If you’re expecting overnight guests during the holidays, this is the perfect opportunity to spruce up your guest room and ensure it has everything your guests might want during their stay. Whether they’re traveling from across the country or just over a few states, your guests will be grateful if you’re able to anticipate their needs.
Growing up, I watched my parents practice hospitality often. They were really good at knowing how to make our guests feel comfortable and welcome, and I’ve taken their example with me into adulthood. But if you didn’t grow up with a model of hospitality, preparing a guest room can seem daunting and stressful.
I have a suggestion for you: think about what you’d find in a hotel room, and make that your template for your own guest room! Hotels make it their business to practice good hospitality, so why not take a page from their book?
If you feel at a loss when it comes to hosting guests in your home overnight, copy what the good hotels do and you’ll have a four-star guest room by Christmas!
Whether you have a whole guest suite to offer or just a re-purposed child’s bedroom, make your guest space a haven. If your guests feel like they have a space of their own–a comfortable “home base” within your home–they will be more relaxed during their stay. (And you will, too, since you’ll know you’ve taken care of them so well!)
Here are 19 things that every guest room needs:
1. A place for guests to set their suitcase – You might not have an actual suitcase rack, but you could clear off a low dresser or end table. Or if nothing else, have some furniture-free floor space along a wall.
2. An empty (or relatively empty) closet with extra hangers – Getting rid of junk will make your home more comfortable for people, and here’s a prime example! Instead of cramming the guest room closet with stored stuff, leave space for your guests to hang up their clothes and stash shoes and extra bags. You might also want to clear out a few dresser drawers for their use.
3. Instructions for accessing the internet – Put the WiFi password on an index card, and let guests know how much you’ll charge per day for internet use. (Just kidding! Don’t charge.)
4. Hot drink options – Make it easy for guests to access the coffee and hot water pots in the kitchen, with teabags and coffee or cocoa supplies nearby. (You could even put an electric kettle and tea supplies in the bedroom, if there’s room for them!)
5. Plenty of clean towels – Include a bath towel, hand/face towel, and washcloth for each person, even if you don’t personally use all those sizes.
6. Toiletries – It’s a nice touch to have some neutral shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, and toothpaste on hand, in case guests forget to bring something.
7. Cleared-off bathroom counters – Simplify your bathroom so that there’s extra space for guests to pull out their toiletries.
8. Extra toilet paper – You don’t want anyone to run out at the wrong moment(:
9. Hair dryer – Put this in a bathroom drawer. A guest probably wouldn’t think to bring one, but might want it!
10. Trashcan – This isn’t as obvious as you might think. You’d be surprised how many people forget to put a trashcan in a guest bedroom or bathroom if that room isn’t in normal use.
11. A dark room – Put up some heavy curtains or shades so your guests get better sleep.
12. Extra blankets or throws – Spread one across the foot of the bed or stack some in the closet.
13. Alarm clock – Not that anyone wants to wake up early on vacation, but who knows? Maybe they want to get a jump on you and make breakfast for everyone.(: I have a small clock similar to this one which I like because the light doesn’t stay on continually. You can check the time at night with the push of a button, but you don’t have to worry about the light blaring in your face all night!
14. Tissue box – Put a pretty one on the bedside table.
15. Fan – This is good for white noise and so your guests have a little more control over the temperature.
16. Small flashlight or night light – Guests don’t know their way around your house in the dark, so save their shins.
17. Multiple lighting options – The overhead light shouldn’t be the only light source in the room. Add some floor lamps or bedside reading lights to create a more cozy atmosphere.
18. Reading material – There are all kinds of “bedside companion” books. Coffee table style nature picture books (like the kind you see on sale at Barnes & Noble) are pretty universal. And for something very quirky, this one is a classic!
19. A snack – Your mealtimes might not be when your guest is used to eating. Put some non-messy snacks like granola bars, almonds, or fruit in a small basket on the dresser.
If you need help decluttering your home so you have more room for guests, read my book. Your Simple Home Handbook presents you with 30 different spaces in your home and offers proven suggestions to simplify each one.