A nosy houseguest can put you off hosting for good. Everyone was having a nice time until someone comes back from the bathroom and asks what you’re taking that lithium for. Nobody should make you feel judged in your own house, but some people leave you no choice but to head potential conflicts off before they can start.
Hiding certain things before guests come over can preserve your sanity and keep the party running smoothly. A good rule of thumb: If a guest seeing something will start a conversation you’d really rather not have, it’s much easier to hide it. Your mileage may vary, but these five categories are a good place to start.
Not all guests care about clutter, but if yours do—or claim they don’t, but you know better—it’s a good idea to get rid of the most obvious offenders, starting with the bathroom. Clutter can read as dirty even when it’s not, and besides, it’s much nicer to use a sink that isn’t crowded with bottles. Dump it all in the bathtub and draw the shower curtain if you have to.
This also applies to personal hygiene tools. Most people who have facial and/or body hair groom it in some way, but nobody wants to see your electric razor. Pop that thing in the medicine cabinet or a drawer while people are over. Or, if there’s absolutely no storage left in your bathroom, at least make sure it’s clean.
Drugs (legal or otherwise)
Whether or not you live in a state with legal weed, it’s probably a good idea to gather your paraphernalia and hide it somewhere secure during dinner parties. Bongs and pipes are kinda smelly, anyways; it’s just polite to confine that smell to an area where guests won’t be hanging out. (And if some of your guests are kids, their parents will especially appreciate you stashing the edibles somewhere out of reach.) The same thing goes for any other drugs, legal or otherwise, that you’d rather not answer questions about—or worse, have stolen.
Certain books and movies
A familiar book or movie can spark a fun, engaging discussion among party guests, but it can also do the exact opposite. If you own media that could cause a stir (in a bad way), it’s best to stow it during parties. For some scenarios, this could be porn; for others, it could be any so-called “controversial” titles. Depending on the giver’s level of tenacity, you may even be able to avoid an uncomfortable “So, what did you think of that book I gave you?” conversation by hiding the book in question before they come over.
Even the most open-minded house guests probably don’t want to come face-to-face with a dildo stuck to the wall while using the bathroom. (Although if they do, more power to you all!) Before having people over, make sure to collect your sex toys from wherever they ended up and put them in a secure hiding spot.
Nosiness isn’t the only sin a houseguest can commit. Recklessness can also be a problem—and in some cases, it can be downright dangerous. It’s unlikely that your guests will take an antique revolver or your 1:1 reproduction Andúril off the wall and do something deeply stupid, but if it’s a drinking kind of party, it could happen. As always, better safe than sorry: Put your decorative weapons in a closet or the basement until your guests are long gone.