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Resist the urge to iron the sheets. Here are the details that actually matter when you’re having company. Aim your efforts at these five things and you’ll be guaranteed a nomination for hostess of the year.

wifi password
Twenty20

The Wi-Fi Password

It’s usually the first thing guests ask for, and if your face goes blank, well, it can get a little awkward. One easy way to make it known without having to memorize your cryptic login is to print it out before guests arrive. Hang it right on the fridge or frame it and stick it in the guest bedroom.

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Bai

Snacks on Snacks on Snacks

People love to pick between meals (especially during the holidays, when diets are out the window). Put out premade snacks in visible places—like a glass cake stand stacked with flaky croissants or a basket filled with clementines. That way, no one has to awkwardly hunt through the cabinets (or, gasp, go hungry). As for the fridge, stock it with individual bottles of Bai or cans of Bai Bubbles instead of supersize juice containers. Not only are they perfect for keeping the dishwashing to a minimum but they’re chock-full of good-for-you antioxidants.

where to put things
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A Place to Drop Things

Clear a space on the coat rack, hang a little chalkboard sign that reads “Shoes here!” and clean out the top couple of drawers in the guest bedroom dresser. It’s little things like this that make it easy for guests to settle in.

clean bathroom
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Bathroom Essentials

First things first: Make sure it’s squeaky-clean (no one wants to find a handful of hair when they drop their earring on the floor). Then put full bottles of shampoo in the shower, fresh soap in the dish and sundries like Q-tips and toothpaste in nice containers out in the open. If they’ve forgotten anything (which happens more often than not), at least you’ve got the basics covered.

fresh linens
Twenty20

Fresh Linens

Towels and sheets can start smelling stale if they’ve been sitting in the closet for a while. Before you make the bed and put out the towels, toss them into the dryer with a few scented dryer sheets. They’ll be nicely fluffed and smelling lovely in no time. If you’re really committed, a few spritzes of lavender pillow mist will seal the deal.

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