bedroom bed and linens
The New Year means that many families will be preparing their homes to receive guests, in some cases for a few days. If you’re expecting to house friends or family for an extended period of time, you want to make sure that they’re comfortable. A key to being a good host is making sure that they have some space to call their own: they’ll need privacy and a place to relax and rest (as will you)!
Preparing for guests means more than just offering up your guest bedroom. The bedroom where they will be sleeping is the ideal spot for them to ‘get away’, so make it a space that they’ll enjoy being in, and not just a place for some shut-eye. So aside from a set of guest towels and an extra pillow or two, here’s what you can do to make the guest bedroom an oasis.

Who doesn’t love toiletries?

What do you do when you first go into a hotel room? You probably check out the free toiletries, right? Even seasoned travelers like the pint-sized products. Indulge your guests a little with a special shampoo and conditioner, some soap, and a shower cap. Add a little note reminding them that you have a stash of other necessities in the event that they forgot an essential, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, sanitary products, a comb and so on.
Another nice touch is to have hotel style slippers in the room, as that is an item people often forget to bring when they travel. Your guests can use them to walk around the house comfortably, too!
There is an added benefit of having a few of these items on hand: in the event of a ‘surprise’ guest (someone who attended your party and perhaps indulged a little too much) you’ll be ready to make them as comfortable as can be!

Other necessities to have for your guests:

Make sure that your guest room has a few items at the ready, including:
  • A waste basket.
  • Tissues.
  • A clock.
  • A night light. Even adults can be uncomfortable in an unfamiliar space, and at the very least they won’t stub their toes if they have to get up in the night!
  • An accessible plug for chargers.
  • Hooks on doors or space in a closet for hanging clothes (include some hangers too), as well as shelves for folded clothes or dresser with available drawer space.
  • Extra blanket and pillows, as we don’t all have the same needs when it comes to being warm at night. In the summer, you might want to include a fan.
  • A little booklet with information such as the WIFI password, and any instructions about your home. For example, if you use an alarm system, make sure to let them know that you arm it at night so they don’t decide to take an early morning walk and wake the whole house!

Snacks, water, and wine

Leave a bottle of wine and/or water, as well as a set of glasses in their room, and a basket of treats including crackers, chips, nuts and perhaps some chocolate. If they want to settle in to read a book or watch a little television, they have something to nibble on instead of having to go to the kitchen to look for food. They may even be too embarrassed to go to the kitchen in the middle of the night for a snack, so some treats can go a long way.
You can add a note reminding them that there is a basket of tea and coffee items in the kitchen and that they should feel free to help themselves! Make sure it’s clear and obvious where the basket is and check it regularly while your guests are in your home to make sure it’s well-stocked.

Accommodating younger guests

Visiting someone else’s house can be a little scary—staying overnight even more so! Make sure that even your youngest guest feels welcome with a few treats just for them: some bubble bath, a rubber duck, a coloring book and some pencils could do the trick! If you plan on accommodating a family with a baby, you may want to have a few extra essentials on hand: extra towels, unscented baby wipes, baby soap, and a baby-friendly toy. The parents will definitely appreciate the thought!

Entertainment time

Set up the television with a channel guide and instructions for turning on the extras, like Netflix, as well as how to operate the DVD player, if you have one. Leave them a selection of DVDs to choose from!
You could also include a selection of books and magazines, in case they’re looking for something to read at the end of the evening. Include some local publications, if they’re not from the area, including the local or community newspaper.

Don’t forget about you!

Here are a few things you should have handy at all times, but never more so than when you have houseguests:
  • A well stocked first aid kit, including bandaids and antibiotic ointment.
  • OTC products like ibuprofen, cough and cold remedies, allergy medication, anti-diarrheal and heartburn medication. You may not be running a pharmacy, but if you can avoid having to make a late night run to one, you’re well prepared!
  • Check your current stock of emergency provisions for a longer visit, or at a time of year when storms and power outages are possible. Have extra water, batteries, and blankets on hand when you anticipate guests coming.
  • Make sure that your family bathroom, or the bathroom your guests will be using, is well stocked with extra toilet paper, a plunger and a clean toilet brush. A can of scent spray can also help guests feel less embarrassed about any lingering odors!

With all of these tips, you can make your guests feel at home, with a minimum of fuss.

Sophie Kaemmerle

Sophie Kaemmerle is Communications Manager at NeighborWho ( NeighborWho is a great resource to help you better understand your neighborhood. Learn about your neighbors, the houses on your street, current and past owners, access property reports and lookup public records. Public records are aggregated to compile in-depth reports on properties & people—NeighborWho provides a wealth of information at your fingertips.

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