When I have guests, I do a lot of little things to make them feel welcome in my home. I leave folded towels and mini shampoos on the bed. I make sure they have the wifi password. But there are some bigger picture things I try to do to really make them comfortable.

1. Give them their own space

Obviously, you are going to give your houseguests a place to sleep, whether that’s a couch with fresh sheets or a fully dedicated guest room. However, making them feel truly at home means giving them a place in each room they’ll spend time in, and to clear out your own things from those spots.

One example is making sure there is an extra comfy chair in the living room, or clearing out the guest room closet so they can hang their clothes. You can keep the room filled with your personal trinkets and decor, but don’t overwhelm with clutter. Give them room to spread out their own belongings, so they don’t have to live out of a suitcase.

2. Make them welcome in the kitchen

For first time house guests, I like to give a quick tour of where everything is kept in the kitchen. Just a quick once over of where the cups are kept, how to find filtered water in the fridge, and which cabinets have the best snacks will help them feel more comfortable and not have to ask for ever amenity.

If they’ll be around or cooking without you, be sure to point out pots and pans, and briefly mention any kitchen “rules.” Like, put dishes right into the dishwasher vs leave them in the sink, or don’t drink the almond milk, since we’re saving that for a particular recipe. This will save any potential conflicts later.

3. Have all the essentials available

Think about what they leave for you in a hotel room, and then make sure your guests have access to all those items. In the bathroom, I always make sure there are fresh hand towels, extra toiletries (including brand new toothbrushes), and a hair dryer.

In the kitchen, I am always sure to point out the coffee bar and kettle so they are free to wake up and make breakfast without waiting on me. I also keep out a bowl of after-dinner mints, candy, and fruit (in the fridge) for quick snacks.

4. Provide a cozy feel

I always like to bake something yummy for my guests to enjoy, but even if you’re not a cook, you can make sure they feel cozy. Try to pull in some hygge (without going overboard … you do want them to leave eventually, right?)

I leave a basket of extra blankets next to the bed, and make sure I’ve cased twice as many pillows as there are people. In the living room, I drape a knit blanket over the extra chairs, and make sure the television remotes are super accessible.

5. Break out the bourbon

This one is my favorite. The main difference between guests staying at your house and staying at a hotel — is you! They are there not only for convenience, but also to spend time with you and your family.

Set aside at least one evening during their trip to just catch up. Sit in the living room, put on some low music, and hit up that bar cart. I like to mix up some fancy cocktails, or do tastings of whatever new local liquor I’ve acquired since our last get together. But a quick beer or a glass of wine do the trick.

pink carnations

How do you make sure your guests feel welcome, no matter your living situation? I’d love to hear any tips you have to share in the comments below!

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