Don’t Forget to Do These Two Things Before Overnight Guests Arrive

published Nov 25, 2019
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Holiday season is in full swing, which means hosting season is, too. Even if your guest room is beautifully styled and the bathroom is well-equipped with towels and handy products, there’s only way to know that these spaces are truly visitor-ready: use them yourself! Before anyone arrives, we advise giving guest spaces a test run. Here’s what to be on the lookout for.

Spend a night where your guests will sleep

It might be a guest bedroom, it might be a fold-out couch, it might be an air mattress: Sleeping where your guests sleep can be an eye-opening experience if you haven’t done it before. You may learn that your pillows, while pleasant looking, are actually not too comfortable for snoozing, that your air mattress has a leak, that the room leans cold or hot, or that you share a wall with an apartment neighbor who blow dries her hair every evening at an obscure hour. While some issues aren’t entirely fixable, you can address them to the best of your abilities by perhaps making a quick Target run (or placing a set of earplugs atop the nightstand).

You may also realize that your guest bedroom, while functional, just doesn’t feel super homey or cozy. Think about great Airbnbs you’ve stayed in and what made them so special. Did they have a few novels or magazines stacked on the nightstand that made for soothing before-bed reading material (and perhaps a reading light to make use of them)? Maybe there was a small catch-all tray on the dresser for jewelry. The tiniest touches can take a guest’s experience from good to great.

You’ll also want to be mindful of various scents. For sleeping spaces, aim for clean and fresh-smelling but neutral.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Test out the guest bathroom

Take a spin through the bathroom to find out what works, what needs to be cleaned, and what guests should be warned about in advance. Maybe your toilet handle needs to be jiggled a few times after you flush, or the water won’t stop running; give guests a heads up about issues like this, or else they may think they caused the problem! Keep a plunger within sight of the toilet so that guests don’t have to sheepishly run to you should they have any, uh, plumbing problems. And be sure to stock up on TP galore—you can store it in a stylish basket within arm’s reach of the toilet.

If you all share the same bathroom, let guests know what they’re welcome to use with a little note. If guests have their own bathroom, place full-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner in the shower and a bottle of soap by the sink; unscented, like this one by Method, is your best bet in case guests have allergies or sensitivities. If your budget and storage space allow, it’s also thoughtful to offer up a new razor or two, a mini bottle of lotion, a travel-sized tube of toothpaste, a small packet of makeup wipes, and the like. It’ll help visitors feel cared for and, better yet, you won’t have to drive anyone to the store to replenish forgotten items!

Also important? Making sure guests have a clear place to hang their towel. Command hooks are a great option if you don’t want to leave them up year-round.

Once you cross a bedroom and bathroom test run off your list, you’ll feel that much more confident in your hosting abilities and can kick back and enjoy precious time with loved ones.