One of the best thing about having a home is the privilege to practice intentional hospitality in preparing for overnight guests.
It is much easier to be hospitable if you are anticipating guests. These 10 easy ideas to prepare for overnight guests. Planning for family or friends to spend the night makes it easy to be successful. Hospitality is not about what our homes look like, but how people feel when they stay in our home. Radical christianity is about practical everyday kindnesses.
Perhaps you wonder
Why should I prepare?
Why should I want to be hospitable?
Why should I want guests?
The answer is simple for those of us who are Christ-followers.
“Radically ordinary hospitality shows this skeptical, post-Christian world what authentic Christianity looks like.”
Rosaria Butterfield The Gospel Comes with a House Key
We say we are the hands and feet of Christ.
As human beings we know that we want to be invited.
We want to be wanted and welcome.
Today there is a crisis of loneliness. People are desperate to be invited and especially to be invited in our homes. If you desire to have these opportunities, it is helpful to understand yourself in order to be prepare. Identify what you imagine you might need to do to be ready to share your home when you have an opportunity. Maybe you know that guests are coming or you want to be ready if a situation occurs.
Think about a time when you were the receiver of kindness as an overnight guest. What did you love? What was helpful in making you feel comfortable? How did you host prepare for you to feel welcomed?
While there are many ways we might share our homes, this blog suggests ideas for preparing for overnight guests. Be prepared so you can be hospitable with ease and eagerness. Kindness is displayed in the openness of the our hearts through our home. The secret is to think ahead about people’s needs and spoil them with surprises.
Who might be your guests? Mom & Dad, siblings, extended family, friends, friends of your children?
Here are some practical ideas to prepare ahead for success:
Hospitality is about being wanted and welcome.
- Comfortable bed – Think about which bed or beds would be best used for guests. Perhaps you have a spare room. If your home is full of children, think about the best room that can be shared. Select a queen bed if it is available. If this identified space is regularly occupied, purchase sheets just for guests. Just to be flexible offer your guests one soft pillow, one firmer pillow on each side of the bed. Place extra blankets in the room. Ask your guests in the morning how they slept so you can make any adjustments if necessary. One of the guests that stays in our home regularly loves very cold air. We make sure there is a fan in that room when our guest arrives.
- Towels – Leave two towels, hand towel, wash cloth on the guest bed for each guest. Make sure they know where to hang their towel to dry. Perhaps provide hooks on the back of the door just for them.
- A basket or drawer of toiletries they might need – A collection of small items you have collected in your travels such as travel size items can be gathered into a basket. Add shampoo, new toothbrushes, toothpaste, razor, brush, comb, anything you think you might need if you were a guest. Invite your guest to take what they need.
- Turn on lamp if the guest is arriving in the evening and turn the sheets down. Put a chocolate on their pillow. It’s the little things.
- Consider leaving some cozy NEW socks or slippers or a robe in their room. Perhaps leave a few of your favorite books.
- Unclutter the space they are staying in. Make space in the closet and on the floor. Clean fans and baseboards.
- A luggage rack – LOVE this.
- Advil, Tums, cough drops – Maybe make a basket of feel better things they might need.
- Water bottle and a snack – Consider a small snack basket if they are going to stay a few days.
- Make their room smell great. Citrus smells through diffuser or a candle are welcoming. Resist using anything too strong or perfume like.
Be prepared to meet other’s need when you have time to plan ahead as well as needs that you become aware of suddenly.
For more on this topic, listen in to the podcast with this title at Embrace Your Everyday podcast.