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Being the host with the most: Tips for hosting house guests with success

By Berit Griffin October 6, 2011

Many cultures consider hospitality to be a sacred obligation. We all want to treat our guests well, but sometimes things fall through the cracks. It’s especially difficult when you have guests staying overnight or longer.

The ever-helpful House Beautiful offers some tips about “What Your Houseguests Won’t Tell You” that are awesome. Check them out, and here are some more from us.

If there’s anything about your bathroom that your guests need to know, just tell them. There’s no need to be delicate. If you have a septic system that doesn’t allow most things to be flushed, let your guests know. Put up small signs in the bathroom as well — it’s always helpful to have a reminder. Likewise, if the handle needs to be held down until the toilet is done flushing, the bathroom door knob needs to be jiggled to the left to lock, or the shower needs to run for a minute before there’s any kind of water pressure, don’t leave your guests guessing.

Sleep in your guestroom! You can do this when your room is being painted, but you should spend a night in there every so often — at least every six months and preferably quarterly. How else are you to know that the box spring squeaks when you turn over, or the bar on the sofa bed digs into your back, or that the radiator goes crazy at midnight and heats the room to 90 degrees? Don’t depend on your guests telling you; they’ll probably be too polite.

Ask about dietary needs. Providing meals for a vegetarian or someone with a gluten allergy might seem daunting at first, but most people want to help you out with food shopping and prep. And of course, you as a good host don’t want your guests to be hungry. Nothing ruins a visit faster than growling stomachs!

What are your tips for being a good host and making your guests comfortable?