The days of hosting house guests on the floor of your dorm room with nothing more than a sleeping bag and a promise to stay under the covers until noon are over. You’re a dignified adult now, and you must prepare to treat your house guests with open arms, a dash of respect, and a bundle of love. Whether the in-laws are coming for the holidays or your best girlfriend from college is coming for a visit, with some preparation, you can be a great host to your house guests. Here’s how –

Clean the house.

The first step to preparing for house guests is getting your house in order. Start a few days before your guest’s arrival. Dusting and cleaning the floors and bathrooms can be your first priority, followed by laundry and straightening up the living areas and kitchen. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you and your spouse can divide the chores and make your apartment or home looks its best.

Prepare your house guest’s bed.

Even if you can only offer a pull-out couch in your living room, you can still make the space welcoming. If you can, make the bed before your house guests arrive. If you can’t have everything you need to make the bed nearby. Use fresh, clean sheets and try to have two pillows on hand per guest. Think about where your house guests will be. If they’re in the basement, for example, it might get chilly, so extra blankets or a space heater might make sense.

Win brownie points with a basket for your house guests.

Put together a welcome basket for house guests, who you really want to impress (think mother-in-law). The basket could be filled with a couple of bottles of water, some tissues, travel-sized toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, and other necessities. You could make it super nice by including soft slippers and scented candles. For those who don’t know the area well, include maps, bus schedules, coupons for local stores, etc.

Try to anticipate the needs of your guests.

People who stay overnight usually need clean towels, a blow drier, an alarm clock, and drinking water near the bed. Offer those items up to your house guests from the start, so they don’t have to keep asking you for them. If your guests are staying a week or longer, you should try to make space for them in a closet or dresser, so they have a place to store their clothes. If you make space in a closet, offer them hangers, too.

Pay attention to the finishing details.

Small gestures can go a long way to making house guests feel at home. For example, making your house guest’s bed in the morning and leaving a couple of Hershey’s kisses on the pillow is something people never forget. Having a clean bathrobe on hand for them to use will help house guests feel pampered. Putting out scented candles in a room that can be humid and is rarely aired out shows you are extra thoughtful. Since you’re not running a five-star hotel, these details are not necessary but they will be appreciated.

Cook up something special for house guests.

Having house guests over for the weekend is a good excuse to make your famous pancakes. You can also serve simple meals – canned soup and a salad or poached eggs or a roasted chicken. The point is to not let your house guests go hungry.

Be nice.

Put a smile on your face to greet your house guests. Don’t argue with your husband or wife in front of them. And politely answer whatever questions they have about the area or your home. Kind words are all you really need to be a great host to your house guests.