We live in a society where everyone protects their homestead in one way or another.  Whether it’s a locked door, a massive dog, an alarm system, or 15 mounted security cameras WITH live feed, everyone has their thing.

We work really hard at and spend a lot of money keeping people out of our homes.  So what are the ground rules when you’re willingly allowing people in your home?  You know…guests.

If your guests are staying anytime in your house at all consider making an extra key.  You can either give it to them or hide it on the property somewhere (don’t forget to tell them where it will be!)  This way they can let themselves in and out as the please.  This works especially well if you’re going to have opposing schedules, like if you have to go into work.  If you’re giving your guest a key but you don’t want them to keep it forever and ever Amen, find a great key chain or key cover.  Mention it’s the “guest” key when you hand it over.  Booyah.  No hard feelings if you have to ask them to return it.

Lets talk about dogs shall we?  Everyone loves dogs right? Wrong.  Your dog is precious, I’m sure.  I’m sure she wouldn’t hurt a flea.  But remember that time you decided to get a dog and in the back of your mind you were saying “oh! we don’t want a guard dog!  We want a family member! baaaw.”  Well.  A dog is still a dog.  And while some dogs may never hurt a flea, do you really want to try that theory out on your guests?  I thought not.

If your guests are to arrive long before you will be home ….well, try to avoid that.  Try to have someone at the house when they do arrive.  But if all else fails and no one can be at the house when the guest arrives you have two options: keep Lola the Giant Schnauzer in her crate or other designated space -or- have a list of “out of the house” activities ready for your guests before they arrive (think pre-arrival e-mail)  That way they will have something to occupy their time until you can come home and corral the animal.

Moving on!  Security systems.  Does your call the police the instant it’s triggered? Or do you have 5 seconds to punch in the code?  This kind of information ranks right up at the top of “Valuable Guest Info”.  No guest wants to wake the whole house when they step out to grab that book they left in the car.  And they certainly don’t want the police showing up for the occasion.  Plus, as much as police like the fact that you’re having guests in your home, they don’t particularly want to meet them.  Mmkay?  When guests first arrive give them the rundown of your alarm system and the code.  Unless they’re untrustworthy (aka shady), and then….well, that’s a guest prep topic for another time.