Summer is coming and for some of us that means an increase in overnight guest traffic. When Dear and I moved to Washington away from both of our families we were introduced to holiday visitors. You can stress out if you want or plan to make it less stressful. Learn from our good and bad experiences.
At first we thought we had to be there for every little experience sacrificing our sanity. Then we learned to give our guests some freedom. We also learned to give them some responsibility. If someone was great at making pies, we picked blackberries for them. If someone was celebrating a birthday we made reservations at a restaurant to celebrate. Our guests have helped with car repairs and home improvement projects.
Over the years we have had very mellow go with the flow guests and some more pamper me guests whose eating patterns changed from year to year. (No fat, some fat, no sugar, only Diet Coke, no meat, only chicken, no carbs, etc. etc.) Here’s what we ended up doing. Before they ever arrived in Washington we asked them to research and decide what they’d really like to experience and what they were comfortable leaving up to us. Then we asked what their favorite breakfast cereal was and their favorite beverages. When they arrived they were shown the notes on the refrigerator.
#1 ~You are welcome to anything in my refrigerator and cupboards. Please check and see if I have the items you need to be happy. If you do not see the things here that will make you happy we will make a trip to the grocery store so you can purchase the items that will make you comfortable during your stay here.
#2 ~ I do not ask you over the course of the day if there is anything you need. You are very welcome to get whatever you need and want at any point during the day without my permission. I and my family will get a snack without asking you if you want one. If you want a snack please know that we want you to treat this like your home. Get up and get that snack you want without asking permission! If there is something you need please feel free to ask and we will hunt it down for you!
#3 ~ You can use the dishwasher, the stove, the oven, the microwave,the washing machine, the shower anytime during the day.
#4 ~ We encourage our company to participate in making at least one meal while they stay with us. While they are making the meal the rest of us will set the table and have fun creating an atmosphere to go with their menu. With my sister-in-law Letty who happens to be Hispanic we really go all out with the Mexican theme while she makes the Mexican rice, beans, salsa and Carnitas for all of us to enjoy!!
This may sound harsh to some of you but you need to know that we do make several meals and drive our company all around town to see the sights and we do enjoy all of these activities. It’s just good to have the comfort of knowing they don’t have to be cared for every minute of the day. That’s why we give them the freedom to get up and get whatever they need whenever they need it without our direction.
Being pro-active in spelling out things and squashing any unreasonable expectations will make it easier on everyone and make you welcome overnight guests over and over again…
We always look forward to out of town guests since we’ve set up guidelines for ourselves and them. There are always those who don’t need any guidelines, those who just fit in with the everyday flow.
Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.
11 thoughts on “Making Having Out of Town Guests Easier…”
I think it sounds like you are a wonderful hostess! Can I come visit? 🙂
I’m on it…that’s how we want our guests to be too. Of course, most of our guests are our children…..it would be horrible if they didn’t help themselves!! We like Ry and Chell to cook something Russian when they come 🙂
Oh, your family is just lovely! I love how they are all piled on the couch and on the floor and everywhere. Fun times and great memories, I’m sure! It reminds me of our big family when we get together.
I just love this…great philosophy for having guests!
Wonderful pictures, too…I use to live in Seattle as a child and still live in the NW…
Great post. Thanks for the info. Pictures are great as well.
Very sensible guidelines, Ellen!
Great advice, Ellen! Thanks for sharing. Have a blessed weekend.
I wanna come and visit!! I can load a mean dishwasher! 😉
A great post, Ellen, with some great advice!
Hi Ellen, I am trying to fix the “logo” issue from my Flower blog. This is a test to see if it has worked! Thanks for being my tester..I hope it’s ok.