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Hospitality for the Rest of Us: Extended House Guests


I'll just say this from the beginning, I don't do this. Well, I've done it, but I'm not one of those people that has someone come and live in their basement for weeks on end while their in between jobs or assignments. I thought I could be that person, but it's just not me.

My tips from what I've learned are below.

Be positive that you want someone in your home, doubly positive and don't have a time line for them. Extended house guests may stay much much longer than you ever imagined. Don't believe me? Talk to some parents with adult children in their homes. It's better to say no in the beginning than to come to hate someone's presence in the end.

Give them a key, tell them when meal times are, explain the house rules and then let it go. You should not expect anything else from them at this point. They are now a member of your family. You can refer back to ideas from the Immediate Family post, if you want.

Extended house guests are a different kind of breed in the hospitality realm. They live with you, they change your rhythm, but they are also outside of you, allowed to create their own rhythm in your home. They are more than a tenant but need less attention than short term guests. You have said your home is open for them in every aspect.

They will see the fights, the dirty dishes, the lazy Saturdays, they'll also see the love and tenderness. And that is the key to their hospitality, they get to see your real and are invited to throw in their real, too.



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    1. I would say in general, no. They're your guest, so take the financial cost into consideration when you're deciding. If you feel like you need to charge rent, then there needs to be a contract drawn up.

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