Fish and visitors smell in three days. ~ Benjamin Franklin
It may interest you to know that you could be contributing to your own house guest problem — you know, where folks come for a quick visit and then stay for what seems like forever.
Past a few days, it’s time to go home. Unless you’re paying rent.
If you find yourself on the receiving end of long, drawn-out, cows-came-home-a-long-time-ago visit, it’s time to examine your Hosting Habits and see what the culprit could be and what to do if it happens again.
First, examine your guest accommodations. Long-stay guests usually have a guest room, something that provides them a sense of privacy and even, maybe, Ownership. Providing a Guest Room (even worse, a Guest House or apartment) sentences you to Lifers. Best example of a Lifer: OJ Simpson’s onetime house guest Kato Kaelin, who ended up testifying at his murder trial. This may seem neither here nor there but let’s just say, if you want to commit murder, it can be inconvenient to have a witness, er, Guest who never leaves.
Rule of thumb: If you have a vacant space, Someone will fill it.
So, your extra bedroom should be an office, fitness room, sewing room, or Personal Shrine to Chris Hemsworth. It is not important to use the room, just fill it with items that suggest that the room IS used, such as yoga mats, file cabinets, giant bolts of fabric or lifesize cutouts of Mr. Hemsworth. A truly effective use: The Wine Room. Reason? You can keep it at an inhospitable 55 degrees and No one will ever want to sleep there.
If you fail to manage your vacant spaces and you end up with a viable and overly comfortable guest room, turn your attention to the sleeping accommodations. The bed does not Have to be a chariot in the clouds and if it is, the sumptuous comfort may cause even the most proper guest to think on it as a Resort accommodation. Consider a twin bed, extra points if it’s a child version of the twin that results in adult feet sticking out the end. Too obvious? Go ahead and supply an adult-sized bed, but the top sheet doesn’t have to fit exactly, or at all. A significant mismatch should guarantee a one to two-night stay at most. If you think three to four days is about right, consider the air mattress with the pin-prick hole. The bed functions perfectly for two days, begins to lose a bit of integrity in the third and becomes a chiropractor’s dream by the fourth.
Sofa beds are made better and better these days. The newer the sofa bed, the more likely your guest will be fine with it. If you locate the sofa bed in the midst of a well-trafficked family area, however, your guest will feel less than private with the family perched around him, watching cartoons at 6 am on a weekend. Extra points for dogs scratching. If you can find an older sofa-bed, you may find it’s just the ticket — concave in the middle and pokey in all the wrong places.
Food is another great guest eliminator. Begin the sojourn with your usual care in the kitchen — some juicy steaks on the grill for day one, followed by an Italian feast day two, Dominoes pizza for day three and day four? Cold cereal. It is not recommended to challenge your guests’ intestines with anything physically upsetting since you will be the eventual victim of any fallout.
Nocturnal noises are another way to shuffle the guest off to Buffalo, or wherever the closest available Other relative might be found. Consider setting a clock radio to go off at 3 am. Also, children with brand new drum sets like to try them out first thing in the morning, nice ‘n early. Yes, it will wake you as well, but some sacrifice might be called for. Dogs with squeaky toys, electronic toys that seem to go off randomly are both effective. Legos planted in the hallway at night are an inspired choice.. silent but deadly.
Lastly, conversation. In the first days, it should joyfully bubble around news and funny anecdotes, sports and leisure, and the antics of favorite pets. Day four conversation should be comprised of politics, religion, and picking at annoying habits in a joking but not-so-funny way. Be aware that this is an extreme measure meant to ensure no more visits, maybe ever. It is not recommended for family, since you’ll still have to see them, no matter how much they now dislike you.
Principal Broker | REALTOR
RE/MAX Equity Group
It’s time for something nice to arrive in your mailbox. Starbucks coffee, Subway sandwiches or dinner at Red Robin. Yes! It could happen to YOU!
Just refer your friends to me and I’ll not only take great care of them as they shop for a house or market their houses with me, but I will send You a gift card for something delicious, too!
Is that a great deal or what?!
I’m about to save your family relationships.
I know, above and beyond the duties of your friendly neighborhood Realtor, but it’s what I do for You!!
Yes, there IS a right way to load a dishwasher.
Best practice is to look up your machine’s brand online, but the below instructions will work for most machines.
Silverware: Knives go in blade down. Each basket should hold a combination of forks, knives and spoons. Failure to vary the contents of the basket will make it more likely that items will nest together and not come clean. This is why the all-knives, all-forks, all-spoons approach, while making it easy to unload, is not effective. Some washers do better if you alternate loading so that some forks and spoons are loaded handle down and others handle up. Carving knives and wooden-handled silverware should be hand-washed.
Plates: Load back to front, bottom of the dishwasher unless you have a machine with a deep top rack and a dedicated top rack rinsing arm, dirty side facing the water spray. For most machines, this will mean half the plates facing one direction and the other half facing the opposite direction. Pre-rinsing IS recommended if you are not starting a cycle soon, or if you don’t have a dog. The rinse and hold cycle will work as well. Or you could just get a dog! Saucers and dessert plates are grouped together in a similar configuration. In newer machines, smaller plates can be loaded in a way that overlaps on the edges with larger plates as long as the plates aren’t nested together. It is also possible in newer machines to load an entire row of plates diagonally.
Pots and pans: Many machines have tines that will lay flat for easier loading of pots and pans. Trays and cutting boards can be slid into the sides and even behind the silverware basket. Machines with pot scrubber settings will not require pots and pans to be soaked, just scraped before loading.
Glasses and mugs: Always are loaded in the top rack, mugs on the outermost rows. Glasses go between tines, not over tines. Wine glasses are intended to fit in the basket grid in the top rack. In the absence of a stemware fitting, much of your stemware — especially champagne flutes, will be hand-wash items.
Bowls: Large bowls go on the bottom rack, and can be loaded over the top of small plates; soup bowls on the top rack, angled face down.
Plastic and larger utensils that don’t fit in the silverware basket go in the top rack as well to prevent melting.
Avoid placing trays in front of the bottom rack — it will block the soap dispenser.
Long utensils in a silverware basket can block the spray arm, so give it a spin before closing the machine.
Do not overload. I know. It’s hard to fight the temptation.
Lastly, run the disposal before running the dishwasher — every time!
Clean: Water is the enemy of a wood floor, and that includes wood laminates. A regular practice of wet-mopping — even with a wet Swiffer — can lead to irreparable warping over time.
Cleaning a wood floor is a two-step process. It begins with either sweeping, dry-mopping or vacuuming.
Once the grit is removed, use a spray bottle of mild wood floor cleaner and a clean mop head (dry or slightly damp, not wet) and work backwards. A light spray is fine–no need to soak the floor or make puddles of cleaner. The floor should be air-drying within a few minutes as you work. Because you removed the loose dirt and grit first, you shouldn’t need to rinse the mop at all.
DIY floor cleaner can be made using 1 gallon of hot water, 3/4 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup lemon juice.
Damage Prevention: Many engineered wood floors have only a fraction of an inch of wood on top–they are not great candidates for re-finishing, so preventing scratches is especially important. For all wood floors, use mats at every doorway so the grit that arrives at the bottom of shoes can be cleaned off. Better yet, become a no-shoe zone.
Furniture that rests on a wood floor should have felt guards to prevent scratches–especially dining room chairs that are constantly being dragged in and out. Cut-to-fit adhesive-backed felt is sold at most hardware stores. Long-lasting chair leg covers (try Amazon) are more expensive but worth the investment!
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Agent License Information: Lisa Baker is a licensed Principal Real Estate Broker in the state of Oregon.
Agency License Information: RE/MAX Equity Group is registered in Oregon and Licensed in Washington.