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How to Host House Guests {Tips + Tricks}

This weekend, I will be attending the much anticipated [for reals] annual Schussel Family Reunion!

Lucky for me, I married into a pretty awesome family that values time spent together.  Since the reunion is taking place in Southern California this year, we are hosting my brother-in-law, sister-in-law [whom is pregnant with my future nephew!], and The World’s Best Niece [don’t argue with me, because it’s true] for a few days before we make the trek.


I love hosting people, especially now that we have some guest rooms to fill.  There are a few little tricks up my sleeve that aren’t revolutionary by any means, but that tend to make your house guests feel welcome.  Now, without further ado, here they are:

1. Essentials Basket

Maaayyybe I’m a bit of a klepto, but I’m in the habit of “long-term borrowing” from hotels when it comes to their travel-sized toiletries.  I know the frustration of forgetting to pack an item, so I like to provide these for my guests in case they need something.


This one from The Creative Mama is an adorable example!

Here are some items I put in my guest basket:

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Shoe polish kit
  • Sewing kit
  • Face wash
  • Disposable razor
  • Dental floss
  • Comb
  • Lotion
  • Face moisturizer
  • Tide pen

This way, when a guest needs to use something, they don’t have to go to the store or ask their host!  I just check the basket after my guest leaves, and replace whatever was used.

2. Tip Sheet

Our guests sometimes have to hang out at the house while we are at work, so it’s nice to provide a list of go-to spots, like favorite happy hours, your coffee shop haunt, or some community happenings that they might be interested in during their stay.


Some categories I included were:

  • Places to Eat [fast casual and sit-down restaurants]
  • Beverage Fix [coffee shops, smoothie places]
  • Special Treats
  • Places to Play [parks, beaches, hikes]
  • Local Events

This is a great place to put in a little piece of info about what you love most about each place listed, as well as some helpful information (i.e., parking situations, favorite menu items, price range, views/scenery).

3. Stock Up

Find out if there are any dietary restrictions, and plan accordingly!  For our house guests this week, that means no soft cheeses for my preggers sis-in-law, and absolutely no mustard for my anti-Dijon brother-in-law 😉 I also like to include favorite snacks or drinks of theirs that I know they will love.

diy fruit salad - birthday party - LocalLove805

Next, plan meals!  If you have a wide variety of dietary restrictions or tastes, choose ‘customizable meals’ — i.e., burrito bowls, make-your-own pizzas, or tacos.  Make sure you have all of the ingredients on hand, so that you spend less time running to the store, and more time hanging out with your friends and family!

Finally, let them know what to eat!  I included this at the end of their Tip Sheet, and categorized by breakfast, lunch, and snacks.  List a few options underneath each category so that your guests can help themselves without worry.

4. Kid Stuff

Since we have my niece visiting, we grabbed a few things at The Dollar Spot [best Target invention everrr] so that she would have some fun things to do.

kids birthday party - LocalLove805

Some ideas [for a four-year-old girl, anyway] are bracelet-making kits, arts and crafts, notebooks and fun markers, a ball, and some lip gloss.  And, on these hot summer days, a $7 plastic pool was one of the best investments ever.


On your Tip Sheet, make sure to include some kid-friendly places to eat, hikes, parks, and both indoor and outdoor play places.  We also looked up free community events for children, such as library story time, Kids Clubs, magic shows, and petting zoo events.

What are your favorite ways to make your guests feel welcome?  Let us know!


xx, Nicole {Team LL805}

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  1. Ashten
    3 years ago

    Kyle, Gatbsy and I are on our way! You’re the BEST hostess! Saving some of these tips for when you and Brett visit us in Feb! (I didn’t forget 😉 )

    1. Nicole
      3 years ago

      Sounds great! We would love to visit you guys in HotLanta!

  2. Emalee
    3 years ago

    I always leave out clean towels on the dresser so guests aren’t hunting for them or questioning if they can use the ones already hanging up. I also make sure there are tissues and perhaps a few magazines on the night stand. I love having a guest room!

    1. Nicole
      3 years ago

      Nice Emalee! Great ideas — magazines are the best!


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