June 24, 2016 | Home Tips

“My home is your home” may be implied, but there are simple things you can do to let guests know you really mean it.

Whether they’re staying a night or a few weeks, here are some tips for making your guests feel so welcomed, they may not want to leave!

1. Cozy up 

Of course you’ll want to tidy up before welcoming guests, but pay special attention to common areas like the kitchen, bathrooms, and the room where guests will be sleeping. Giving your home a good deep cleaning before guests arrive will give you more time to enjoy friends and family, and less time spent worrying about your to-do list. So that your guests immediately feel at home, set the stage for a cozy welcoming: 

- Spray air freshener or light candles with comforting scents like apple spice or vanilla
- Light a fire in the fireplace
- Play soft music
- Forgo overhead lights in favor of lamps 

2. Welcome with a basket 

It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but adding a thoughtful welcome basket in the guest room lets your guests know how happy you are to have them in your home. Personal items you know your guests love add a special touch, but you can also include: 

- Travel-size toiletries such as toothpaste, lotion, and shampoo
- Cozy throw
- Candle
- Snacks
- Card games or coloring books for small kids
- Local magazines 

3. Share your wifi (and other necessities) 

Create a simple guide to help guests become familiar with your home. Add “need to knows” like: 

- Your wifi password
- Alarm code Street address (especially useful in the event of calling 911 for an emergency)
- Nearby points of interest if they need to run out to the grocery store, pharmacy or gas station
- Dates, times and locations of activities or events you have planned during their stay 

If your guests will be staying for more than a day or two, you may also want to provide them a key to your home or garage door opener so they can feel free to come and go as needed.

4. Make room 

So that your guests don’t have to live out of their suitcase during their stay, make space in a closet and chest of drawers so they can feel free to unpack. 

- Add plenty of extra hangers in the closet
- Clear off counter or shelf space for their personal items
- Consider adding a chair or bench in the bedroom for extra seating 

5. Keep the kitchen open 

Help guest feel at home by giving them free reign in the kitchen. During the holidays, having plenty of food around shouldn’t be much of a challenge, but you can help guests feel at home in your kitchen by keeping essential items easy to find. 

- Create a coffee station with extra mugs, filters, k-cups, tea and hot chocolate
- Layout instructions for using any kitchen equipment such as the microwave, convection oven or coffee maker
- Keep sweet, savory, and healthy snack options out during the day for easy access in between meals
- Have sandwich ingredients on hand for quick and easy lunches guests can make themselves
- Opt for buffet-style meals for an easy way to feed a larger group 

It’s a good idea to stock up on your guests’ favorite food and drinks before they arrive, but you may want to consider letting them join you for shopping. My in-laws are from a small town, and whenever they visit we all take a trip together to Trader Joe’s. They enjoy shopping at a place they don’t often have access to and stocking up on plenty of food to enjoy during their stay. 

6. Relax! 

Maybe the most important tip to help guests feel welcome in your home is to simply relax and enjoy their company. Opening up your home to friends and family gives you the special opportunity to carry on old traditions and start new ones of your own. There may be hectic moments and plans might go array, but the time spent together and new memories made is priceless. 

Enjoy!

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