DEAR READERS: Responses to “Carolyn in Houston’s” letter regarding guest bedrooms cluttered with pictures and knickknacks flooded my email! Carolyn had no place to put her suitcase, cosmetics and hair dryer, and there was no room to hang her belongings when she stayed at her friend’s house. I responded that she really should not complain.
You all made valid points on both sides of the issue. Ellen agreed with me: She is a guest and should make do with what is offered. George and Jean said that the family pictures can be used as a conversation starter, and reminded us that Carolyn was in a private home and not in a hotel. Marguerite said to keep in mind that guest rooms also may serve another purpose, and Liz even called Carolyn ungrateful.
However, lots of readers understood Carolyn’s frustration. Another Carolyn wrote that the clutter in guest rooms is annoying. It looks pretty, but is not very functional. Linda stated that she used to own a bed and breakfast, and one of the first things owners were told to do is spend a night in each of the rooms, pretending to be a guest, to see where the rooms can be made more comfortable. Are there adequate counter/flat surfaces? Is there a luggage rack so that suitcases don’t have to be on the floor? Are there hangers for clothes and a place to hang them? If homeowners would do the same thing in their guest rooms, it would make for a more comfortable experience for their guests.
Tina agreed with Linda. Hosts should spend a night as guests in their own house to truly understand the conditions in the guest bedroom and bathroom.
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The consensus was that guests should not complain, but the hosts should consider how they would like to be treated if they were guests.
DEAR HELOISE: My central vacuum hose was clogged and had almost no suction. My husband thought water power would clear it. He took it to a carwash and sprayed water into the hose. It washed out a big wad of stuff. I hung it up to dry. It has better suction now than it has had for years!
I’ve been reading your column for years. Keep up the great work!
A Reader, via email
Send a great hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 79500, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.