How To Survive Visits from Relatives

My mom just came for a pre-holiday visit and as you’ve seen, with my lack of updates, is that my life exploded when she left. My house is a mess, I’m behind on things, and I’m playing catch-up. Thank goodness this weekend is a three day one so I can get back on my feet. I learned a few things this time around I wish I’d thought of first.

Why did I get so off track? Well, preparing for my mom to come took a few days, then I did nothing personal while she was here, and then when she left I was immediately busy with other things, election day being the most notable. However, the visit went really well.

Visits from Relatives

Keys to a Smooth Visit From Relatives

Prepare for their visit by getting the house ready. Clean bathrooms, put up those things that have been sitting out for ages and finally hang those photos, and get their guest space ready for them to use. Doing these things earlier will help you stay more sane instead of rushing around doing these things before they arrive and starting with a bad attitude. Plus, if you have to go straight from work to the airport, there’s not time to “freshen up” the house! Keep in mind that what might be clean to you might not be to them so do an extra good job of picking up and scrubbing.

Make a plan. Are they staying more than one night? Then you need a plan. Sure, sipping on drinks and playing cards works for a bit but after one night, don’t expect it to get you much more. Take your visitors to do things that you think you’ll both enjoy. One party being bored doesn’t bode well. Discuss plans before they arrive but always have backups in case something changes. Also, think of restaurants to plan for because it’s easier to give options to a group than say “What do you want?” Tempers rise when people are hungry, so avoid it by having a plan.

Think about pet peeves. Undoubtedly, everyone has pet peeves. My dad can’t stand anything vibrating inside of the car when driving. So I make sure when he comes to visit that nothing in my car shakes as much as I can help it. Sure, my hood makes a clacking noise since I hit a deer (seriously, it IS annoying) but I do what I can by removing coins from cup holders and cleaning up random debris in my car. Mom can’t stand when you do x? Don’t do it. I know it’s your house and you can do as you damn well please in it, but for your own sake, just don’t.

Good food shopping. You probably know what your family likes to eat. And sure, you’ll probably go out to eat a lot during the visit but at least you’ll be stocked in case you need to whip up something. Pick your old standbys that are easy and have quick clean up. Nothing’s worse than a huge sink of dishes to clean after they’ve left. Plus, if you don’t use it during the visit, it’ll save you time later! If it’s a food-related holiday visit, make sure to make lists and plan ahead.

Be a good host. Being a great host is a skill that takes time to learn. Being a good host is just being thoughtful. Set out clean towels and nice hand soap for them to use. If you have time, make a treat to nibble on throughout the weekend that they love. Give them big hugs when you greet them and when they leave, even if they drive you nuts. Remember, they’re not staying forever. You don’t live with them anymore or only have to deal with extended family on holidays so just toughen up, put up with their craziness for a few days, and then move on. It’s just for a little while. If things go south, just remember that fact and take a deep breath, put on a smile, and act happy.

photo via HA! Designs

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Erin Jepson November 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I’m the same way with any major event. Perhaps I have a house guest, maybe I’m going out of town, or maybe I’m pulled away from life for work for a few days. I always finding getting back into the swing of things afterwards is hard. I think you can take your tips here and apply them to ANYTHING where you’re going to be around people for longer than, let’s say… 4 hours. Good tips!

  • Reply gina November 10, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    All good points for house guests. I never have any down here. My mother loves when I come home for the holidays. It means she’ll have help with all the cleaning up :/

  • Reply jenny.marrs November 11, 2012 at 2:23 am

    This is such a great post!! I always feel the same way after house guests leave. These are all such a great tips!! Thanks for this! :)

  • Reply Sara Louise November 11, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Great post with great advice! I have visitors quite often, either for one night or one month and it’s amazes me how much work is involved before, during, and after their stay :)

  • Reply Kim November 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I kept these tips in mind during Thanksgiving. Oh golly!

  • Reply Kim November 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Ha! I understand that. And I would LOVE to visit you.

  • Reply Kim November 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I hope it helps you this holiday season!

  • Reply Kim November 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    It is just plum exhausting!

  • Leave a Reply