Thursday, July 03, 2008

Hospitality: Opening your home while you're away!

Michelle wrote and mentioned that they make their home available to others while they are going to be away. Great idea! She is looking for quick and simple, yet welcoming touches to include in her home for guests she may not always know.

Here are some thoughts that come to my mind:

* Make a welcome note. A small sign on the door welcoming your guests or a note in the kitchen or a place they'd easily see it will make them feel welcome right away. If you have any instructions you need to leave, this would be a good place to include this as well. Here's one idea I've used a lot.

* Make things easy to find. Set out extra towels on the sink area or near the shower or extra dish towels in the kitchen.

* All homes have little quirks, if you think there is something you need to make your guests aware of, maybe a post-it note stuck to that area would be a big help to them. Directions on how to use your TV may also be greatly appreciated as each one seems to have different things to press! Here's an idea on how to explain using your television.

* Since you'll likely have clean sheets on the beds already - how about including a small card that wishes them a good night sleep or includes a Bible verse, if appropriate to your guests. You could include a mint or small package of cookies to step it up even more.

* How about a bowl of fruit in the kitchen or mixing up the dry ingredients for muffins? Set out the muffin tin, bowl, spoon and recipe so they can finish them up quickly in the morning. You could even put the wet ingredients in a bowl in the refrigerator all ready to go.

* Do you have any flowers blooming in your yard? Cut one or a few and put them on the table for a pretty centerpiece your guests can enjoy during their stay.

* Will your company have children with them? How about a box of popsicles in the freezer or bubble bath in the tub. These little things will mean a lot to those who are away from home!

I'm sure there are many more ideas and I'd love to hear your suggestions as well!


Kelly @ The Barefoot Mama said...

What beautiful ideas, Monica!

A few fun ones that I can think of are putting out a vase of fresh flowers in the bathroom(s) and putting out fun children's towels if there are kiddos coming along.

I really love the muffin mix idea!

Wendi said...

Great ideas!

If you have a favorite local restaurant you could leave a note with directions and a coupon or even a gift certificate. ~Wendi

Anonymous said...

I just read about something like this in a magazine where people can sign up to switch houses. a way to get free lodging.
Maybe leave a notebook with numbers and directions to favorite local things that tourists might not know about.

Katy said...

Great ideas! I wouldn't be comfortable leaving my home open for others to stay in while I was gone...unless of course it was close family. But those are wonderful ideas you shared! Thank you! :)

Anonymous said...

These are all great ideas! We have done this on a number of occasions (house sitters, missionaries, etc.). One realistic note I would add is to adjust your expectations about how clean you may find your home when you return. On more than one occasion, we returned to a very messy house. Another time we found a cut window screen when our guest locked herself out of the house. I am definitely in favor of hospitality, but have learned the hard way that it isn't always neat and tidy! Love you, Mom

Stephanie said...

We have a vacation home that sometimes get used by friends or family when we are not there. Since they may not be familiar with the area, we have made a little notebook. It has flyers to area attractions (like the flyers you find in hotel lobbies or welcome centers), a couple of copies of local maps, a list of our favorite restaurants, directions to the grocery store, pharmacy, and hospital.

Also, a guest book so that everyone signs and leaves a little note at the end of their stay.

Amy said...

Those are all such great ideas! I am sure they would appreciate any of those special touches!

Rebecca Ann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca Ann said...

Those are wonderful ideas, yesterday I tried making the "trash" or "monkey munch" as some would call it for some girls my sister is teaching to sew. They enjoyed it and so did the family we had over for a discussion on the christian worldview. A wonderful snack for company. I also love the idea about how to show your guests how to use the television. I am planning to make one for my families home. thanks for the encourageing posts. Here is my xanga is you would like to see a daughtar in action.


Anonymous said...

My husband and I are originally from different states. When we got married in my home town a friend offered her house to him and his out of town guests as a free hotel. This was the best gift we recieved and he has many fond memories of the days up to the wedding being surrounded by friends in a relaxed, home like environment.