The past two weeks Timmy and I have had 7 people stay at our apartment. It’s been a lively, fun, full space. I love being able to host people and allow them to have a good time away from home. Hospitality has been super important in my family from generation to generation. My grandparents on both sides are generous with their time and space, and my parents have always excelled at the art of hospitality.
I’m on a hospitality kick from all my company, so I decided to put together a few hospitality tips I’ve learned this year:
1. Always give a tour of your home.
This tour doesn’t have to be two hours long or super thorough. You don’t have to open every closet or even show every bedroom, but it’s important to cover the basics. Your guest should be sure of the bathroom location, kitchen, and living room. These are essential to every home and shows the character of your space. The quick tour makes guest feel familiar, at home, comfortable, and included.
I’ve been to a few houses several times before I realized I went to the same room every time and didn’t even know what the house looked like. It made me feel excluded and if I peeked around to glimpse the house, I felt intrusive. That feeling never allows a guest to feel comfortable and at home. Take 5 minutes to show your guest the overview of your house or apartment and it will really help them have a grasp on the layout, making them feel more at ease during their stay.
2. Keep the space clean.
If you’re not giving a tour because you’re embarrassed of how dirty your place is: that’s just not a good enough reason. All it takes is a little discipline. Try to keep your space tidy and clean. It doesn’t have to be perfect everyday, but it should be clean enough that you can make it look virtually spotless in 20 minutes.
That’s my rule with Timmy. A few times he’s surprised me and given me 15 minutes heads up that he’s bringing a friend over. I’ve always had enough time to clean, not because my apartment is spotless, but because I keep it tidy and neat enough that it only takes a few minutes to clean for a guest. It’s so much easier than setting aside hours to clean before they come and being stressed! Try to make “tidy” your lifestyle. It’s not only easier, but it creates a more cheerful, healthy environment for yourself, your family, and/or your roommates.
The goal of hospitality is to make your guest feel welcomed and at ease in your home.
3. Offer a home-cooked meal or a variety of suggestions of places to go out.
If possible, I think a home-cooked meal is a nice way to show how important your guest is to you. If you put time, energy, and care into a meal it shows your guests that they are worth it to you. That makes someone feel good, relaxed, and at home. Due to different situations, I know that sometimes it can be too much to cook a full meal for your guests. If that is the case: think ahead of a few places you could go out together. Try to offer three suggestions that vary widely in taste, so your guest can choose what they prefer. I’ve found that my friends enjoy going to local, hole-in-the-wall spots when we go out.
4. Always make sure to send your guest(s) off with goodies.
When your guest is heading out, make sure you ask them if they need any drinks or snacks for their trip. Sometimes it’s best to not give them the option and just give it to them anyways. (Many people decline out of politeness). I keep bottled water and snacks in my pantry just in case a guest comes so that I can send them off feeling taken care of. This simple, caring gesture creates an even fonder memory of your hospitality and increases the likelihood that they’ll want to come back.
This is good: we want to be a generation masterful of the art of hospitality.