I love hosting. I love cooking. I love making people feel at home and like their needs are taken care of.
And it doesn’t matter if they’re staying for a few nights or just the evening; I’m excited.
Is that kind of silly? I don’t know.
But what I do know is that whenever I have people over, I really want to make sure I do it right.
Because have you ever stayed at someone’s home and felt uncomfortable? Example: they just didn’t give you the space you needed, things that you needed for an overnight’s sleep (like towels) just weren’t there, etc. etc.
And that’s why having the RIGHT tips that are gonna make your life easier and their time even more enjoyable is so important.
Also, the holidays are coming up, which makes these tips extra important. So definitely take notes, and if you have any hosting tips yourself, let me know in the comments down below; I’d love to hear about them! ☺️
Throw it All in the Bedroom
I really appreciate this tip right here because it makes your home look effortlessly clean & gives you more energy for your guests.
If you’re having someone over for the evening and the dinner is running late, and your boss needed you to stay late, or the kids just aren’t settling down… then it’s ok to just throw whatever messes you have in the bedroom.
Some coats are hung over the couches and there are too many books lying around? Put it in the bedroom.
There are a couple of dirty mugs and a plate in the living room after watching a movie last night and going to bed late and the dishwasher is all full? That’s fine, put it on your bedroom’s dresser.
I don’t care what it is, just put it in there. It’ll save you a headache and make your night run more smoothly with the guests.
Don’t Do Test Recipes!
Guys, I’ve made this mistake before and it’s not cool.
If you’re gonna do a recipe that you’ve been wanting to try, then that’s fine. BUT, you need to do it at least once before you have guests over.
Don’t wait until the day of to make it; try it out a few nights before and make sure you have it down. This is SO important because then you know what to expect and you fully understand the difficulty level of this recipe.
You’ll know that you need to start that recipe around 3 hours before they come because the instructions say it’ll take 2 hours in total cook time, but your oven is just a bit different and it ends up taking 3 hours instead.
Stay in the Guest Bedroom for a Couple of Nights
Because my husband and I have traveled full-time for the past 4 years, we understand this one very well.
We’ll arrive in an Airbnb, and realize, “Wow, this person has never slept in this bed. They literally just picked one out and never tried it. Man, my back hurts.” Or, “Yep, they have a kitchen, but they don’t even have a spatula for cooking.”
And if you don’t stay in a guest bedroom before thy arrive, then your guests are gonna have the same experience.
They’ll look for a bedside lamp to turn on so that they can wind down, but then find that all they have is a harsh and bright ceiling light.
Or, they’ll have that dreaded uncomfortable bed situation.
So basically, do unto others as you’d have them do unto you (as the saying goes). How would you want your experience to be if you were a guest?
ALSO, staying a couple of nights (even 3 nights) in the guest bedroom is optimal. That way you don’t miss any details, and you have enough time to correct things instead of rushing around the day before.
If you’re concerned about a dish turning out right, then learning some basic cooking hacks is optimal.
Here are a few for you:
- If you’re afraid of having dry chicken, then make sure to get chicken thighs (boneless if necessary). It’s dark meat which means it’s moist and tastes way better than chicken breasts (white meat).
- Feta cheese, kalamata olives, & sun-dried tomatoes are an instant food level up. Whether you’re combining them together or just going for one of them, they’re such a good burst of flavor and make your recipe just a bit extra.
- A slow cooker is also your friend; it saves you time & energy.
- Colors! One way to make your dishes look incredible is to combine colors. So if you have a pasta dish that’s just mainly yellows and oranges, then cut up some sort of green and sprinkle it on top. Then throw on that white feta cheese and crack pepper on top. You’ll basically look like an expert.👌
- When in doubt, go with a low ingredient recipe. We all have busy lives, and if you don’t have a ton of time, then look up 5-ingredient recipes online (as an example). There are a TON of dishes out there that are super good but don’t call for a ton of ingredients.
Make Lunches Simple
Get some ingredients for simple and tasty salads and cold deli cuts and cheeses for sandwiches ready.
I feel like planning for lunches is kind of annoying. For some reason, I’m fine with breakfast and dinner, but then lunch is like that extra meal of the day that requires you to use even more of your brainpower.
So keep it simple! Make this one thing that you don’t really have to think about.
Don’t Be Afraid to Order a Pizza
Whether you’re having guests over for an evening, or they’re staying for a few days, don’t feel ashamed of delivery.
People love pizza, it’s simple, and if you’re stressed, then this is a safe go-to.
Gather the Necessities
One of the best things you can do is to make sure you have everything your guests will need whether they’re staying for just a dinner or for the holidays.
Here are some ideas:
- Make sure to have extra toilet paper and a plunger in the guest bathroom.
- Have a water carafe in their guest bedroom in case they get thirsty (it’s a thoughtful touch).
- Make sure that the wifi password is also in the guest bedroom so they don’t even have to ask.
- Hairdryers are also great.
- Extra toothbrushes in case your guest left in a hurry and forgot.
- Towels in different sizes. This way if they want to take a shower or wash their face, you’re prepared.
- Spare phone chargers in case they lose one.
- Extra pillows for people who like to sleep on their side and put a pillow between their legs (or just like to sleep with more pillows than they need because coziness is key).
- Extra blankets for those who get cold easily.
- An extra jacket or sweater.
Meal Prep or Mise en Place
Going on Pinterest and getting a good meal prep plan going is always a great idea when planning for overnight guests.
But Mise en Place is also a great strategy. Basically, it’s a French cooking style. You get everything prepped – veggies cut and placed in a bowl, spices out, the meat cut up, etc. – and ready to go for when you start cooking. This way you’re not rushing about trying to find that one ingredient so that you can get that dish in the oven & finished in time before your guests arrive.
Accept Help in the Kitchen
Do NOT be afraid to accept help in the kitchen.
If you know these people very well (a good friend or a close relative), then it’s ok to accept help with taking the dishes from the table and putting them in the dishwasher. Or with wiping down the counters and gathering the glasses.
This way, you both have more time to enjoy each other’s company and it’s one less thing on your plate (no pun intended).
If you have guests that are staying for more than one night, then it’s important that you let them know that they can easily ask you for space. If they’re a couple and want time to themselves, or your guest just wants some time to relax, then let them! Communicate that you respect their space and will gladly give it.
Also, another good way to give them space is to give them an extra key (if you’re comfortable with this). Allow them to come and go as they please so that you’re both not in each other’s business constantly.
Their First Needs
If they’ve just arrived from a long distance, ask them if they need some time to collect themselves in their bedroom (take a shower, put on clean clothes, etc.), something to eat, or a hot drink.
This is a great way to make them feel considered and like they have a say in things.
Often times it’s easy to just assume that they’re ready to socialize as soon as they arrive. I mean, we wait all day for them to get arrive, so we definitely are.
But it’s good to realize that we’re gonna have multiple days to spend with them and so it’s fine to allow them to choose what they need once they arrive.
Prepping for guests can feel kind of intimidating and overwhelming, but thankfully there are plenty of great tips that’ll make things simpler. So definitely give these a try and let me know how it goes!
Also, what are some of your best hosting tips? I’d really love to know!