How to Guest-Proof Your Chic Home with Ease
The annual Whole House Organization Challenge, helped us all begin the task of getting our homes organized for good. Man Spaces Week introduced us to a few cool guys and their spaces. And the One Room Challenge showed us how to think outside the box to create a memorable home we can enjoy. If you’ve been working on your diggs right along with me in these series, then chances are your small home is slowly coming into its own kind of chic-ness.
You’ve gone through quite a bit of trouble to create an organized and dapper dwelling. How will you protect it when overnight house guests pay you a visit?
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Protecting the Chic Small Space You’ve Created
Since we’re having house guests this week, this subject has been front and center on my mind. The Husband and I live in a small 2 bedroom, 1 bath townhome of barely 900 square feet. While this may be large by standards in some countries, the layout is quite choppy and can be a bit tricky to navigate - especially with additional house guests. Did I mention that we have only ONE bathroom?
Yet the very essence of our laid back Bohemian chic lifestyle emphasizes togetherness and a celebration of people over things. Over the years, we’ve had the privilege of hosting overnight stays for numerous children and pets, whole families, seniors, complete strangers, and even terminally ill ones. While we don’t allow our space limitations, or stylish decor stop us from showing hospitality, we’d really like it if people didn’t destroy our home when paying us a visit. Over time I’ve found ways to simultaneously make my small home work hard for me while maintaining its style. You can do it too with these simple tips.
1. Address the Known Hazards in Your Home
We all know where the dangers are in our home: from the door that sticks, to the corner of the carpet that miraculously stands up on its own creating a tripping hazard, to the faucet that squirts scalding hot water when tilted due east. Can you imagine the disaster(s) that could happen if a visitor was caught off guard by a hidden hazard in your home?
These are generally easy fixes. A bit of light sanding will fix the sticking door. Non-permanent carpet tape will keep rug corners down. And a 20-minute DIY plumbing job should keep the hot water in it’s place. Do the work, and reap the benefits of peace of mind.
2. Prepare a Guest Basket to Prevent Snooping
Whether as a child or an adult, we’ve all been guilty of it at some point - snooping. Set boundaries by corraling towels and toiletries for your guests in a large basket or tray. Remember to include things like water, trial sized lotions, toothpaste, mouthwash and soap. A guest basket not only keeps visitors from asking you a million and one questions about where things are stored, but it makes them think twice before opening your cabinets and closets.
3. Be Wi-fi Friendly
These days, the first question every visitor asks after exchanging pleasantries is “U got wi-fi?” Make things easier on yourself by having the wi-fi username and password ready. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just accessible.
I keep a small 5x7 photo frame ready with our wi-fi password on it. After popping it in the frame I placed a label on the front of the glass to indicate the access code, and set it where everyone can see it. The label prevents me from having to change the insert each time we switch the wifi username and access code. Just peel the label off the front of the glass and put an updated one in its place. Cool huh?
TIP: Clear lables (which I obviously ran out of) will give you a cleaner look.
4. Durable Furniture, Scotch Guard and Strategic Placement are Triple Threats
This tip might come a bit late of course, for those of you with fully furnished homes. But it still bears mentioning. While our home may appear delicate, it is quite the opposite. Every single major piece of furniture in this little hut of ours is deceptively heavy and does not negotiate with clumsy people. LOL! We also heavily scotch guard our upholstery to help prevent permanent stains. Sure, we have our regular share of scratched or slightly dented furniture. But guests only have to whack their hand on the edge of our thick glass and metal dining room table, or whomp down on our extra firm upholstered chairs or benches ONCE to know not to do it again. Ha!
For this reason, heavier furniture pieces are strategically placed as a cautionary barrier to more delicate ones. So before you hit that mirror and tear down the wallpaper in the photo below, the metal and marble console will hopefully stop you. I also use benches and chairs to make it more difficult to crash into glass coffee tables or lamps. (That one is for the safety of rambunctious kids).
It’s funny, when people visit my home, they may not say it, but I can tell by the way they move that they recognize the strategic placement of things. I in turn, can rest peacefully knowing that my furniture is ready to “defend itself” if necessary.
5. Simplify Your Decor
Accessories naturally follow furniture. When we have small children stay overnight, ALL of the accessories in the photo above are removed. I also take a quick look around the home for other objects that might be tempting to little ones.
Additionally, due to a lack of space, our guest bedroom serves an office, tv room and my dressing room. Literally everything I need to get ready in the morning is in there. So depending on who is staying with us, we may sometimes give up our bedroom and opt to take the guest room. When that happens, I simplify the number of pillows on the bed and clear the side tables in bedrooms where guests stay.
6. Have a Meal Plan
There is nothing worse than coming home to find sauce splattered - or worse soot from a pot fire - on your kitchen ceiling because someone tried to make a meal while you were away. Deal with all that nonsense head-on by doing a simple meal prep. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but you’ve got to choose your battles wisely.
7. Table Family Discussions
To be honest with you, I included this tip because I hate stopping at the number 6. Crazy I know, but this point really is quite relevant. There is no greater killjoy than being a guest who is caught in the middle of a family dispute. Ugh. I detest it.
To avoid that, get any serious family discussions out of the way BEFOREHAND. If it’s not possible to settle matters before your guests arrive then agree to table the discussion until after they’ve left. Remember, protecting your home includes more than just the things that are inside of it - it’s also about the people who build their lives there.
And those are my tips for guest proofing the home you work so hard to create and maintain. I hope they work as well for you as the have for me.
Do you have any tips for overnight guest stays?
Do you think the tips mentioned here will work for you?