We’ve all been there – the awkward overnight! You’re hungry but not sure how to ask for food, you forgot your toothbrush, the bed is terrible! All of these problems signal to a guest that they are not your priority and reduce the likelihood of a return visit. But, contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a posh guest suite to make a guest feel at home, just a few thoughtful touches and preparation can make all the difference!
Start off by living in your house as guest for a night or two. Sleep on your “guest bed” whether that’s a bed, a futon, a fold out couch, or an air mattress. Does the mattress have that dip that makes you roll to the middle? Did the air mattress deflate at 2 a.m.? Is your couch guilty of having that awful bar in the middle of your back? Make an effort to change it! Inexpensive options like foam toppers or a new air mattress can eliminate a poor night’s sleep for your guests. Don’t forget to use your guest bathroom too! My sister was my first guest to my very first house, I’ll never forget her saying “You probably don’t know this since you don’t use your guest bath to shower, but there’s really no place to hang a bathrobe or a toiletries bag.” Whoops! Simple hook on the back of the door solved that problem.
Leave out essentials where it’s easy for guests to find them. Repurpose a basket you have kicking around the house to be a bathroom toiletries catch all. Stock it with extras and travel sized shampoos, soap, toothbrushes, feminine products, pain killers, etc. If you’re like me, these things tend to multiply like rabbits in my house anyway. It’s also a good idea to stick an extra roll of toilet paper in there so guests don’t have to dig around your cabinets in the middle of the night when the roll runs out! In your kitchen, set out a bowl of granola bars and fruit on the counter for easy, healthy snacks and put easy drinks front and center in your fridge.
Be prepared for bed and bath time. Nothing makes a guest feel more like an inconvenience then you scrambling to pull together linens and towels at bedtime. Even if you don’t have a guest room, you can still identify sheets, pillows, towels and washcloths and have them set aside for easy access when needed. If it’s been a while since you’ve used your guest linens, try to send them through the wash so they don’t smell weird and musty!
Give them a safe spot for their “stuff”. Once again, even if you don’t have a guest room, that doesn’t mean you can’t provide a safe spot for your guests to keep their luggage away from prying eyes and hands. A hall closest, bathroom linen closet or a home office are all good options. No one wants their skivvies accidentally on display in the living room for all to see! Teach kids and pets to leave guests things alone or encourage guests to close the door.
Leave reading material ready and think about charging needs. Once it’s time to retire, lots of people need a little something to read to quiet their mind but it’s often forgotten. Leave some magazines or other light reading in the room they’ll be staying for their convenience. Also think about outlet accessibility. If all your outlets are full or hidden behind furniture, add an extension cord with multiple plugs at the end to make it easy for guests to charge phones and tablets while sleeping.
I hope this gives you some new ideas about making guests comfortable! I’d love to hear what you do to make overnight guests feel welcome in your home! Comment below with your ideas