Be Our Guest, Be Our Guest

Admit it—when you saw the title of this week’s blog, you started singing.  This famous song from Beauty and the Beast is one that most of us recognize right away and may even have memorized. When we were young and living with mom and dad, no doubt we were just as excited as Lumiere to have people stay with us. But when we started keeping a home of our own, we quickly realized that this catchy song was definitely meant for the movies and not for real life…although I’m sure the dancing candlestick gave that away.

If you have ever opened your home for friends to stay over, then you know that hosting guests adds tremendous pressure to an already crazy life. So when you have the pleasure to be a guest in your friend’s home, what can you do to ease the stress on your host during your stay? Here are a few things I do to make my host’s life easier.

“Be Our Guest, Put Our Service to the Test”

 Your host is extending kindness by allowing you to stay in their home. So while you make use of that “service,” be careful not to put your host’s nerves to the test.

  • Communication is key. I try to be a good guest by giving them my itinerary well in advance. If there are any changes, I let them know as soon as possible.
  • It is so important to me to be on time. This shows respect for them and their already busy schedule.
  • I am a guest, not a diva. Therefore, I like to pitch in and help with cleaning, dishes, running errands, or grocery shopping —unless specifically told not to.

“Try the Grey Stuff, It’s Delicious”

Being a good guest means taking the pressure off of your host, especially if you’re a picky eater or you have dietary restrictions.

  • I offer to plan the menu with them or bring my own food if that’s easier for them.
  • If they like pickled herrings in sour cream for breakfast, I offer to go shopping and make a meal or two.
  • If you’re a coffee snob, do what I do and bring a pound of your favorite beans to share.

“No One’s Gloomy or Complaining”

You don’t want your host having second thoughts about inviting you to stay.

“Flabby, Fat and Lazy, You Walked in and Oops-A-Daisy!”

Most people are not sitting around all day hoping we will grace them with our presence and give them a chance to serve us. Most people lead very busy lives, guests can, therefore, unknowingly and unintentionally turn their host’s otherwise organized life into complete chaos.

  • I do my best to live by their rules. If they don’t like you wearing shoes in the house,  I take them off. If I borrow the blow-dryer, I give it right back. If they keep their house uncomfortably cold, I ask permission to turn the thermostat up instead of doing so when they’re not looking, because eventually, they figure it out. Or I just wear something heavier like long underwear, wool socks, gloves, hats, and sweaters. I can’t help it…Florida has thinned my blood.
  • Don’t lay your eggs in every corner of the home. A good guest will keep their things contained to the room they are staying in. I try to remember to do the same.
  • Remember to clean up after yourself. So important, especially if sharing a bathroom!
  • Strip the bed linens when you leave. Have your room ready for them to clean and reset. It’s a little thing, but good friendships are strengthened by doing the little things.

Being a good guest is a choice. The nest pretty lifestyle is about making small choices everyday that together add up to a beautiful life for you, your family, and even your host. Be the guest that everyone wants to have stay with them. Choose to nest pretty. Choose to be a considerate guest, and it just may be that “their command will be your request.”

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