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10 Things You Should Never 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 maker. They’ll be able to find things easily if you follow these clever kitchen organizing tips from Marie Kondo.

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guests Iakov Filimonov/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. (You should also be sure to avoid these rude conversation habits.)

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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.

Brush up on a few of the things polite people always say.

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Don’t Forget to Accommodate Guests’ Dietary Needs


Some of your guests may have special dietary needs. 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?

Need to whip up dinner in record time? Here are 25 brilliant cooking shortcuts you’ll wish you knew sooner!

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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.

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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 okay 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. When hosting houseguests, however, do your best to ensure these private things are put away. These Marie Kondo organization tips can help!

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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.

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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.

Feeling frazzled? These expert stress management tips can help.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman