Around the House: Prepare Spare Rooms to Treat Guests with Comfort and Respect: Part 1
By Yehudit Garmaise
Offering or agreeing to provide overnight guests with places to stay only is one small part of providing comfort and kevod to visitors.
By making efforts in advance to prepare guest rooms and bathrooms, hosts can show they are happily anticipating their guests.
Just as hosts should take care to put away their phones and welcome their guests with smiles and attention, guest rooms themselves should greet their visitors with care and good cheer.
Provide a designated space: Hosts can provide more breathing room and peace of mind to guests by first clearing out unused items and piles of paper that may be stored in extra rooms. Perhaps now is a good time to donate or toss anything that is collected dust and going unused.
Make sure to remove any personal items you think you might need during your guests’ stays, so as to protect visitors’ privacy while they are staying with you.
Prepare new, cheerful and/or relaxing bedding and fresh, plush towels: Outdated sheets and worn towels with strings hanging off them can be thrown away with your old paperwork and unused exercise equipment. Guest linens should be chosen with care, as they say a lot about how hosts feel about having guests.
Keep it spotless: Before guests arrive, ensure guest rooms are swept, vacuumed, and made up with clean sheets. Neatly lay fresh bath towels on beds.
Provide the essentials on a clean night table. Ensure you provide: a working clock, a Shabbos lamp already turned on, negel vasser wash cup, bottles of water and seltzer, a tissue box, a magazine or a book that might be of interest to your guests, and a few parve snacks.
Make space in your closet and dresser: If you keep off-season clothing in your guest room, move it over to make space for your guests to hang their clothing. Provide the appropriate hangers for shirts, skirts, jackets, and pants. To create welcoming aromas, host can buy on Amazon closet and dresser sachets that provide pleasant scents, such as lavender, rose, jasmine, ocean, gardenia, and lily.
Buy a small luggage stand for suitcases.
If guests are from out-of-town: print out a little map of the immediate neighborhood, and highlight where they will walk to shul, to parks, or other places they might go over Shabbos.
Provide a piece of paper with the combination to your front door lock, or leave an extra key so they can come and go without worrying about disturbing anyone.
Make sure the bathroom is clean and stocked with: All necessary paper goods: plus extra, paper cups or a tumbler, liquid soap for the sink and shower, shampoo and conditioner, good-smelling lotion, fresh hand towels, qtips, cotton balls, and a hook on the door for towels and clothing.
Fresh, colorful flowers in a vase also say, “Welcome. I am so glad you are here.” For fun, your kids can also prepare signs with drawings for the front door that say, “Welcome” with your guests’ names.
Stay tuned for next week’s “Around the House” for tips on how to keep your guests feeling comfortable and at ease after their arrival.