Two years ago I did an entire series on how to be the best guest, along with an articles on how to host guests. As missionaries we are often guests at various houses, and last year we stayed with over 10 different families as we traveled around the United States. It was a blast, and all of hosts were amazing. Today I want to talk about a small trick that has made a huge difference for our guests at our place here in Athens.
There are three things that will make your guest feel more like they are at home, and they are affordable and easy to find, even if you don’t have a guest room.
Three Easy Things You Can Provide Your Guest
1. A Storage Space
If you have a guest room, it is likely that you have a spare dresser for your guests, which is ideal. Living out of a suitcase can be exhausting. But what if you don’t have an extra room and your guest is sleeping on a fold out couch or on an air mattress? Well, you can still provide storage for them that can be easily stored away with a few different options. What we use is an Ikea Vessla. When guests are not here, we simply store it under another Vessla that we use in the living room for a few toys. Since we live in a small place, making sure we can put our storage container away (by hiding under a storage container that we always have out) is very important. This way our guest can unpack their suitcase, and have easy access to their clothes and other things. Ikea also sells a lid for this bin, and that is great because it provides a bit more privacy, and then you can also put items on top of the bin when it is not open.
2. A Laundry Hamper (or bag)
We use a Pasig storage bag to give to guests for their dirty laundry because it is lined with plastic inside, and is easy to fold up and store away when we no longer have guests. It can be a bummer to have to store your dirty laundry with your clean laundry (especially in your suitcase) because if you have something that is particularly dirty, it can stink up your clean clothes. Plus this is a great way for your guest to hand you all of their laundry without it feeling awkward if they are staying for an extended amount of time.
3. Bathroom Storage
We have an extra shower caddy for guests. This eliminates confusion over which bar of soap is theirs, along with a place for them to unpack their toiletries. Of course, it is also nice to save them some space on your bathroom counter, if you can. The more the are able to unpack their bag, the more at home they will feel, and this applies to bathroom toiletries as well.
Obviously, you can have all these things and still have a guest that does not feel welcome. The most important part of hosting any guest is to have an open and self-sacrificing heart. Let them know how happy you are to have them in your home verbally, but even more in your actions.