’ve stocked up on the basics, chuck or store everything else away. The science of snap judgements says the bathroom is where your guests, however charitable, will most likely form an opinion regarding your personal hygiene and general upkeep – so make sure your surfaces are sparkling clean and that your toilet is stain and shame-free.

7. Bad lighting

Sure, bad lighting isn’t the worst thing you could subject your guests to, but it’s something they’ll definitely notice. Aim for low-level lighting in the living room and provide a table lamp and book where they’ll be sleeping, for when counting sheep doesn’t work.

8. Privacy

Try your best to give them their own space – even in a small space – to get changed, use the bathroom and go to sleep. You may even care to make them their own set of keys.

9. Extra touches

Little things make a big difference. Things like having your Wi-Fi network and password prominently displayed, keeping bottles of water by the bed, providing a power outlet for devices and – last but not least – keeping a well-stocked bar. Also inform your guests of any peculiarities – like tricky locks, navigating Netflix on the TV, broken door knobs and the secret to tweaking water temperature in the shower.

Do you agree with this list?

Written by Kathleen Lee-Joe. Republished with permission of Domain.com.au

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