Hosting House Guests? Here’s How to Lower Your Stress Level
Posted by New Home Resource on November 7, 2016 in
We’ve found there are usually two common thoughts that run through the minds of most people when they live in Las Vegas, and we’re guessing during the holiday season, they happen more often than not.
The first is: “How can I accommodate all the family and friends who want to come stay with me?” (Because you live in Fabulous Las Vegas, silly! Two-birds/one-stone theory for them.)
The second is: “How come I can pick my friends, but I can’t pick my family?!” (Okay, that one may be more the result of remembering past holiday seasons – because, hey, what’s a Thanksgiving Dinner without a little family drama?) We can’t help you much with the second (if we could, we might try it ourselves! haha!). But the first can probably be managed a little better than in the past. (Let’s face it – we’re all so worried about hurting other’s feelings, we often don’t pay any attention to our own.)
That’s why we suggest a little forethought, some pre-planning, and actually setting the rules up-front – then saying them out-loud. It is, after all, your home – right? So even if you’ve had some difficult past experiences with certain house guests, we suggest you take that knowledge and turn it to your advantage. Let us get started with ideas by explaining how that can work.
Firm Up the Dates
Those open-ended visits can make you crazy. Admit it – you’ve been there. That’s why it’s critical that you lay out firm ground rules that start with the arrival and departure dates. That allows you to plan activities and know there is an end in sight. (You feel better already, don’t you?) This is probably the most important decision to make before your house guests arrive, and the three-day guideline is a good rule of thumb. (You know what they say about fish & guests.) The Added Benefit you get from this single step can also help to avoid difficult conversations between you, your spouse, and your kids. (Like: “When are they going to leave?!”)
Remember That Your Life Matters, Too
We all love visiting with people we don’t get to see often. Parents, grandparents, school chums – and the holiday season is one of the things that inspires us to gather, catch up, and reminisce. But then why – for some of us – is it a time of such stress and anxiety (and other emotions we won’t mention here, but you know what they are!)?
Part of the reason is that while your house guests may be on a carefree vacation – you’re still dealing with your day-to-day life. That might include work, school, your children’s activities, etc. Plus, the cleaning and shopping and cooking that as a host, you feel is required. And that’s not even counting rearranging the sleeping arrangements, lots of extra “stuff” around your house, more people to share bathrooms, who gets to choose what to watch on tv, and the list goes on.
Many hosts have a tendency to gloss over this by thinking: “it’s just for a few days – we’ll get through it.” But our response to that would be: “Why not just set the ground rules up-front?”
A lot of times, people are reluctant to take this step (those ‘hurt feelings’ again).
But in truth, most people are pretty understanding about this. Why? Because they’ve been in your shoes, and they remember how frustrating it can get! We suggest that at the time (or even before) confirming anyone’s visiting dates, you have an honest communication and say right up front that “I’m delighted you’re coming to visit! Here’s when I’ll be available to plan to do things with you – and when I’ll be working/taking kids to school or activities/etc.” (Even if you just want a couple of hours to yourself after a long workday.) If you have a baby or toddler, routine is important to maintaining household serenity – so invite them to be part of that, too. (They can always go to the casino after bedtime!) The point is to let them know what your schedule is like so they won’t just assume you’re the Local Las Vegas Entertainment Revue 24/7.
Let Them Know Your Home’s Boundaries and How Things Work
With some house guests, it’s hard to know if they don’t pitch in to help because they don’t want to be in your way or do things wrong – or if they’re just taking advantage of the Free Cook & Head Bottle-Washer services they can get out of you. Whichever it is, you can help out the first type, and give the lazier, er – latter ones – a not-so-subtle hint by letting them know how things in your home function. Such as:
• Out-of-bounds areas (like your personal computers, bedroom, etc.)
• Whether pets are welcome
• Where house guests can smoke
• Your WiFi password
• Where to find things (such as dishes, towels, toilet paper, etc.)
• Show them how to make the coffee
• Where should they put dirty laundry?
• Demonstrate how the dishwasher and washing machines work
• Show them where the trash goes
• ….and, well…… you get the gist of it.
Provide Special Touches They’ll Appreciate
This is just a short list of items that almost every house guest will appreciate. Your friends and family may have more specific needs – so we suggest you give them some thought, and surprise them with their visit with things they know only you would recognize – and that they would appreciate.
• Flowers – even tiny vases of fresh herbs or a single flower will clearly display you are thinking of their comfort.
• An extra power strip in their room for their devices (this one is almost mandatory anymore).
• Provide a collection of common bathroom amenities in a small basket.
• Set apart a stack of clean towels.
• Place some bottled water in their room.
• Provide a place to hang their clothes / set up their suitcase.
• Extra pillows.
• Clear off a nightstand and leave the lamp on for them.
• Written instructions about how to operate your television. Have Netflix or Roku? Tell them how to work that, too!
• A list with directions from your house to nearby stores, in case they need to purchase personal items.
• Do they enjoy a yoga or exercise class regularly? Provide a list of nearby facilities.
Will you be hosting elderly house guests? They also have some special needs to take into consideration.
• Keep extra blankets in their room in case they get a chill.
• Provide nightlights.
• Tub floor grippers and non-slip mats (might save everyone from a difficult situation)
• A clock and a calendar (in case they need to keep track of medications)
• Pen and notepad.
• Also, keep in mind that seniors eat smaller meals and snack more, and they may have certain dietary restrictions. Ask ahead of time about foods and drinks they normally eat, and make the extra effort to let them know you have them, where they are, and how to make them (explaining where utensils and dishes are, etc.)
See? It’s possible to make your house guests feel super-welcome AND not make your time during their visit a ride straight to Insanityville! Keep in mind, too – that after the first time you follow some of these tips, you’ll see that the benefits are worth the effort to speak up, and you’ll move forward with your next visitors accordingly. (Repetition will make it that much easier for you to do it with the next guests, and the ones after that!).
New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide just the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at www.newhomeresource.com. Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!