Sunday, February 21, 2010

Entertaining: Guest's Toiletry Needs

When entertaining one or fifty people, there are some things that should be available to guests, for their convenience. Also, guests should not have to ask for personal items that would cause embarrassment.

Something I find constantly over looked, even in the best of homes, is the consideration given to guest’s toiletry needs. With all the nasty germs going around, this is something that should NEVER be over looked when entertaining. There are also some essentials that I advise to be stocked, besides the extra bathroom tissue. I’ll address several issues of concern as I list the items for the guest bath. If you don’t have a separate bath for guests, then it’s even more important to create a clean and well stocked area in your personal bath for them.

Guest Towels: I’m not talking fabric towels! I personally do NOT want to dry my hands on a fabric towel even if it’s clean; it’s only clean for the first person, and the first person to use it is unsure just how clean it is.

A package of pretty paper guests towels can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. Paper Dinner Napkins (the ones folded in a rectangle, not the square ones) can be just as functional and for less cost. I’ve found pretty ones at Dollar Stores, K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Big Lots, TJMaxx, and Marshall’s. Also, discount party stores are an excellent source—all colors and designs. Most cities have these type of stores. If you’re in a hurry, pick up a package of colored or white Dinner Napkins at the grocery. Always keep a package on hand for unexpected guests. I don’t know why, but if the package is marked ‘Guest Towels’, they’re more expensive than those marked ‘Dinner Napkin’--there’s only a slight difference in thickness.

***You don’t have to keep these out all the time, especially if you have small kids. These are for
‘Guests’. If you have guests, and don’t have paper dinner napkins or guests towels, use paper towels by folding each full size towel in half and stacking them on the sink counter. Trust me, you’re guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Liquid Soap: There’s nothing more germy than a bar of soap. Everyone touches it, germs are easily passed around. The discount warehouses such as Sam’s has the gallon container that can be bought in bulk to refill the small pump bottles.

Hand Sanitizer: If possible, this is a nice extra for guests, and family too. I keep one at every sink, including the kitchen. I prefer the unscented, especially if guests will be eating—the smells can be strong enough to get on the food, and ruin one’s taste. Sam’s also sells the gallon containers of this.

Small Trash Can: This may sound like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised. I was at a home where there were paper guest towels, but no trash bin. I didn’t know what to do with my used towel. I folded it, and discreetly carried it to the kitchen trash. Also, a disposal for some female products.

Female Products: This is something that is often overlooked, especially if there’s NO need for them in the host’s home where the women are older. A small container of tampons, preferably with the plastic applicator, and full size sanitary pads should be kept under the sink or in a bathroom linen closet or cabinet. One small container of each can be available for years without getting old. If space is limited, then put several of each item in a clear zip-lock storage bag instead of using the entire box for storage. This way the guest can easily find them if needed.

Extra Bathroom Tissue: When entertaining, there should always be more than one extra roll of tissue. Make sure there are several rolls so there won’t be any embarrassing moments.

Aerosol Room Deodorant: Keep a can of room spray, preferable an odor eliminating one, and not the perfume kind under the sink. Plug in room fresheners are also a nice item to consider.

***If you do have a guest bath, keep it regularly stocked so that it’s always ready for unexpected guests.

Your guest may never mention your special attention given to the bath, but your effort will be greatly appreciated, especially for those unexpected moments that could be embarrassing.

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