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10 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Hosting Houseguests

If you want to be a good host, it's important to know what will make your guests comfortable and what will make them want to turn around and go home.

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Don’t keep the guests guessing

Houseguests often feel a bit on edge being in someone else’s space, which is why it’s important to make them feel as comfortable as possible. If they have no idea where things are or how things work, they’ll be hesitant to make a move, or even ask! Be sure you’ve given them the rundown, from WiFi information to how to use the coffee machine. Expert tip: run through these 11 tips for hosting overnight guests and they’ll have the perfect stay.

Hipster blogger or cook holds wooden tray or board with homemade organic flatbread pizza, covered with vegetables, veggies and cheese, romantic diy dinner with wineDe Repente/Shutterstock

Don’t ask guests to bring their own food

Unless you’re planning a casual potluck, asking guests to bring something is poor form. You have invited them into your home for dinner, the weekend, a mini-vacation, etc. It’s important for you to understand that if you expect guests to pile in with their own bedding and food, then you probably shouldn’t have them over! If guests insist on bringing something, accept graciously.

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Don’t give guests chores

It may seem convenient to ask your guest to take out the trash if they’re already on their way outside but refrain from such a request. If they offer to do so, let them be thoughtful and help out, of course, but otherwise, don’t pawn off chores on them.

Remote control and bowl of popcorn on orange sofa, elevated viewAir Images/Shutterstock

Don’t cook something for yourself without sharing

You may have just a little bit of fish left that would be perfect for a single meal, but to eat it in front of your hungry houseguests is just plain rude. It’s also awkward if you cook it for yourself and then give them something else. Avoid that tension by cooking the fish and giving everyone a bite as an appetizer.

Tasting cheese dish with herbs and fruits on old black wooden table. Food for wine and romantic, cheese delicatessen. Menu design horizontal. Top flat view. Anton Chernov/Shutterstock

Don’t forget to accommodate guests’ dietary needs

Some of your guests may have special dietary restrictions. Whether it’s a lifestyle choice or an allergy, it’s important you ask your houseguests what their restrictions are before hosting them. How embarrassing would it be for both of you if you made a stack of burgers only to find out they don’t eat meat or if you served ice cream to someone who’s lactose intolerant?


Don’t go crazy if guests forget the house rules

Just because you don’t allow shoes in your home doesn’t mean your houseguests are easily going to pick up the habit. While they’d surely never want to defy you just for the sake of it if they come into the house with their shoes on, throwing your hands up and hustling them back to the door to take them off is just excessive. You can always gently remind them to put their shoes by the door when they get a second. If that is a big pet peeve of yours, a shoe shelf might be a good addition to the list of the 13 things every guest room needs.

Washing dishes concept. A white plate, a knife, wooden kitchen spatulas and spoons in the detergent foam on a black oven-tray. Top view.Shchus/Shutterstock

Don’t invite guests into a dirty house

A little dirt never hurt anyone, but houseguests really don’t want to come into your bathroom to see a stained toilet, a layer of dried soap on your shower door or a trash can filled to the brim. It’s best to make communal spaces sparkle when hosting, otherwise, it just seems like you don’t care. In the kitchen, be sure there aren’t crumbs on the floor or dirty dishes filling up the sink. In the living room, be mindful that cat or dog hair has been vacuumed up.

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Don’t display things guests really don’t want to see

When you’re at home with just your family, it may seem OK to hang underwear to dry out in the backyard, leave a bottle of pills you take for ailments out on a table, or spread out bills on the desk, but when hosting houseguests, it is uncomfortable for guests to see these private things that should be put away.

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Don’t make everything about you

Houseguests will be glad to compliment you on your stylish home, your amazing cooking skills, or your gorgeous family, but if you sit back and toot your own horn, your guests may feel like you’re only hosting to impress them. Avoid trying to dazzle too much and instead create a level of comfort with your houseguests, letting them know it’s OK to come out of their bedroom without dressing to the nines, ask them questions about their life, and provide them compliments when appropriate.

Making tea. Delighted man standing near table and raising right hand while pouring down waterYAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV/Shutterstock

Don’t forget to take care of yourself

Your houseguests are only as happy, relaxed and comfortable as you are, and if you’re too busy running around, burning the candle at both ends to try and make everyone else feel good, you’ll exhaust yourself, and that will surely impact your guests. Be sure to create space when need be, so that hosting is fun, not a chore. Besides, what houseguests actually notice, there’s plenty they don’t see. You can stop worrying about these 9 things your houseguests will never notice.


Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine, and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty, and scientific news. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected], and check out her website: