Owning a home is a wonderful experience for most people. Not only do you possess your own private space in which to dwell and live in, but you control every little aspect about it. From the type of toilet paper used to how the living room candle(s) smell, you’re able to customize this space to be one of a kind amazing. It truly is one of the hallmarks of private property ownership, and the freedom it can bring to one’s life allows joyful happy memories to be made at a moment’s notice. Many people travel each year to visit loved ones, even the estimated 1.4 million U.S. newlyweds who travel for their honeymoon might make a pit stop!
Another great thing about owning your own home is that it allows you to host people as guests. While you can do this in many living environments, the most comfortable for family and friends is probably a personal, separate home. It allows the most freedom, individual bedrooms, and perhaps a yard to lounge in. Whether you’ve played host to people before or are just getting started, surely you can think back on joyful memories when other people hosted you. This enables you to think about how to be a better host in the future to create the same experience for others, who in turn may return the favor for you in the future.
In this article we’ll not only go over how to be a better host in terms of fancy dinners and conversation, but we’ll touch on how to customize your home to make it truly better than most hotels. Not only will your guests not have to deal with a parking lot and noisy neighbors, but they’ll have an actual kitchen and spruced up bathrooms that even luxury establishments have a hard time fitting toward their guest’s needs. You can tailor-make your guest’s stay into a truly amazing one by catering to their exact needs down to the maple syrup they like on their pancakes in the morning.
Making Sure Your Home Is Guest-Friendly
When you’re thinking about how to be a better host, the first thing to be aware of is a simple question you can ask yourself: is your house guest friendly? By that, we mean is your home in need of repairs or in good working order? There’s no sense in inviting people over to your home when it’s about to fall down, or the air conditioning doesn’t work and is in vital need of ac maintenance. You want to create a memorable and amazing guest experience as a host, because that is probably what you’d want for yourself. It’s important to make sure your home is up to spec so that this can happen smoothly and succinctly.
Start first with the outside of your house, inspecting the physical structure of your home and the surrounding property. If your guests are arriving in their own car, you’ll want to make sure you have room in the garage and that the driveway doesn’t need to be repaired. Minor cracks are fine, but major cracks can cause all sorts of problems, especially in asphalt driveways. Unsightly weeds, stains, and other cosmetic damage can make the outside of your home unappealing and create a bad first impression. Now is the time to repaint, redo singles, or pressure wash your home to make it picture-perfect.
You may also want to look at the plants and landscaping on the exterior of your home, perfecting it to be inviting and aesthetically pleasing. You can have landscapers come out to do tree and shrub spraying for weeds, plant flowers, cut ornamental designs, and much more. If you’re bold and like to cook, you can plant an herb or vegetable garden outside for your guests to have a truly “farm to table” experience on your little slot of heaven.
Keep Practicalities In Mind
When you’re hosting people at your home, you’re trying to make them feel comfortable and happy. The experience you’re shooting for is a better replication of their own home, not to increase their stress levels unnecessarily. Keeping this in mind, you should focus on the practicalities of the interior of your home as well such as temperature and cleanliness. If your air conditioning or filter system doesn’t currently work, then you’ll want to get a qualified heating and cooling repair contractor over pronto. Creating a comfortable indoor environment is a large part of how to be a better host.
Making sure that you’re in stock of common household goods like toilet paper, sugar, coffee, tissues, and others will ensure that no one ever feels discomfort during their stay. Even having a medicine cabinet full of the basic remedies will allow guests to recover at their leisure should they suddenly fall ill. Having the basics in all categories around assures guests that they will never feel too far away from home should discomfort or problems start to arise.
Other practicalities to consider are the electrical system, internet, and entertainment areas. If you have electrical outlets that need to be replaced, or a home computer that doesn’t work, you’re better off calling an electrician or attempting some form of computer repair so that your guests aren’t left stranded without their essentials. Even though you’ll be guiding them through their stay, it’s unreasonable to assume that in this technological age people will simply not have access to their email or be able to charge their phones. Similar logic applies to televisions and gaming systems, which should be in working order to entertain young and old alike.
Maximize Your Fun Areas
Hotels and theme parks alike create fun experiences by maximizing their fun areas for accessibility, safety, and comfort. While you don’t have to shoot for an experience worthy of being reviewed by the top travel journals, you can take some tips and aspirations from the big players. This can include outdoor recreation areas, game rooms, and even the living room. Little changes and modifications can make all the difference, so the key here is to make positive changes that really count for something.
If you have a pool or similar outdoor recreation area, make sure that it’s clean, tidy, and safe. If you’re not sure about how to maintain it properly for multiple people, consult professional pool cleaners and ask for their recommendations about what they would do for your property. Next to the pool, you can include all sorts of accessories like a fire pit, horseshoe games, beanbag chairs, and speakers to play music. Make sure to have places for people to lounge and relax so that they can take a break from swimming or playing and enjoy the sunshine when the weather is nice. A pool is also an excellent place to have a grill, as it lends itself to the aesthetic of a warm summer day. It’s hard to turn down hamburgers, hot dogs, and ice cold drinks when you’re next to a pool!
Fun areas inside can include game rooms, the main living area, or any area that you section off and deem “fun.” The word may be subjective, but when you’re thinking about how to be a better host it’s all about creating the best possible experience for your guests. If you’ve been thinking about buying a pool table and can make it fit, now’s the time to splurge on your dream and share it with your guests. Similarly, having gaming systems or on-demand entertainment in a centralized location makes it easy for people to congregate and have a good time.
Create Luxury Experiences
Creating luxurious and amazing experiences for your guests is part of how to be a better host. While this may seem impossible or expensive, it surely doesn’t have to be. This doesn’t mean that you have to cover their utensils in gold or provide a rock concert in the living room, but it can mean all sorts of little things. From putting floral boutiques in the bedroom to leaving pleasant candles/scents in the bathroom, there are multiple small additions that can add up to wonderful touches that your guests will appreciate.
If it’s been a while since you examined your home linens, now is the time to take inventory and upgrade if necessary. As you spruce up the rooms your guests will be occupying, you’ll think of all sorts of ways about how to be a better host that will occur organically with what works. Replacing harsh light bulbs with softer versions, upgrading blankets/pillows, and installing new shower curtains are all worthwhile upgrades that help create luxurious experiences. Your guests will think that you’ve overhauled your living space just to make them happy, which is only partially true. You’ll also benefit from improving your home and living space in the long run.
Luxury experiences aren’t simply limited to the material. Carving times out from your guest’s stay to play games, have new experiences, and just simply talk are all ways you can transition a regular stay into an extraordinary one. Laugh with them as often as possible. After all, why would you invite all these people over to your house unless you were going to spend quality time with them? The sky is truly the limit when you think about how to spruce up time with loved ones and friends alike.
Guests Are Welcome, Pests Are Not
Even if you read lists and articles about how to be a better host online, you may miss out on one important tip: your home is for guests, not pests! It’s important to have a pest control company come out regularly to inspect your home for all sorts of unwanted critters and bugs, but especially when you know that you’ll have company over. Nobody wants to wake up in the middle of the night to any unwanted visitors in their bed.
Cockroaches and ants can be annoying, but some pests are downright dangerous. Be sure to consult your pest control advisor as to weather where you live has any serious critters to worry about. Venomous snakes, scorpions, and other poisonous creatures can be a hazard to anyone visiting your property. Especially if they have a dog or small child, in which case you could be setting yourself up for a tragedy or lawsuit. Read up on the local flora and fauna of your area to make sure that you’re controlling for pests, troublesome plants (such as poison ivy), and other unwelcome guests that will not be appreciating your efforts on how to be a better host.
If you have an outdoor patio space, you’ll want to maximize it for mosquito control in a variety of ways. You can have more permanent solutions done by qualified specialists that last for longer than one night, or invest in other solutions. One popular method is via citronella, available in candles, torches, or perfumes. It not only looks nice for an outdoor area, but tends to smell nice as well. Being able to control these aspects of your outdoors areas is simply part of how to be a better host, so you’d benefit from studying them and trying to apply them to your specific property.
Relax and Have Fun
At the end of the day, despite the myriad of ways you’ve brainstormed on how to be a better host, you may still end up short with a grumpy guest who just simply can’t enjoy themselves. Try not to take it personally, because if you’ve done all you can do to make your home as nice as possible then it’s not your fault. Always be receptive to your guest’s feedback about how to make their stay better, but try not to be a doormat. It is your home, after all. You’re the king (or queen) of this castle.
While it can help to query guests on their likes and dislikes before they arrive, you are only really required to provide the basics for their comfort. It is wonderful to go above and beyond, but eventually, you will not be able to cater to everyone’s micro specific needs and they will have to make do with what you’ve provided. The important part of their stay (and everyone’s enjoyment) is quality time together making memories that you can dwell on for many moons to come.
The most important part of how to be a better host is to have fun yourself. Yes, there is some preparation involved in hosting people at your humble abode, but it shouldn’t be work. You are not a hotel, nor are your guests paying you to stay there like they would in a commercial establishment. You should be having fun yourself, and encouraging others to be themselves and let loose. Because when it’s all said and done, that’s pretty much all you can do. Put yourself in the shoes of a guest at someone else’s house. Would you want them running around like a maid, or laughing while you enjoyed their home cooking? If your answer is the former, then hire a butler or stay at a five-star resort. Hopefully, your answer is the latter, and you can make lasting memories with your loved ones when they stay over.