A surprise family visit is rarely an occasion to be joyous about. Once you receive the call, you’re probably already panicking and wondering how to clean up the house to make it look a little more presentable to the judgmental eyes of your family members. However, with a few simple preparation tips and a little planning, you could have a wonderful weekend to spend with your family that is both memorable and stress-free.
Plan accommodation arrangements
Assuming your family is going to be staying over, you’ll have to put some effort into accommodation. If you don’t have enough beds for all the family coming over, or if they have children coming with them, you should consider getting a few air mattresses. They’re sturdy, they’re comfortable, and when they’re not in use they can easily be packed away in a wardrobe, ready to be used again in the future. You’ll probably also need a way to blow them up, and unless fancy doing it manually, your best bet is to invest in a good quality air mattress pump.
If you don’t have many bedrooms in your home or spare rooms, then you might need to get the kids into the same room for a night or you might need to huddle up together in your master bedroom. It’s unfortunate, but family visits don’t happen very often so it’s not like you’ll have to sleep together for a long period of time. However, if you do get regular family visits then you may want to invest in some additional accommodation such as a sofa bed, cleaning out an old storage room and renovating it into a bedroom, or remodeling the garage that you’re not using into a spare bedroom.
Plan the meals ahead of time
If your family are coming over, then you’re not going to impress them with takeout food or pizza. If you really want to knock their socks off, then plan a meal in advance. If you have enough time, consider practicing your cooking skills beforehand especially if you aren’t a hundred percent confident in what you’re making. Adjust the recipe to your liking and make sure that you’re taking allergies into consideration. The last thing you want is to give someone an upset stomach and make sure you’re sourcing ingredients that are fresh on the day to avoid the possibility of food poisoning.
It helps to have your partner or children join in for the cooking. On the day of the family visit, your relatives may come into the kitchen and ask what you’re up to, snooping around to see what you’re preparing for them. This is fine and it’s a good chance to show off your cookery skills—just remember to be modest! If your family are staying over for a few nights, then make sure you’ve got something planned for each day so that you don’t run out of cooking ideas.
The other option is to ask if your family members want to bring over special ingredients to help cook. Perhaps they want to bring their own pies and desserts, or maybe they bought some wonderful new spices that they want to share with you. Cooking a meal together with the family is a fun and creative activity, but make sure you take this into consideration so that you don’t waste your own effort planning a meal that won’t be eaten.
Taking the kids into consideration
If the family visit is going to involve children, then you have to take them into consideration for all of your plans. For instance, if you plan to let them loose in your backyard to play games and run around, then make sure it’s safe for them to play in. If the weather is going to be terrible for the days they visit, then try to prepare some indoor entertainment for them instead. For instance, a family night that involves a game of Monopoly is something memorable and exciting that everyone can join in on, and children always love to play video games on the latest consoles or even their smartphone and tablet devices.
Keep in mind that children usually have different tastes to adults, so you’ll have to cook up a separate menu for them as well. Typical foods that are popular among children are fried foods, sweet desserts and comfort foods such as Mac and Cheese or Spaghetti. However, if the children aren’t toddler anymore and they are developing better tastes for finer foods, then consider serving them up smaller portions of whatever you’re already cooking. Some good ways to convince children to eat “adult” food is to remove annoyances such as bones and reduce the portion sizes.
Get your amenities in order
From your home’s WiFi internet access to the guest toilet, make sure that everything is in order before you open the front door to your family. Ensure that the password to your home WiFi network isn’t something rude or offensive, and consider making it something easy to remember so that your family members aren’t constantly asking for the password. Make sure that fresh toilet rolls are placed in each bathroom, and give the shower and bath a good clean the night before. Sweep the floors, vacuum the house and set out your best decorations to show that you mean business.
Cleaning up the house is going to take some time, but it’s generally a good idea to do so a night or two before your guests arrive so there’s less chance that you miss something important. You also want to make sure that your television has been repaired, your sound system is in order and you’ve paid the subscription fees to your entertainment services. Nothing is worse than trying to put on a film with Netflix, only to be given a subscription error message in front of your family members!
So there you have it. Not only is preparing for a family visit easy, but it’s not as scary as you might think it is. The best way to deal with surprise visits is to simply relax, stay focused, and get a plan in order so that your home looks fresh and welcoming. Don’t go out of your way to buy extra gadgets and gizmos just to please them; they won’t be around for very long so there’s no need to spend money for their visit. Instead, just focus on cooking up some great food and having enough entertainment to keep them occupied.