Pull out the Murphy bed or blow up that air mattress—we’ve got 7 stress-free tips for hosting houseguests. Whether it’s old friends or in-laws, a little hospitality goes a long way!

7 tips for hosting houseguests

1. Send a love note

Send a short note or email to your guests before they arrive. Although we think a hand-written note is much more personal, an email will definitely suffice. Craft some welcoming prose letting them know the general plan during their stay. Include apparel suggestions—shoes for walking, dinner attire, etc. You may also want to advise on the weather and inquire on dietary restrictions. Most importantly, get the intel on how your guests take their coffee so you can be armed with all the necessary supplies!

2. Get wired

Does it take a PhD to operate the television? Do you have to enter a password for Wi-Fi? It’s handy for everyone if you have written instructions available to operate the television and access the Internet. That way, if your guests are unattended at any point, they can take care of themselves! Once you have the information handy—say, in a Word document—you can keep it available for future guests as well.

3. Organize toiletries

The three-ounce only carry-on rule really inhibits travelers from packing many necessities. Keeping sundries like soap, lotion, sunscreen and shampoo on hand will be most appreciated by your weary travelers. Other handy items include toothbrushes, disposable razors, nail files, eye drops, dental floss and lip balm.

4. Female emergency kit

Nothing is more embarrassing than asking your host for a ride to the grocery store to buy tampons. Save your guests from an awkward situation by having emergency feminine supplies on hand. You can discretely place tampons in a decorative box on the toilet or stash them in a bathroom drawer. You get the idea!

5. Laundry service

It’s always good etiquette to wash the guest room sheets prior to your visitor’s arrival. You might think they’re clean, but sheets that have been dormant get dusty, and changing seasons bring a variety of insects—have you ever Googled dust?! Besides, fresh sheets always smell great!

6. Housewarming

The key to hosting overnight guests is to make them feel at home. Place a few bottled waters in their room and load up the bed with plenty of spare blankets and pillows. Clear out some space in the closet or substitute a sturdy chair for a luggage rack. It’s all about the details!

7. Flexible agenda

Last but not least, have some activities planned but keep it flexible. A nice hike or a neighborhood walk, great restaurants and local attractions are great time fillers, but you also want time to sit and visit with your guests minus distractions. They did come to see you, after all!

Cheryl Najafi | CEO & Creative Catalyst | Everyday Dishes & DIY “When guests are comfortable, so are the hosts. A little pre-planning helps everyone have a great time.” – Cheryl