TowelBarsAs fun as it is when friends and family visit, let’s face it, houseguests can be a bit of a headache. This is especially true when you and your guests are uncomfortable.

To make your time together as enjoyable as possible, take some time to prep your abode.

  • Ask About Any Dietary Restrictions – Is one of your guests allergic to peanuts, shellfish or something else? A trip to the ER definitely will not add to the fun.
  • Wash and Designate Guest Towels – You and your guests probably don’t want to share a towel. Make sure to wash a fresh set of towels (bath towel, washcloth, and hand towel) for each guest who is coming. Then – tell your family to leave those towels for the guests.
  • Clean Your Toilet – Few things are more off putting that a dirty toilet. Make sure you give the porcelain throne a thorough cleaning.
  • Scrub the Shower – In keeping with the dirty toilet theory, most guests are not going to be overly thrilled about showering in your soap scum. Take the time to scrub your shower free of any dirt and grime that might have built up.
  • Check Your Shower Curtain Liner – Is there any mold? Can you remove it? If not, replace it. This is a relatively inexpensive fix that you probably should do whether guests are coming or not.
  • Stock up on Extra Toothbrushes – Really, this is a favor for your guests AND you.
  • Also Stock the Shower – Like toothbrushes, it will benefit all of you if your guests are not just rinsing their bodies. Make sure soap, shampoo, and conditioner are readily available.
  • Stow Your Embarrassing Items – Some things really are best behind closed doors. Were you reading Fifty Shades of Grey on the toilet? Does your other half love the articles in “Play Boy”? Pick up and stow anything that might be embarrassing.
  • Toss That Week-Old Sandwich – Whether you are planning on your guests riffling through your fridge of not, make sure it is “guest ready.” Clean out all those old leftovers that you are not really going to eat anyway. Then, re-stock it with a few easy to grab nibbles like carrots and hummus, salsa, fresh fruit, and cheese.
  • Clean the Inside of Your Microwave – When was the last time you cleaned your microwave? Be honest. We won’t tell. Chances are there are a few remnants of re-heated leftovers sticking to the sides. Scrub that baby down.
  • Finish the Dishes – Have a few lingering pots and pans that still need to be washed? Get those big boys cleaned and put away.
  • Stock the Bar – Few things break the ice more quickly than sharing a cocktail (or two). Make sure to stock the bar with different options. Think vodka, whisky, and tequila. Having red wine, white wine, and beer on hand is always nice too. Even better is picking up your guests’ favorites. (Don’t know what your guests’ like? Call and ask!)
  • Get Extra Ice – Whether your freezer has an icemaker or you use the DIY tray-filled option, chances are your standard protocol won’t keep up with the expanded crowd. To make sure everyone’s drinks are cold, grab a bag from the store so you have extra on hand.
  • Fresh Flowers – A bouquet or two of fresh flowers always brightens up a home.
  • Make the Bed – It might sound obvious, but we have overlooked this simple step from time to time. Put fresh sheets on your guest bed and then make it. It will make your guest room look cleaner and more organized.
  • Declare the House Rules – While we wouldn’t suggest you inundate your guests with a laundry list of dos and don’ts, there’s a good chance certain things are important to you. For example, you might want everyone to use coasters or take their shoes off when they come in. Just be upfront and clear from the beginning about your expectations. And if you want your guests to use coasters – make sure to put them in an obvious location.
  • Roll with the Punches – No matter how prepared you may be for your guests, surprises happen. Be ready to roll with punches and adapt as need be. Whether it is altering a menu last minute or pulling an extra blanket out of storage, going the extra mile will really help everyone get along.