Jot down these hosting tips before your guests come to visit.

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated July 14, 2016
Make Your Guests Feel at Home
Credit: Apartment Therapy

This article originally appeared on

The summer is prime hosting season, but the reality is, many of us don’t have the luxury of owning a guest room to offer to friends and family when they pass through town. Yet even in a small space, there are simple ways to make overnight guests feel more comfortable and welcome in your home—even if they’re just crashing on the couch.

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Make Your Guests Feel at Home
Credit: Apartment Therapy

1 Set Up a “Bedside” Tray

If you don’t have an entire room to devote to your guests, set up a tray of essentials in lieu of a bedside table. Stock a rimmed tray with a carafe of water, tissues, an alarm clock, and some little extras, such as flowers, a small plant, or a candle. Your visitors will appreciate having everything right at their fingertips when they wake up.

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2 Designate a Space That’s All Theirs

Particularly when guests don’t have a room of their own, it’s important to give them an area where they can set up camp—even if it’s just a couch. Establish a spot for them before they arrive, so that they know immediately where to stash their luggage. Consider clearing out space in a closet or armoire where they can put away their suitcases or hang up clothing. If it’s possible space-wise, avoid using the area designated for your guests for other purposes during their stay. For example, try not to use their makeshift "bed" to entertain or watch TV, which can make visitors feel like they’re imposing.

3 Make An Extra Set of Keys

Providing houseguests with a spare set of keys grants them the freedom to come and go as they please, which helps them feel more at home. This allows them flexibility regardless of your schedule, and lets them head out to the cafe down the street whenever they want time to themselves.

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4 What You Lack in Space, Make Up for in Supplies

If your guests’ sleeping quarters are a little lacking, make up for it by stocking the other areas of your home. Buy food, beer, or wine you know your visiting friends or family like. In the bathroom, put out sample size toiletries, as well as extra soap and toilet paper where guests can find them easily without having to search through every cabinet.

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5 Give Your Guest Bed an Upgrade

Consider being generous and giving up the master bed, especially if a couple is visiting and it’s a short stay. If you have the room for it and host relatively often, it’s worth investing in a sleeper sofa, or at the very least, a reliable air mattress. Check out our annual guide for the Ten Best Sleeper Sofas, and see our picks for the Best Air Mattresses. For added privacy, you may also want to set up a temporary screen that can be left up during the visit and stowed away when your guests head home.