Adulting Vs. Couch-Surfing: The Host's Guide
In a perfect world, we’d all have a dedicated guest room with vases of fresh wildflowers on matching nightstands. In the real world, many an overnight visitor ends up sighing off to dreamland on a couch, a futon, or the floor. That doesn’t mean they have to be uncomfortable, mind you; you can take good care of your guests no matter how humble your abode might be.
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Use a fitted sheet on your couch cushions.
Pick up a set of sheets that’s just for guests.
...And pick up a spare pillow, too.
Yes, a throw pillow covered with a case will do in a pinch — but you’re much better off buying a full-sized one and letting it do double duty as a backup couch pillow when you’re not hosting.
Hand over a carafe (or a water bottle) that’s just for them.
A dedicated drinking vessel doesn’t have to be fancy; it just has to be clean. A lid’s not a bad idea, either; no one wants to upend a glass of water — or unwittingly share it with the cat — in the middle of the night.
Plug in a night light or two.
Offer a sleep mask and earplugs.
If your guest’s sleeping area isn’t quite as restful as a bedroom, they’ll be grateful for buffers between them and ambient light and noise, like your cat's nocturnal scratching habit. Details like these don’t have to be expensive; you can find earplugs at most drugstores, and the masks some airlines hand out for redeye flights work just fine. (Haven’t flown lately? This mask is dreamy.)
Write out simple instructions for your remote controls.
Have different-colored guest towels.
Test your air mattress before guests arrive, and have a patch kit handy.
Want to be extra-sure your guest doesn’t wake up on the floor? 1: Choose a mattress that’s tough enough for camping; chances are good it’ll be harder to puncture. 2: Pump it up before company arrives so you’ll know if you’re dealing with leaks. 3: Swing by your local bicycle shop and pick up a tire repair kit. They’re equally invaluable for leaky beds.
Map out your kitchen cupboards and drawers.
Make a simple diagram of where newcomers can find things like dishes, glasses, silverware, and munchies. Not interested in an art project? Use a few sticky notes to label areas of interest.
Hang on to hotel soap and shower supplies (then display them with pride).
Stock up on spare toothbrushes.
Make it easy to make coffee or tea.
If you don’t have a coffee machine that can be programmed to make magic overnight, greet early risers with a simple French press that’s ready for hot water. Feeling fancy? Perch beside an electric kettle that press to make heating water a breeze.