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How to Make a Small Apartment Guest Friendly

How to Make a Small Apartment Guest Friendly

I love the holiday season. Getting together, warm evenings in the home snuggling with your loved one with a glass of hot beverage, and family. Nothing else unites us as holidays do.

When you live in a small apartment, one of the biggest challenges is to make room for visitors and to ensure their comfortable stay at your place. When your loved ones are going to be coming to visit you (it is holiday season after all), you will need to get savvy with storage and especially with sleeping options. At first, you may think that your tiny apartment won’t be able to accommodate guests, but think again!

There are a variety of small ways to make sure your guests feel like they’re home, even though you don’t have that much space to share. Hosting guests in a small apartment can be fun and exciting, however, making them feel comfy when sharing your home requires certain preparations. Here are a few tips for hosting your guests and avoiding the troubles of a small apartment or a studio.

Clean and reorganize your space

organisation
    Image Credit: Emily May, Flickr

    Given the limited space, it is expected of you to maximize and put every inch of it in practical use. Regardless of how your apartment looks and how you live, it is best to clean and reorganize your apartment prior to the guest’s arrival.

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    If bedding is not clean or has not been used in a while, make sure you wash them along with the extra blankets and pillows before guests use them. Those should be easily reachable if needed.

    Pay attention to any type of miscellaneous repairs that you have been delaying for some time and take care of it before it’s too late–clean the carpets, unclog drains and fix small holes and scratches in the walls. It is that big excuse you’ve been waiting for to do, so make the best use of it.

    It is also important that your space is free of clutter just in time for the gathering. All the unnecessary pieces and items should be kept inside storage bins and cabinets, and all the needed essentials in the bathroom should be organized with enough space for guest’s cosmetics to be placed. Don’t forget the fresh towels in the bathroom to make your guests feel like they’ve always had their special place in your home. It’s the details that count.

    Make sure there is enough space in your closet for their wardrobe, shoes, other luggage, bags and suitcases to put away for the time they are spending at your place. If you want to go even further, you could acquire a foldable suitcase stand to give them a place to put their stuff in a more organized way. Preparing an extra chair is also a smart idea; even if you do not have a spare one, there are options such as extra stools, ottomans, and even floor pillows should be useful and comfy enough for your guest’s convenience.

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    Sleeping and eating

    sleeping and eating
      Image Credit: Denis Labrecque, Flickr

      Every owner of a small apartment knows the basic rule: to make the apartment functional, use every part of it. Because of this, you will very rarely find unnecessary furniture in studio apartments. As much as this solution is practical, a problem arises when one of the guests wants to spend the night or when a greater number of people are found in the apartment at the same time.

      Are you familiar with the sentence: “Mi casa es su casa”? Inviting as it may sound, uttering these words could amount to a problem when your guest has no place to sleep. If you live in a studio apartment or you don’t have an extra bed, you can’t expect the guest to sleep on the floor or in an armchair. Also, it is seldom convenient to share a bed with your guest. Fortunately, there is a solution on how to avoid this unpleasant situation.

      Air mattresses are used specifically for such occasions. They are produced in different dimensions, so before you buy one, be sure to measure the area in which you want to put it and select the appropriate model. Depending on your needs, you can choose a mattress for one or two persons. Mattresses are practical because they take up little space (comes in a shoe-sized box) and internal or external pumps do all the work. You just have to decide whether you’re going to sleep on it or your guests.

      If you live alone or namely with one person, you don’t require an old-fashioned dining room table. However, when you have multiple guests, there is a problem because there are either not enough chairs or the table isn’t large enough. To avoid awkward situations, I wholeheartedly recommend buying bed/lap trays. They are more useful than you’d think and you will be able to sit together on the couch on which will surely be a place for everybody to enjoy a meal.

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      Guests first

      guestsfirst
        Image Credit: Jessica Fiess-Hill, Flickr

        To make their stay as convenient as it can be, make small concessions for your guests in order to show your hospitality.

        If you have a dog or cat, ask your parents or friends to stay with them while you have guests. Not only might guests be allergic to the hair or afraid of dogs, but imagine your small apartment full of people and your dog chasing her favorite toy or a cat occupying his favorite chair. Also, dogs require everyday walks. This can be inconvenient because you can’t leave the guests waiting. If you invite your guests to join you in walks, have in mind that not everybody is enthusiastic about the idea of standing next to your loved pet waiting for it to finish its physiological needs.

        Even though it might seem unusual, it is actually smart to create a timetable for the bathroom. You will avoid forming lines in front of the bathroom and you can keep any daily routines you might have. This, of course, refers to bathing, showering, brushing teeth, and all those things you do before going to bed. Agree to use the bathroom in the morning or evening, depending on your guest’s wishes.

        Be sure to follow the habits of your guests no matter how unusual they seem or how hard you can cope with them. If guests prefer to nap in the afternoon, use that time to complete any tasks you might have downtown (returning books to the library or paying the bills). If guests want to go to bed earlier than you’re used to, watch a movie on the laptop (remember your headphones) or read a book with a book light.

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        Simply be a true host all the way: turn off the lights that might bother them, mute the TV and be as quiet as you can so you don’t wake them up.

        It is all about the small things

        guests
          Image Credit: Wonderlane, Flickr

          Overnight guests are always a challenge whether you live in a small apartment, studio or a loft but that doesn’t mean it is time to panic. At first, all this may seem intimidating, but eventually you will realize that you are more than capable of transitioning your small home into a guest-friendly environment with just a bit of rearranging and organization.

          Ultimately, it all comes down to small things, and it is all about opening up your home, making your guests feel welcome and comfortable no matter how big or small your place is. Not only will your visitors appreciate your thoughtfulness, but the preparations you made will also reduce your unnecessary stress during the visit.

          So, don’t worry and let yourself enjoy that precious time when you get to share your home with others, and you will be more than glad you did it. See you at your place!

          Featured photo credit: Taras Kalapun via flickr.com

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          Dejan Kvrgic

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          Last Updated on July 10, 2020

          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

          We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

          So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

          Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

          What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

          Boundaries are limits

          —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

          Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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          Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

          Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

          Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

          How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

          Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

          1. Self-Awareness Comes First

          Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

          You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

          To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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          You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

          • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
          • When do you feel disrespected?
          • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
          • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
          • When do you want to be alone?
          • How much space do you need?

          You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

          2. Clear Communication Is Essential

          Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

          Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

          3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

          Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

          That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

          Sample language:

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          • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
          • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
          • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
          • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
          • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
          • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
          • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

          Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

          4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

          Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

          Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

          Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

          We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

          It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

          It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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          Final Thoughts

          Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

          Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

          Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

          The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

          Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

          Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

          They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

          Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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