Remember when having guests meant that everyone drunkenly stumbled into your house and passed out wherever there was an open surface? And remember that time that Jen woke up on a yoga mat with a baguette in her arms? What about the rather unfortunate chapstick mishap? Or the time Jer woke up with bright yellow curry-pants?
Though the days of mystery bruises, drunken curry and baguettes aren’t totally behind us (I hope), it’s time for us to consider that our overnight guests might want more than leftover booze and whatever glass is clean enough to drink out of.
You don’t have to move apartments so you can have a guest room, and you don’t have to get all Martha on your place. No need to get crazy. Below is a list of a few simple touches that can make your friends feel right at home.
1. If you do nothing else, give your guest the gift of clean linens. Your friends love you, but they don’t want to share your drool-covered pillow case. Have an extra set of linens in your closet, and keep a linen spray (like this one that you can make yourself) on hand to freshen up clean sheets that have been in the closet a while.
2. Offer a clean towel, a fresh razor, a personal loofah, and a bit of toothpaste. I keep a stockpile of inexpensive bath poufs and disposable razors on hand so my guests don’t have to feel weird about using ours. Same with the towel. And people always forget toothpaste.
3. While we’re on the topic, wipe down your shower. Showers can get mildewy, and that’s fucking gross. It might not bother you, but it’s really as simple as spraying a little bleach or vinegar solution and wiping with a paper towel. Your guests will appreciate it.
4. Tidy up within reason. Our guest room also functions as Z’s office, storage and music room, and we’re not going to pretend like it doesn’t. Again, your friends know you, and they’re going to wonder where all your shit is if you hide it. We’re not going to iron a wrinkly duvet or hide our mismatched rugs, but we will offer a cozy, comfortable place to sleep among Z’s treasures (we use one of those queen-size aerobeds that looks like a real bed when you dress it up. Cheap and comfortable).
5. Ask what your guest wants for breakfast. Your travel-weary friend will appreciate a little normalcy after a long time on the road. Grabbing a little oatmeal isn’t going to break the bank, and it’s an easy way to show that you care.
And that’s it. Seriously. Notice how I didn’t say “make a four-course meal, bake cookies, and hire a cleaning service.” It’s really just a few small, inexpensive touches that go a long way toward earning you the title of “Fabulous Host.”