8/2/08

The Gift of Laundry!

What do you do when you have overnight guests?

I like to offer them the gift of laundry.

But let me start with this.

Do you have the luxury of having a guest room that is ready to go, with clean sheets, a guest bathroom – pretty much like an in-home hotel suite? You are blessed if that is the case.Or is your situation like it is in my home? You give up your master bedroom and bath for your guests?

My husband and I really enjoy having guests, and we don't mind giving up our room at all. But not always during the hot summer months when our temps get up into the 100s! Our upstairs is very hot, and who in their right mind wants hot, grumpy, irritated hosts? When the weather is a little bit cooler, we like joining our teens upstairs in “their area,” and sharing a bathroom with them. It actually makes us feel like we’re visiting someone else’s home.

Of course I change the sheets, vacuum and dust when out-of-towners are coming – but I have to admit, I also do a little “deeper” cleaning than usual. If you’re giving up your room for 2-4 days, do you really want your guests to live amongst your clutter?

I’ll sometimes leave an extra little touch of fresh flowers, or a few gifts on the bed, or bath items in the bathroom for the guests to use and take with them. But not always - it depends what I have on-hand. When visiting my friend Barb, in Wisconsin, she had numerous magazines laid out in the bedroom, plus our favorite chocolates to munch on! Yum!


I also try to be organized with the meals I will be serving, because it allows more time with our guests. I thought I’d share a breakfast recipe that is tradition in our home, when we have company. I love this recipe because you can prepare it 1-2 days before the guests arrive, throw it in the fridge – and then it’s ready for the oven, any morning you want to cook a hot breakfast!

It’s one of our family’s favorites.


BREAKFAST CASSEROLE
1 pound bulk sausage or links, cooked
6 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 ½ cups grated cheese
1 T. minced onions
6 slices bread, crusts only, cut in small pieces
(Small can sliced mushrooms, drained – optional)
Cook sausage, drain. Beat all other ingredients except for bread; add sausage and bread pieces and mix well. Pour in greased 9x13 dish. Cover and set overnight. Bake 350, 30-40 minutes.
(I always double this recipe and make 2 pans)


Hosting out-of-town guests also gives me the opportunity to accomplish miscellaneous chores that I’ve been putting off! What a perfect way to kick it into high gear – when you know you’ll be sharing your home with another family! So a day or two before my guests arrive, I pull my kids in to help! No friends over and no going to friends’ houses, I tell my kids.


I pull out my trusty notebook and organize the chores. Our kids do better with lists. I think because they’re visual it helps them stay organized, they can get the jobs done on their own timeframe, and they don’t have to hear mom barking orders!

It’s actually very rewarding to all work together. And when the guests arrive – No! Things are not perfect. Things don’t always flow smoothly, but at least you know you’ve given it your best effort to make things enjoyable and relaxing for all –for the guests and the hosts!

Oh, and what about the gift of laundry?

I offer my guests the use of my washer and dryer. It’s a gift to be able to go home from vacation with clean clothes. I always make the offer, and I give free-reign to my laundry room.

Along with a comfy bed, good food and conversation, have you thought about offering your laundry facilities to your guests?


(More canning! This time cherry jam (on the left) and cherry chutney (on the right). We haven’t tried either yet so I’ll let you know if they’re good!)

23 comments:

3CHEERS4MOM said...

Hi Sandy,
I had to tell you that while I was at church this morning I was browsing though the book store and picked up your book. I though "Oh, this is Sandy’s book," like we had known each other for years. Funny isn't it. Well, thank you for letting me be your blog guest. I look forward to reading your book. -Cheers, Amy

gracemercyandpeace said...

Yes! I always offer the gift of laundry! In fact, we have 2 college-aged girls coming this week, traveling with a summer missions group, and I KNOW they're going to need that gift : )

We don't have a guest room either, so offer our bedroom also.

We do all the basics you mentioned, plus deep vacuum the mattress before putting on fresh mattress pad and sheets. I also buy new pillows at LEAST yearly if not more, depending on flow of guests.

Also, an empty outlet for cellphone charging, and a notepad with pen, tape and scissors has been popular. We don't leave a phone in that room because the constant ringing is annoying.

deb meyers

Julie said...

Can I come stay at your house???? : )

How far of a drive do you think it is from Georgia to Oregon?

Just kidding of course, but it sounds so wonderful.

I loved seeing the Cherry jam. Do you have cherry trees too?

And by the way, how BIG is your garden?

Maybe one day, I too will have a garden.

Hugs,
Julie

ValleyGirl said...

What a great idea!! Our guests are usually only at our house for two or three nights and we're the only destination, so I've never even thought of that before. Must remember when my in-laws come out for a week at the end of the month.

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

I always do this too. And most times, I am taken up on my offer.

As a mother of small children I appreciate it when I am given this opportunity when out visiting. Coming home to scads of dirty laundry is very overwhelming.

Beautiful jars of cherry goodness!!

-Andrea

Stephanie said...

I always love going to my aunt's house because she gives us robes, slippers, vitamins, chocolates all in our room. Then she does our laundry for us and fixes us FABULOUS meals. It's so relaxing!

I don't entertain much but when I do I try to be very relaxed myself so my guests feel relaxed.

Jen said...

I think I may do some canning next week when Madison goes to school. I so enjoy doing this.
We dont have many guests who stay with us...but when i do I try and make it like a B&B as much as possible.

linda t said...

Hi Sandy,
I am so glad you mentioned the sleeping arrangements when you have guests. I have always struggled with what to do... cuz I was told that it is important that the host and hostess have a good nights rest, so therefore they should not give up their bed to guests. The guests will already be in a strange bed no matter what (being away from home), so why displace everyone. Why not make sure that the host and hostess are rested and able to entertain to the best of their abilities. What do YOU think Sandy?

Susie said...

I am so happy to see this breakfast casserole recipe. Looks easy and delicious!

It makes me so sad that we are in such a small rental right now. The last thing I want is overnight guests when we can barely fit our famil of 5in the three bedrooms. I'll keep all these tips on file for when we move in Jan.

Never though about the laundry offer. Sounds great!

Amie said...

Your posts are very inspiring. They've really changed my views on entertaining and being gracious.

Miss G said...

What a wonderful post! When I go to my parents' house my mom always sends me home with clean laundry and when she comes here her goal is always to empty my laundry baskets. :) I have a great mom!

Recently when visiting friends in Missouri, the wife offered me this very thing, the use of her laundry facilities so I could go home with clean clothes. This was so, so very nice! Kelly

p.s. I just got my first "guest room"! I just moved into my first apt. with more than one bedroom and more than one bath this weekend. It is so exciting to have! I am currently sleeping in the "guest room" and the "master bedroom" is wedding central - gifts, wedding decorations and all those odds and ends that go along with weddings. Then when we get married my new husband and I will both move into the master bedroom together.

Leigh Ann said...

We are lucky to have a guest bedroom for our guests. I wanted that this time round since we live so far from family. My sis and BIL are in it now. They were greeted with fresh sheets, clean room, pictures hand-drawn by my 6 year olds and chocolate mints on their pillows.

I will offer them the laundry, too. I always do that after my MIL mentioned it once and it is always a hit with my guests. I also find they all end up putting their sheets and towels in last leaving me a fresh and clean load, too!

Cheers! LA

sarah @ a beach cottage said...

yeah I think this is a wonderful post too - I remember in one of the Shabby Chic books there is a bit about how she leaves out a tray of chocs for her guests and heaps of towels, soaps etc, only thing of course with ms. ashweel is that her guest room is a guest house and she has a housekeeper, not quite the same for us mortals! like you we give up the master and i deep clean and leave stuff for the guests, fresh water every night etc etc - I always think too that even if people are in your home they like to have some time to themselves so it's nice to leave some mags to browse through

I do the laundry thing too, so nice to be able to do that for someone...

great post and love some of the commenters ideas too

Sarah

GiBee said...

Guess where our laundry closet is located? Right in front of our guest rooms (we are fortunate to have 2 rooms). I always have clean sheets on the beds, in case we have any spur of the moment guests (which we have had) and offer our guests free use of the laundry closet... Especially if my husband's friends are here for a fishing or hunting trip -- it is always very appreciated!

However... I do not do laundry "for" them.

I think that as a guest, I would feel a little "odd" sleeping in my host and hostess's bed... like I'm putting them out!

Bella said...

That recipe looks really good, thanks!

Bella

Robin Sue said...

That is nice to have a guest room. Someday we will. Right now we use our daughter's room and she gets to "camp" in the office. I like to put fresh towels and a drying rack in the "guest" room as well as bottled water and chocolates! We do let them do laundry, it is nice to go home with it clean. When I am a guest, I like to take the sheets off the bed so that the hostess does not have to, it is the least I can do!!

~j~ said...

I have always loved doing laundry for visitors, it's such a fun gift to extend and yes, greatly appreciated for sure especially if they are not on their way home and have a few more stops along the way.
Thanks too Sandy for that great recipie. I was needing something like this.
xo
j

AnneMarie said...

I used to have a room but it has become my son's room and the other spare room is an office for dh. I kicked him out of the study because he comes with an avalanche of paperwork and I couldn't take it flowing from the dining room to the study... the are ajoining rooms. So I lost my scrappy space and he got a room with a door we can shut! lol!
I was told by my parents never to give up your master suite... who wants grumpy host and hostess?? No, you have to be on your toes and bright eyed and bushytailed...
When guests need a room the girls can have a "camp out" (aka sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor) in our room or their brother's room...
We have not had guests here but instead my mom has a few extra rooms just 2 doors down and when guests come they know they can crash there if need be or all the kids can go down there and bombard Gran :) lol! My buddies who come are used to crashing at Mom's.

hey- I would love to have the cherry recipes :) My dd and I eat them by the fist full! lol!! We went cherry picking last summer and had a great time...

tommie said...

a bit of a lurker here, but yes.....I love when I am able to use someone's laundry. We are a military family and have lived in some fun places.....I always try to offer up a space that would be better than any hotel in town! I love to have monogrammed robes in the room for them. I usually know at least a month ahead of time when someone is traveling, so this possible. But I lean to "how do I want to be treated"...

thanks for the reminder as I set up my new home....I am on the Bourbon Trail, I am sure to get some visitors soon!

deezie said...

I use that same breakfast casserole recipe, its so so yummy
deezie

Apron Thrift Girl said...

Here is a thought. Instead of the stuffy upstairs bedroom, how about a beautiful outdoor bedroom. You could get one of those lovely outdoor gazebo type things with netting, put up a bed, even some night tables, maybe a washstand with fresh water and towels? It would be perfect for your back yard. We'd love to sleep outside. (hint hint :-)

KATIE said...

THANKS FOR THE SUGGESTIONS and your experience shared!!! :)
and love the canning!!!! :) :) :)
blessings and love to you Sandy!!
::HUUGG!!::

Mrs4444 said...

This is kind of a random place to put this, but because you do so much entertaining, I thought you might be interested in this post:
http://www.halfpastkissintime.com/2008/04/another-little-slice-of-americana.html

I'm really enjoying your blog and have added it to my reader; you have a lot of great ideas!