The Busy Girl’s Guide to Having Houseguests

Posted September 4, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Life After Five

Last week, I had lunch with a friend who was dealing with house guests and admitted to me that she was definitely ready for them to go home. We’ve all been there – you spend months getting excited for a friend or family member to come visit you, and by the time they get there, you’re just ready for them to leave. Perhaps it’s having people invading our space, or perhaps our memories of those we love are more full when they’re 1,000 miles away. For whatever reason, having house guests can be one of the most stressful parts of having a home….and might just make you want to move somewhere without a second bedroom.

That’s why I was excited to see The Daily Muse’s “The Busy Girl’s Guide to Having House Guests.” Often, if we’re unhappy with house guests who have outstayed their welcome, it’s because we didn’t follow some of the tips The Daily Muse writer Laura Drucker outlines. My favorite tip:

Be Up Front About Your Schedule

Most likely, your guest will be understanding of your commitments and won’t get all huffy that you didn’t schedule your vacation days to correspond with her stay. But nothing is worse for her as a traveler than waking up with you not there, unsure about where you are, when you’ll be back, and whether she should wait for you or go exploring on her own.

To make sure this doesn’t happen, be up front about when you’ll be unavailable. Leave a note up on the fridge outlining your schedule, so you don’t have to spend all day responding to texts of “where are you?” and “what time will you be back?” If your schedule tends to be unpredictable, at least jot down what you know for sure. And if there are times that your guest absolutely won’t be able to get in touch with you for a restaurant recommendation or directions, make that clear so she can plan around it.

Going even further than that, here’s my best tip for dealing with house guests:

Even if you have nothing going on while they’re in your home and you can take time off to spend time with them, schedule some “meetings” or “work time” anyway. Chances are, you’ll need some personal space after spending so much dedicated time with a friend or family member you haven’t seen in a while. So go ahead, schedule your meetings, and go into the office if you need to. And take Laura’s advice being upfront with your guests about your schedule. Time apart will make your time together all the more sweet.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."