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We are nearing the peak of the summer vacation season. Friends and families are traveling near and far to spend quality time with each other and create memories of a lifetime. Hosting family and friends can be a stressful time. Some of us begin to panic over the question of “enoughness“. Do I have enough space? Is the house presentable enough? Have I planned enough and prepared enough? Lastly, did I make their visit special enough?
​Well, ENOUGH of all those stress filled questions. Let’s have some FUN………

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 Here are 3 simple, tried and true ideas that will boost you right up there to SUPER HOST status.

  1. Depersonalize your space. Create a look that tells your guests you were planning just for them. Don’t forget, people remember how you made them “feel”. Temporarily, store your small items (books, memorabilia and pictures) in a decorative box . Replace them with framed pictures (from past years) of the guests that will be sleeping in that specific room. Another idea is to decorate the space with some of their favorite things such as favorite team logos/mascots, craft related items, themed pillow cases or other linen items, books by their favorite author,  special interest calendars or magazines. When all else fails, fresh cut flowers from your garden or local flower shop will work. Arrange them in a unique vase or container.
  2. Thoughtfulness. Providing a mini bar in the bedroom has gotten rave reviews from my family and most recently from guests visiting through an online hosting service. Place small snack items such as chocolates, popcorn, assorted nuts, cupcakes etc. on a serving tray or in a  small decorative chest (support small businesses in your area when purchasing these items).  Artesian water is a must for the mini bar. Introduce something new! Italian sodas are a great option. Breakfast biscuits (pre-packaged) and energy bars are great ideas for the mini bar. Arrange the items you’ve selected and complete the look by adding 2-ply napkins and disposable cups. Be sure to have a waste basket in the room. Restock as needed.
  3. Share your love language. All of us have a particular way we like to show others how much we love and appreciate them. My love language is gift giving. Choosing a special gift for each guest is a great way to show you put effort and thought into their visit with you. Some of my favorite gifts to give are leather journals with unique locks/closures, NBA/NFL/Indy 500 tickets, car detailing coupons (if they drove), gift cards for the shoppers in the group and tickets to an event or attraction in the city.

​Make your guests feel welcomed and special in your home without spending a lot of time and money. Take these ideas and add your creative twist and create an exceptional hosting experience. At the end of the day, we all want to be  validated and appreciated. So, release your inner SUPER HOST and BELIEVE your efforts are  ENOUGH!

​Let me hear from you as you try some of the ideas above or share some of your own. I will post them on my blog and on Facebook.

Terry Brooks-Allen is an Etiquette and Image Consultant in Indianapolis, IN. He earned a BS degree in Family and Consumer Science (concentration Clothing and Textiles) from NC A&T SU, Greensboro, NC.
Email:Terry@EtiquetteBasics.com
​Website: www.EtiquetteBasics.com
​Facebook.com/ tbrooksallen
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