Since my husband and I live far from both our families (my family is outside Buffalo and his family is outside Philadelphia), we often have guests come to stay with us and vice versa. While I’m still learning how to make guests feel welcome in my home this is giving me plenty of opportunities to practice!
I’m not perfect, but the more times I have people over the more I am learning to be more gracious and giving. I’m also people’s personal preferences! For instance, for a long time, we didn’t have any nightstands in our guest room. My mom casually mentioned she’d like anything to put her book on at night. So after that, I was lucky enough to find a free one on Craigslist that has been working great ever since. Eventually, I want to upgrade to prettier matching ones but decorating one’s home is a slow, but fun, process.
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How I Make Guests Feel Welcome In My Home
|| Declutter and freshen everything up. ||
If you know me, you know this is my favorite step. I love to clean and organize and declutter – to the point that I might be a negative trait. My family likes to joke that I’ll put your plate in the dishwasher before you’re done eating. But seriously, if you ever want to hire someone to help you declutter – I’m your girl!
And if you need a little help in this area, I have some good resources for you:
- 4 Steps to Declutter & Organize Your Home
- 5 Simple Steps To Love Your Home Again
- How to Speed Clean for Last-Minute Guests
Make it easy for guests to relax right away by creating a clean, calm, and fresh space for them to come into. Open the windows (if it’s not winter!) just prior to them coming. Trust me, this little trick can do a lot! And if it’s winter, try spraying the room with an air freshener. Try Grow Fragrance, they are all-natural, safe for babies and pets, and smell incredible! Also, they come in seasonal scents so it’s perfect for any time of year.
|| Have drinks ready when your guests arrive. ||
Not only is this a practical tip – your guests might be thirsty from a long car ride – but it is also just a great way to set the tone. Welcome to my home and please try this new delicious drink. If it’s fall or winter you could offer a chai drink or tea. If it’s summer a refreshing fruity drink, or just plain cold water, will be much appreciated.
|| Make space for them. ||
By this I mean make sure they have ample room to lay out their items in their room. Clear off a dresser or side table so they can put their phone, jewelry, wallet, etc. By allowing guests room to set up their space, it makes them feel more at home. They can easily grab what they need instead of digging around for it in one of their bags. It may also make them feel more comfortable having their favorite book on their nightstand.
|| Have small gifts waiting for them.||
I’m still working on this one but it’s just extra sweet to have small gifts for your guests, letting them know they are appreciated. I had dinner at a friend’s house the other night and since her home was so beautiful she let me explore all the rooms in her house. I was blown away when I got to the guest room.
On the bed was a tray full of easy-to-grab snacks, waters, and magazines. In the bathroom, there was a welcome basket full of any toiletry one could think of! Guys, the toilet paper roll even had a rosebud folded into the outside piece. To be fair, she had a professional cleaner come and do this but still!
I’m sorry to say if you come to my house I probably won’t fold my toilet paper into a rose (but you never know!) but I will do my best to make you comfortable.
Another nice thing about the welcome basket is providing items your guests may have forgotten but don’t want to ask for: a toothbrush, toothpaste, or personal hygiene products.
|| Have a meal waiting for them when they arrive. ||
After perhaps along day of travel, it’s nice for guests to not have to think twice about what to eat. Again, it can be easy! You can always order pizza and make a healthy side salad or get a pre-made meal at the grocery store that just needs to be placed in the oven. Since you may have a little more time on that first day it might also be a great time to make that homemade meal you keep talking about. Might I suggest my crockpot chili? It’s SO simple to make and seriously the best.
|| Put extra power strips in your guest’s room.||
It can be a little awkward when you stay at someone else’s house and you can’t find an outlet to plug in your phone. This is not the biggest inconvenience, but you might as well make it easy for guests but putting an extra power strip (grab the power strip here!) in their room that they can easily find and plug into. That way they can keep their phones charged at night and not worry about where to dry their hair in the morning.
|| Create places for guests to hang things. ||
Either install permanent hooks in their rooms or just get ones that hang over the door to ensure they can hang up everything from towels to hats. It just feels nice to come into someone’s home and have a place for your things, especially in your room. That way guests don’t feel like they have their stuff all over the house and can easily find their items. This will help guests feel comfortable, even away from their homes.
|| Do something extra special.||
Being a gracious or creative hostess not only benefits our guests – but can be fun for us too! Now, this should be one of the last steps you try to implement. By providing a comfortable and warm atmosphere you have already provided so much! However, sometimes we like to kick things up a notch.
I’m not great at this step (yet) but I’d like to be. We’re talking “special plates,” tablecloths, and centerpieces. Don’t worry, you don’t need to buy expensive plates either. I’m obsessed with pretty melamine dishware right now (it’s unbreakable and can be put in the dishwasher, or even pretty paper plates and napkins!
As for centerpieces, my new favorite trick is to grab a bunch of flowers or greenery from Trader Joe’s. You can’t beat the price! And if in a pinch, don’t forget about any greenery in your own yard, especially something like Boxwood.
Here’s a complete list of all my favorite “hosting” essentials.
|| Take a moment for yourself. ||
A more balanced and healthy host is a happier host. And a happier host puts others at ease. Do your devotions before getting up to attend to everyone in the morning, do a face mask at night, or maybe retire early one night to get a little reading it.
Is there anything specific they’d like to drink, eat or do? Sometimes a simple question is enough to make guests feel welcome in your home.
How do you make Guests Feel Welcome or Comfortable In Your Home?