They’re BAAAACK: How to Handle Houseguests


Houseguests can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it’s great to have company. On the other, sometimes it can be a challenge to add new people into your everyday life. All houseguests are not created equal. Some may be helpful and others burdensome. Here are some handy tips to use when you have houseguests.

It’s better to be prepared than surprised.

Request a Plan

We all know that everyone operates differently. Some people like to plan, and others fly by the seat of their pants. If you have friends or family who fall into the latter category, then you may need to set some boundaries.

I like to request a plan before people come to stay. There’s nothing worse than having someone show up unannounced or who doesn’t seem like they will ever leave. It is your house and your space, so you are in control. If an upcoming houseguest tells you that they are coming, it is very reasonable to ask them for a full plan. Nothing is off limits. You are allowed to ask for the dates of their visit, how they will be getting around, and if they have any other plans while they are in town.

Set Expectations from the Start

I like my house to be clean and orderly. When my house is a mess, so too is my life. Of course, having houseguests will inevitably throw things into chaos. If I make it known ahead of time that I would appreciate some sense of order, then at least there won’t be any awkward situations when my guests are here. Just like people plan differently, so too do they live differently.

It may save you stress to tell your guests that you put dirty dishes into the dishwasher rather than have them sit in the sink. You also may benefit from explaining that you don’t love clutter on the counters. If people are coming to stay for a weekend, then maybe you can just take a deep breath and let things go. However, if the stay is going to be for an extended period of time, then it helps to have everyone on the same page.

Take a Break

It’s completely normal to get overwhelmed when you are entertaining guests for a long period of time. They change our routines, and we may skip taking care of ourselves in the process. Feeling like we are the sole proprietor of their enjoyment and entertainment can be exhausting.

Scheduling in some time to take a break can make the whole experience enjoyable rather than a burden. Go for a walk alone, get in some exercise, pop in your headphones and zone out, or lock yourself in your room and read for a while. Making sure that your needs are met when you have guests is equally important to meeting theirs.


Some of us have not had other people stay in our homes for over a year. It’s easy to forget what it feels like to constantly have people in your space when we haven’t been able to for so long. There is an excitement surrounding people coming to stay, but that can quickly spiral into a countdown to when they are leaving. Remember that it is temporary and remember to breathe. Don’t hold everything in and then explode at your spouse or your kids. If problems start creeping in, address them as soon as you can. Working to please people outside of the ones we usually take care of can be a lot. Recognize that you are not alone in those feelings.

Whether you have houseguests for a weekend or a month doesn’t matter. People coming into your life and staking a claim in your home changes the dynamic. Everyone wants the stay to be a positive experience, but that may take some preparation on your part. We are the ones in control of our space and our feelings, so it’s critical to make others aware of what we need.

Happy hosting and welcome back to having houseguests in your very own hotel.