Wonderful! Your friends or family are coming for a visit. You want everything to be perfect so they will come again.
What can you do to make sure they feel at home in your home?
By far, the most precious thing you can give a guest is privacy. It's so awkward to be a guest - you feel on display - like you have no control over your situation.
Provide a little sanctuary for your guests. Offer them a retreat where they can go and regroup. These guest bedroom ideas can help.
A day or two before your guests arrive, prepare the bed with freshly washed linens.
Even if you made the guest bed with freshly cleaned sheets last month, take the time to rewash and replace the bedding.
After a few weeks, even clean sheets can start to smell musty.
Consider using only a fitted sheet topped by a comforter, especially if your guest has limited use of his or her hands (such as arthritis causes).
The comforter or duvet (removable, washable comforter cover) replaces the bedspread and top sheet.
As an added guest bonus, it's a cinch to make - just fluff and go.
On my father's occasional overnight visits, I got into the habit of putting a couple of extra blankets in the guest bedroom closet.
He never again asked me whether I had the heat "hooked up."
Clear out a couple of drawers in the guest bedroom dresser so your guests can unpack and get rid of their suitcases.
And while you're at it, clear some space in the closet for guests to hang their things, as well.
Make sure the table is close to the bed so your guest can read before drifting off.
A good rule of thumb: The base of the lampshade should be at shoulder level while sitting up in bed.
No bedside table handy? A spare chair will do in a pinch.
Just set a light on it, and she can hang her necklaces or robe on the back.
Allergies, colds, airplanes, climate changes; whatever the cause, make
sure you have a solution in excess in the guest bedroom: plenty of boxes of tissues.
This water carafe can be one of those fancy carafes with a glass that fits on top or merely an individual-size water bottle.
Clear floors and shelves in the guest bedroom of your stuff to make room for theirs.
This is basic, sure, but it's too often overlooked. No one likes others to see their personal trash. (And while you're at it, make sure there's a trash can in the bathroom your guest will use.)
A comfy place to sit invites relaxing. And that's what the visit is all about, right?
Install window treatments that provide privacy and light control for quality (and quantity!) sleep.
Have a few extra sets of house keys made in advance, and code them by having each set printed in a different color. Add car keys to the sets of those who might be driving while visiting.
Keep a computer or written record of who has what color key set, and mark off when the sets are returned.
Have a burglar alarm?
Tell your guests about when it is on and when it is off and how they can tell on their own.
Provide written instructions if your guest will be turning the security system on and off.
If there is a gate code or other security measures she'll need to know about in your home or neighborhood, share those details as well.
Finally, clear a corner spot to plop luggage down in case your guest is the type who actually likes living out of a suitcase instead of enjoying all your cozy preparations. At least you tried, right?
When guests are coming is a great time to nurture the kids' natural tendency to please. Have them help ready your home for guests, too.
Your son can choose flowers from the garden for you to place in a bedside vase. Your daughter can create "welcome to our home" cards to leave on the dresser or guest bedroom pillows.
And a few days before visitors arrive, go grocery shopping with the kids in preparation for the feeding frenzy ahead. And let them choose the chocolates you'll place on the guest's pillows nightly.