Monday, 19 August 2013

5 Easy Ways to Prepare for Guests

Welcome to Frugaldom

Being prepared for entertaining guests and/or providing them with a comfortable place to stay at short notice isn't always easy, especially on a budget. That's why I'm sharing my five top tips for helping you become the perfect hostess!

I can also recommend baking on the day your visitors are due to arrive, as there is nothing better than being met by the aroma of fresh bread or cakes and a pot of coffee. (I guess the same tips could apply throughout the house if you were marketing it for sale!)

Top Tip #1 - Make the Room Look Clean

Look at your room through the eyes of your guest and ask yourself the following questions:
  • Is the floor clean?
  • Are the windows clean? 
  • Does the woodwork look clean?
  • Are the light and lamp fittings clean?
  • Is there a layer of dust, soot or pet hair that shouldn't be there?

Top Tip #2 - Make the Room Smell Fresh

There's nothing worse than an impromptu overnight stay at a friend's house if you have to sleep in musty smelling bedding or a damp, seldom used room. It's enough to put you off even taking a cup of tea from your host, let alone staying overnight with them.
  • Open the windows to air the room
  • Vacuum thoroughly before you dust
  • Air all bedding outdoors if at all possible
  • Keep pets out of the room
  • Cut a few fresh flowers, even herbs will do, from the garden and have them in a vase rather than use chemical room fresheners.

Top Tip #3 - Ensure the Room has all the Basic Essentials

It's amazing how much more at ease your visitors will feel if they don't need to keep asking where things are or where to put things. Make them feel at home, think of what you need and even what you like most about your favourite holiday accommodation.
  • Clothes hanging space
  • Bedside table with lamp
  • A mirror
  • A bin - it's amazing how many people overlook something as simple as a bin for use by their guests
  • A clock - we don't all wear watches or carry mobile devices, you know.

Top Tip #4 - Home Comforts

Visitors want to feel relaxed and at ease when staying in a strange house A few home comforts never go astray, so you could consider the following:
  • Clean towels
  • Spare pillows
  • Access to Wi-Fi  (This is particularly important if, like me, you live in an area with no mobile signal.)
  • Refreshments - coffee, tea, snacks (Nobody likes arriving hungry and then asking for something to eat, so don't forget to feed your guests. It's better to be prepared than to starve them.
  • A place to sit other than on the bed - a comfy chair, perhaps?

Top Tip #5 - Entertainment and Space to Breath

Let's face it, if your guests are going to be staying for any length of time then neither you nor they will want to be in one another's faces twenty-four hours per day. Providing some light entertainment for them is always a good thing.
  • Reading material, perhaps include some local interest stuff
  • Radio, CD player and/or portable TV/DVD player - don't forget to tune in the radio and provide some CDs and DVDs
  • Board games, crafting materials etc. It's amazing how much fun your guests can have once they know nothing in the room is off limits. Show them what is where and make sure they know it's OK to 'play'
  • House rules - if you have any of these, make a fun wall hanging so it's plain to see. It can have things like allergy alerts, food likes and dislikes, meal times, any rotas, whether or not smoking is allowed in the house plus where to find basic essentials.
  • Freedom to relax, unwind and feel at home - if they are staying awhile, consider making a key to the door available and tell them to bring their slippers.
There you have it - five basic tips about how to be prepared for unexpected guests while at the same time, making your guests feel welcome. A visit to a frugal home shouldn't be traumatic, stressful or something to be dreaded - it should be a genuine home from home experience to be enjoyed by anyone who stays.

Until next time,


  1. Very good tips. My daughter is visiting us and has just said there are not enough mirrors - the one in her room is too small, we need a full size one!

    I'd add 'make a hairdryer available' - many people do not have luggage room on short trips to pack their own.

    also - show them where the tea/coffee stuff is in case they want to make a drink during the night.

    and get an honest friend or relation to try out the guest room so they can [gently] point out issues [like the mirror!!]

    great post!

    1. Thanks Angela, I'd included mention of the tea/coffee thing in Tip 3, but probably should have highlighted it more. Didn't think of a hairdryer - thanks for that, too. :) Frugal living means I seldom use a hairdryer as it's just extra electricity. LOL

      Thank goodness for fellow bloggers and blog readers. :)

  2. I put all left over toiletries in a basket in the bathroom of my b and b room for friends and paying guests alike and even though everyone always says "oh no, we have everything with us" they always use something, which is nice. we have a hospitality tray which has kettle, cups, glasses, coffees and teas etc they love it.
    box of tissues always good too and a fan, but then it's hot here.

    1. Good idea, as impromptu guests may not have toiletries with them if it's a last minute decision to stay overnight rather than travel home. At this rate, I'll be hanging a spare bathrobe behind the door and storing a spare pair of slippers below the bed settee. :) Maybe one day I'll surprise you and cross the channel pay an impromptu visit to Chez Bouzirouge! Just need a challenge to save the cash and brave the interview and cameras for a new passport.

    2. Oh, and I should add... the room will be available for flying visits during the month of September, if you make it down into SW corner of Scotland. :)


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