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
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.
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.
Sleeping and eating
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.
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.
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
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