Hosting family can be a glorious, heartwarming mess of joy, chaos, and unforgettable memories. Who doesn’t love a house filled with laughter, stories, and the wonderful aroma of home-cooked meals?
But as much as we love our families, hosting can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when the guest list grows. To help take you from being stressed and overwhelmed to the host with the most, this article will provide some practical, fun, and easy-to-follow tips to make hosting family a breeze.
1. Always Be Prepared and Plan Ahead
Ever tried putting together a puzzle without the picture on the box? Hosting family can feel like that if you haven’t planned. Avoid that unnecessary stress by starting with a simple checklist of tasks that need to be done before your beloved crew descends. This could include grocery shopping, house cleaning, and, most importantly, planning sleeping arrangements.
If you don’t have enough beds for everyone to be comfortable, that’s your first port of call because it’s the easiest way to simplify a visit and make it more homey in one step. Look for alternatives if you’re short on sleeping space.
From air mattresses to foldable futons or even sleepover beds for the young, alternative sleeping spaces provide options for every family and every home. Not only do they help conserve space, but they also ensure everyone gets a good night’s sleep — essential for maintaining peace.
2. Make Your Guests Feel at Home
The hospitality game is all about comfort and personal touches. When your family visits, they’re not staying at a hotel but at home. A little thought can go a long way.
Set up the guest room or sleepover area with the amenities you would expect in the comfort of your home. Ensure the wifi password is readily available, and have extra phone chargers. Make sure there are fresh, clean towels and toiletries available. Check all the lightbulbs in their rooms to make sure guests aren’t left in the dark, and give everything spruce (or at least a general once-over)!
If you know, Aunt Sally loves mystery novels, have a few available. Get your Marvel DVD collection on the coffee table if the kids are mad about superheroes. These personal gestures show you’ve thought about their comfort and can make them feel welcome and at home.
3. Plan Activities To Keep Them Entertained
Nothing brings out yawns quicker than a lack of things to do. While you don’t need to schedule your guests within an inch of their life, have some options and suggestions ready for downtime so they’re not left aimless.
Consider the diverse age range and interests in your group. Kids might love a day at the park or a backyard treasure hunt, while adults may prefer a relaxed game night or a local sightseeing tour. Can’t forget the teenagers — maybe a movie night with the latest blockbusters? The key is variety.
But not every moment needs to be scheduled. Sometimes the best memories come from those spontaneous, unscripted moments. Everyone appreciates a bit of downtime to relax or explore on their own.
4. Cater to Their Food and Drink Tastes
Regarding family gatherings, food isn’t just fuel — it’s an event all on its own. If you’ve ever felt like your kitchen is the bustling hub of activity, you’re not wrong — so let’s make it a delicious hub!
Plan your meals and consider your family’s dietary needs and preferences. Remember Uncle Bob’s gluten intolerance or Cousin Lisa’s new vegan diet. How about setting up a DIY taco bar or a make-your-own-pizza night? Not only is this fun, but it also caters to different taste buds. If cooking isn’t your forte, there’s no shame in ordering in from a popular local eatery.
Make sure there are plenty of drinks, too. Stock up on everything from water, juice, and soda to adult beverages for those late-night catch-ups. Then, there’s the most important thing for every morning: coffee and tea. Nobody wants to wake up in a new place and go through the day uncaffeinated.
5. Communication and Set Expectations
Clear communication can save you from any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. If there’s a co-worker meeting you can’t miss, or you’re looking after the neighbor’s cat, let your guests know. It’s all about setting realistic expectations so everyone is on the same page.
The Host With the Most
Hosting your family can be a wonderful experience, rather than stress-inducing, with a little bit of planning and some thoughtful touches. Next time you see that group chat message suggesting a family get-together at your place, don’t panic! You’re now equipped with all the tips to make it a fun, hassle-free experience that leaves you with lovely memories rather than a mountain of stress.