How to Prepare for Long-Term Houseguests

A woman and her longtime guest chatting on the couchNikodash / Shutterstock

Agree to host someone for a few weeks or months is as simple as saying "Yes, of course!". However, this heat can quickly fade away when the reality of long – term accommodation installs. Here's how to prepare for a pleasant stay. visit.

Once a bad visit is in progress, it is difficult to find it. You may not feel so inclined to host someone who spoils or watches Netflix late at night with high volume. But since you have already agreed to be a guest, it may seem like there is no recourse.

The best solution, as is often the case in life, is to prepare in advance. Once your guest is already at home, it is difficult to have difficult conversations with him. But if you start before they arrive, you can improve everything for both of you.

Whether it's your cousin who needs housing until he finds a new job or a student participating in an exchange that spends a few months in a new country, these best practices will help you to prepare you for any long-term reception situation.

Expectations of the host: help them to install

Let's start by setting the expectations for you, the host. What should you expect to provide for a guest? Here are some areas you can focus on so that the visit starts smoothly.

Treat them as a short-term guest (at the beginning)

As a long-time host, you will not feed your guest and will not buy branded toiletries all the time. The best way to get ready is to buy enough basic necessities (food and toiletries) to cover them for a few days, as they settle in and learn where the nearby shops and restaurants are. You must also provide items that can not be packed, such as bedding, pillows and towels.

Make sure you have essential household items on hand, such as toilet paper and laundry detergent. Throughout your guests' stay, you can ask them to answer these needs (more information on how to approach them a little earlier).

Give them as much privacy as possible

In addition to providing the basics (at least temporarily, as if you are hosting a short term guest for a few days), it is ideal, if possible, to install your guest in your home in a space offering the maximum of 39, privacy and separate space.

Everyone does not have a guest room or bathroom for guests, but feeling constantly in each other's faces is an important source of friction when you are hosting someone for an extended visit. . If your guests have room, they can retire where there is no obligation to talk or participate in the household (and no commitment on your part to feel obligated to be a great host), then it is more easy to be graceful and relaxed when you spend time together.

Customer expectations: communication is the key

Before your guest arrives, start setting expectations for cleaning and more. You do not have to be strict or hash, but make sure you understand what you expect from your guest. It is so much easier to set the basic rules remotely than to ask them after they have already been broken (and when you have not clarified them in the first place).

If you can, send the most important things by e-mail or SMS. It may be helpful to have things in writing if there is a conflict afterwards. Here are the main points to discuss in these conversations.

Define the purpose of the visit

Before agreeing to host your host, find out why your guest wants to stay with you. Are they on a long-term work trip? Looking for a new job? Just on vacation?

This will help you understand what their schedule might be, as well as their emotional state. A person who crashes with you because of divorce is likely to bring home crying sessions late at night or mopey days. You need to make sure you know what you are getting into before you commit.

This conversation will also help you to define other expectations in a reasonable way. For example, if your guest will work 12 hours a day, he will probably not be there to do any damage and will not have to take on so many cleaning responsibilities. But if they are unemployed or on vacation, you can expect them to be more involved in household chores.

Discuss the end of the visit

Although your guest does not know initially how long he intends to stay, you must set an end point for the visit before he arrives. Ask them how long they expect to stay at home. If it's too long for you, be sure to tell them when they will have to leave. (This is a good thing to have in writing.)

If they are unsure of the length of their stay, specify how long you are ready to accommodate. Say something firm, like "I'm happy to welcome you for three weeks! However, after that, I will need my bedroom again. You do not need to provide a reason or excuse for your schedule, it's your home, after all.

Cleaning: who cleans what and when

The first thing that comes to mind is cleaning. Most of us do not like our guests to meet a sink full of dishes or a pile of dust bunnies. But when your guest stays for a while, the cleaning issue becomes a bit more complicated.

You are not a hotel and you can not expect it to maintain the standard of cleanliness of a hotel for the duration of your stay. Instead, you should strive to keep your home as reasonably clean as you always would. And most importantly, you must involve your guest in cleaning tasks.

You will want to set expectations about the cleanliness of common areas and the responsibilities of your guest. If you use a table of chores, put their name on it (a few days after their arrival, so that they have time to install).

The more accurate your expectations are, the better. For example, you could have the rule that dishes should be prepared within 24 hours of use. You can even write a nice reminder of the rules and post them at logical places (like next to the kitchen sink).

A guest who does not pay for their stay should be happy to help at home as a thank you. If they imply that they are not interested in being part of the household, consider saying no.

Help your guest sync with the household

A woman and her friend planning a meal and

Each home is different and you can help a long-time guest integrate with yours by telling them what to expect.

For example, if you have children, you may need your home to be calm after bedtime. If you hold regular dinners once a month, your guest must know when to expect a house filled with strangers. If you have pets, your guest needs to know how to interact with them appropriately. And if there are strict rules in your home, make sure your guest knows what they are.

Of course, synchronization with your household will depend on what makes it unique. But each house has its own needs and peculiarities, so do your best to let your guest know what he looks like (and how not to disrupt the flow).

Talk about your guests

During a long stay, your guest may end up wanting to receive guests. But since this is your home, you will need to discuss when and if it is appropriate. For example, you can let them know that they are welcome to entertain friends during the day, but not overnight guests. You can also ask your guest to ask you before bringing people in, so you can decide if it suits you, depending on the situation.

Break down financial expectations

Your guest does not pay you for their stay, but they will still have to pay for certain needs during their stay. For example, they may be responsible for their own food or if they are supposed to participate in a weekly grocery race for shared meals. They may need a laundry room in the apartment or can they use yours for free if they buy their own detergent.

Whatever the reason, make sure your guest knows what he is going to pay for and what he is not going for. You should not spend extra money on your guest, but it's up to you to decide how he or she should be involved in the ordinary household expenses.

Allow your guest to be independent

The more your guest can be independent, the more the stay will be happy for both of you.

Customers become quickly annoying when you have to hold hands in every little task. Be patient with them early and take the time to explain where to find items at home. Show them where your cooking needs are, how the washing machine works and how to run hot water in the shower.

They will probably have questions in the early days, but with your help, they should learn quickly what they need. Tell them also how to help. They may be able to walk the dog while you are at work or mow the lawn for you.

You should also show them how to enjoy your home. Share your Wi-Fi password, show them how to use the TV and suggest them sights to see. We can not expect you to host an event, but you can help your guest have fun.

Do not forget that they can be more or less social than you. If they are more sociable, they can go see friends more often. If they are less sociable, do not expect to spend time with the monthly book club group you are hosting. It's important to give your guests the space and privacy they need (and it's equally important for them not to get into socialization when you do not want to).

Above all, try to be flexible and follow the pace: it is impossible for a guest not to change a little the dynamics of your household. But with strong communication and reasonable expectations from both sides, hosting a long-term guest can be rewarding, if not fun. Then check out our guide for prepare your house for the holidays!


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