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Don’t be unprepared when company comes knocking

Hosting family and friends can be stressful, especially if they are staying more than a few days, so be prepared when company comes knocking on your door. Prep the guest room ahead of time to not only take some last-minute pressure off yourself but also make guests feel welcome as soon as they arrive. Avoid these five mistakes when housing out-of-towners, and earn the reputation of gracious hostess.

Not preparing the guest room.

If you’ve been using your guest room as extra storage space, now’s the time to declutter and spruce up the space for company. Give the room a quick clean, and arrange candles or scented oils to keep it smelling fresh. Make up the bed with fresh sheets, and stock the bathroom cabinets with clean towels. You want your guests to know you’re expecting them and are excited for their stay in your home. Try these decorating ideas for creating the ultimate home away from home for guests.

Related: 2 Days + $200 = New Family Room!

Not providing basic information

Leave a card with the Wi-Fi and important phone numbers. If guests are staying more than a few days, leave them a key and the alarm code so they know they have the freedom to come and go as they please.

Not anticipating guests’ needs.

Welcome travelers with anything they might need during their stay. Leave out extra pillows, blankets, and towels to make them feel comfortable and cared for, as if they were staying in a hotel. Accommodate the airplane travelers by stocking the bathroom with toiletries and extra necessities like toothbrushes, toothpaste, and razors. Another thoughtful addition is to provide water, soft drinks, and snacks out for your guests, and keep the supply stocked throughout their stay.

Not having at least a few activities planned.

You don’t have to schedule every minute of your guests’ stay, but outlining a few basic activities will keep everyone entertained (and out of your hair). Map out your favorite parks, museums, restaurants, and shops and more for guests to get out and explore. It’s a fun way to show them your city and get everyone out of the house.

Not letting guests know they are welcome

Write a short-but-sweet note welcoming guests to your home and how excited you are for their visit.

Know these tips and you'll be the most gracious hostess during any season of the year.