A while back we published a post with tips on hosting overnight guests. You can read it here. We just finished having overnight guests here for two weeks, and I have some more and new tips for you. The first week there were nine of us living under one roof. That included three toddlers age four and under. The second week there were six of us including two toddlers. It was a wild time, but a great time. I loved having family here. It was a lot of work, but I would do it again and again. Based on our most recent experience, I have some more tips for hosting overnight guests for you to incorporate the next time you have guests. Here we go:
Keep an Ongoing Grocery List
It’s a real pain to run out of an ingredient or learn that an ingredient that you need has been used by someone else. I told everyone to just tell Alexa (my Amazon Dot) to add items to my shopping list if they used up something, wanted a food that I didn’t have, or saw that I was running low on something. That made the quick trips to the grocery store easier because I knew exactly what we needed was listed on my phone
Have Baskets or Bins for Everyone
I did this trick at our last house, but I didn’t do it this time, and I should have. Have a large bin or basket for each family by the door or in a spot that is convenient. Then they can corral their belongings, and keep them in one spot. It’s easy for them to find what they need; things aren’t scattered everywhere; and it keeps the house neater. A basket or bin is a good place for shoes, purses, books, devices, toys, bags, etc.
With the exception of one meal, I prepared all of the desserts ahead of time and froze them. I made a berry pie, cookies, brownies, rice krispie treats, and a carrot cake trifle. For the trifle, I baked the carrot cake ahead of time, and assembled the trifle on the day I served it. I also served ice cream a few times for dessert, and on July 4th, we had patriot cupcakes that I made that morning. I also made two pans of lasagna that we had for an evening meal and lunch the next day. Having the desserts and some food planned and prepared ahead of time was a big help in making meal time less hectic.
Give Instructions on the Laundry
Make sure the adults know how your washer and dryer work so they can do their laundry when necessary. Also, I told everyone to put their dirty towels and wash cloths in the laundry room so I could launder them as needed. Then I didn’t have to go to their rooms or bathrooms and gather up dirty towels, etc.
Buy Beach Towels
We live near the city park, and their pool is wonderful. My family really enjoys going there when they visit in the summertime. I bought eight beach towels last summer when they went on sale so I could have them here. The colorful towels that I bought (not the ones in the photo) are on major sale here. The family didn’t have to pack bulky beach towels in their luggage. So, if your visitors visit the pool or club when they visit you, having beach towels for their use is a nice gesture.
Have a Pizza Night
Hosting a lot of people doesn’t mean that you have to work your fingers to the bones. Take a night off, and order pizza. On the two Friday nights they were here, we ordered pizzas. We ordered different toppings on each one so that every person had their favorite, and there was enough so that the children could have leftovers the next day. Win, win.
Do Separate Activities
Since the first week we were together was the week of July 4th, we did a lot of activities together. Lexington does a good job on the fourth, and we did as many of the city’s events together as possible. However, we also did some things separately. For instance, Jordan, Josie and I went to afternoon tea one day, and we went to a Broadway show in the park one night. The guys did their own thing when we were out, and Grandpa had fun babysitting.
Have a Breakfast Bar
I didn’t actually have a breakfast bar set up, but I always had the Keurig (available here) full of water and ready to go each morning. I made granola ahead of time and biked to the bakery to get fresh bagels. Cream cheese, homemade jam, and butter were ready to top the bagels. I also had hard boiled eggs in the fridge and avocados to put on the bagels or toast. Homemade biscuits were in the freezer, too. I served brunch two mornings, but mostly everyone fixed their own breakfasts.
Get Up Early
I am an early riser so getting up early is the way I roll. By doing so, I was able to go to the Y and take an exercise class, empty the dishwasher, make a quick grocery run, and shower and dress before most of the household was awake. Baby Girl and Google were usually up by the time I was dressed, and that was a nice treat.
Those are just some of the tips for hosting overnight guests that are fresh in my mind. If you have any suggestions to add to the list, please mention them in the comments.
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