I’ve found that one of the best ways to make your guests feel at home is to put yourself in their shoes. How do you feel when you stay at someone else’s home? Are you relaxed, or is it sometimes awkward? In which homes do you feel the most relaxed?
I know that even when I stay with close relatives or friends, I tend to feel a little awkward no matter how hard they try to make me feel comfortable. I presume that my guests feel the same way, so I try to make sure they don’t have to ask for anything.
Show Your Guests Around
This means more than giving the grand tour. Show your guests where drinking glasses are stored and where extra beverages are kept. Invite your guests to help themselves, since it is impossible to be always ready to serve. Your guests should feel free to get a glass of milk in the middle of the night, but they won’t if they have to fumble around or try to find things.
Keep Extra Food within Reach
A bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter and a basket filled with granola bars, packages of cheese and crackers, etc. are good ideas. Your guests may become hungry when it isn’t time for a meal, and you don’t want them to feel shy about eating. Grab-able snacks are a great way to help avoid awkwardness (and hunger!). It’s also good to have something a bit more substantial available as well, such as bagels and cream cheese or stuff to make sandwiches. I like to make a fresh veggie tray too.
Put Necessities Out in the Open
While you may normally keep everything stored away, it makes sense to leave extra items within reach for guests. More soap, toothpaste, or toilet paper will likely be needed with more people than usual using these items. Extra blankets and towels can be stacked neatly within sight. Guests do not want to dig through cabinets or linen closets to find things. Leave things in plain sight, or show guests where these items are stored.