Host With the Most: 5 Ways to Make Houseguests Feel at Home

If you’re expecting overnight houseguests and want them to feel all the comfort your home has to offer, these tips will help.

Ever stayed at someone else’s home and felt like you could just live there? Well, it’s time to pay it forward by re-creating that experience for your own houseguests. Here are five surefire ways to make houseguests feel welcome.

1. Set up welcoming accommodations

Cleanliness is first and foremost when you’re hosting overnight houseguests. Not only should their sleeping area and bathroom be freshly cleaned, but you should also make sure they have somewhere to stash their belongings for the duration of their stay, such as some closet space. For a really nice touch, leave a handwritten welcome note along with a water carafe, drinking glasses and some mints near their bed.

Clean towels and toiletries are obvious necessities for the bathroom they’ll be using. Don’t forget about soap, toothpaste, mouthwash and a scented candle with matches. All the little things can make a big difference.

If they’re crashing in your living room or den instead of a bedroom, consider investing in an inexpensive folding screen to give them a better feeling of privacy and some personal space. Dress up their air mattress or couch with fresh linens and nice blankets and pillows to make it feel as close to a real bed as possible.

2. Stock your fridge and pantry

What are your guests' favorite snacks or drinks? Your fridge and pantry should have goodies picked out just for your houseguests. Consider sparkling water, tea, soda, coffee or other beverages of choice. Have something sweet (nothing feels homier than fresh-baked cookies) and something savory for them to snack on.

Familiarity is key when making houseguests feel at home. Plus, there’s nothing like being able to surprise and delight your guests with whatever they may be craving.

3. Prep meals ahead of time

Home-cooked meals always make a warm impression. However, the less time you spend cooking, the more time you have to entertain and enjoy one another’s company. Try prepping a couple of meals that can be easily finished or reheated, like casseroles, enchiladas, soups or chili.

When you do have to spend a significant time cooking, don’t be afraid to offer your houseguests a simple role, such as setting the table. It may be better to keep them engaged if you don’t have a lot of time to spend together.

4. Show them around town

The local spots you enjoy most are also part of the charm of your home. Think about your favorite coffee shop or brunch spot. Or maybe there’s a local brewery, theater, museum or park you could take your houseguests to. The more you can make them feel like locals, the more welcome they’ll feel during their stay—and the more memorable the experience will be for them.

5. Give them a chance to have some alone time

Let’s face it: Even if you’re the most extroverted individual and haven’t seen your friends or family in a year or two, you’re probably going to want a little space to yourself when you’re away from home and tired from traveling. Give your own guests the same courtesy you’d want, whether that means letting them sleep in, giving them some quiet time before bed or letting them watch TV while you run an errand.

No matter what activities or accommodations you arrange for your houseguests, remember that simply knowing their preferences and personalities will make one of the biggest differences when it comes to making them feel welcome and ensuring that they’ll enjoy their time with you.

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