10 Tips to Prepare for Overnight Guests

posted by Andrea | 04/17/2014

overnight guests

I don’t normally accept guest posts because I’m fully aware that people come to my blog to read what I wrote — however, when Laura shared this post with me several weeks ago, I thought it was a great topic (one that I haven’t written on before) and had some really great ideas.

About 2 months ago, we FINALLY got our guest bedroom fully set up. We always had a spot for guests to stay, but up until a couple months ago, we didn’t officially have a nice guest bedroom. I’m happy to say that even before reading Laura’s tips, I implemented many of these niceties into our guest bedroom… and our most recent guests (my sister and her husband) approved of the new space!

Guest post from Laura (a loyal blog reader):

I am sure if you are anything like me, you probably set up your guest room/space once and called it “done.” And why shouldn’t you? Most likely, the people who are coming are doing so to see you, not to be impressed with your surroundings. But that said, with a little bit of planning, you can be sure that your home will be welcoming and enjoyable for visitors.

Here are my top 10 tips to get your house ready for visitors… just be careful — if you make it too comfortable, they may never leave!

1. Sleep in the room for a night.

Or at the very least, go through your bedtime routine in the room/space where your visitors will be staying. I guarantee you will adjust something after doing this.

  • Is there a place to charge their phone or computer?
  • Is there a place to hang a wet towel? Wet bathing suits? Bathrobe?
  • Is there a place to put their suitcases or other bags without constantly tripping over them?
  • Are there hangers in the closet?
  • Is there a mirror in the room somewhere?
  • Do you have a bedside lamp —  or at least a reading light?
  • Is there a clock and/or an alarm clock?

2. Remove your personal possessions.

Before your guests arrive, take things out of their space that you know you will probably use while they are there. For example, I keep my dustbuster in the guest room, so I make sure to stash it somewhere else during their stay. In the event that I need to use it, I won’t have to disrupt their privacy.

3. Be tech-ready.

  • Share your Wi-Fi password
  • Have a 3×5 card explaining how to log onto your computer
  • Tape a quick “how to note” on the TV remote, DVD player, etc.

4. Declutter the room if you can.

  • Move knickknacks (picture frame displays, office supplies, etc.) off surfaces that your guests may want to use. Remember — for the time they are staying with you, it’s THEIR space! Especially if it’s out in the open, help them keep it tidy.
  • If furniture is too bulky, shift it to another location, if possible.

5. Conquer the basics.

Make sure you have clean sheets on the bed, extra blankets within easy reach, and fresh towels (including washcloths) in the bathroom. If you don’t have what you need, borrow from a friend (in advance) or head to the store.

6. Add some personal touches.

A photo (blast from the past), a funny note they wrote to you, a picture of their husband/wife if they are traveling without their significant other — all of these are super nice personal touches that might just “put the cherry on top” of their stay.

7. Think in advance about the “need to knows”

How many houses/hotels have you gone to and had problems working the shower? Or how many houses have you been to where you wake up with super bright sun in your eyes because you didn’t know you needed to close the blinds ALL the way? These are all things to consider telling your guests before they turn in for the night.

Also, if other people in the family might be up early/moving around near where your guests are sleeping — make sure you tell them these things so there aren’t any unpleasant surprises!

8. Provide all the necessities.

Gather bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, lotion, etc. and put them in a cute little bag or basket for your guests to use. This is a great way to utilize sample-size products or all those hotel freebies!

9. Add little touches.

A few flowers, a sweet card/drawing from your child, etc. will welcome them to your house.

And who wouldn’t love a bottle of water on the nightstand, a goody bag with an apple and a granola bar, or even some homemade baked goods?

10. Plan the logistics and activities.

Before your guests arrive, take a few moments to think about their entire stay.

  • Will they need public transportation?
  • If they are coming to the city, get them a subway/bus pass and map.
  • If you think you’ll want to ride bikes, borrow a few extras from friends.
  • If they like to go to the gym, ask around at local gyms —  many places give free week long passes if you ask in advance.

By following these simple tips, you can be sure that you and your home are ready for visitors!

Do you have any other simple tips to create an inviting guest bedroom?

photo source

Filed under: LifeEntertaining

Leave a comment


  1. Jo


    Very helpful post!! One of my spring/summer projects is getting my guest rooms up to par! Thanks for sharing!!


  2. Tommie


    Laura (the author) is my sister-in-law, and I must say she actually does all of these things! I have received many a “goody bag”, including metro passes and snacks upon arrival to her house. Definitely makes for a great visit 🙂


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for sharing Tommie — her tips were great!


  3. Sandra


    Hi again!

    Glad you and Laura could share inspiration about this topic, Andrea!



  4. Sandra


    Nice post! Thank you Andrea.


  5. Amber


    Let them know if you have any funny household noises they can ignore – like the old refrigerator that tends to make an odd growling noise in the middle of the night and the thumps on the roof are caused by fruit falling off the pear tree, etc.


  6. Jennifer


    I got a luggage rack (like in hotels) at Bed, Bath & Beyond for around $25 to put out when guests come. It saves them tripping over their suitcase on the floor. And it fits under the bed when there are no guests.


  7. Jen


    Thank you for sharing this post! We are having overnight guests for the first time at our home this summer and these tips have provided great things for me to think about and consider as we prepare for their arrival.


  8. Krissy


    I had to do a double take when I saw the photo with this blog post! We just returned from a business trip to Las Vegas, and this is a guest room at the Wynn LV hotel, exactly like the one we stayed in. Definitely not an inexpensive place to stay, but a very beautiful and comfortable guest room!


  9. BarbaraL.


    I’d make sure they have a key to the house so they can come and go as they please, and not be dependent on someone being home all the time. It also helps if they’re coming in late….they won’t disturb anybody.


    Andrea Reply:

    that’s a good tip!


  10. Amy


    Love Love Love this post! Love the idea about the wifi and tv use.
    Love Julia K’s ideas too…especially the bathrobe!


  11. Julia K


    I always leave:
    1) a notepad and pen
    2) a couple of current magazines relevant to your guest needs ( even if you don’t normally buy magazines – it just adds a nice welcoming touch and makes the guest feel special).
    3) Another thing I did when my husband’s cousin stayed with us from the UK (we are a long way away in Australia) was to invest in a unisex white towelling bathrobe which I left in the room for her use. She said she really appreciated this as she had to pack light to travel, and a bathrobe was just too bulky to pack. She felt comfortable getting up to make a cuppa with her bathrobe to snuggle in.
    4) Also – grab some brochures about local attractions.
    Ask ahead if they have any favourite beverages / foods – no need to over cater – but if you have a guest who dislikes the standard coffee / tea, but enjoys a hot chocolate – they will appreciate your thoughtfulness.


    Andrea Reply:

    awesome additions to this list Julia! thanks for sharing 🙂


  12. Paulette Smith


    Great post. Thought we were good to go, but some of these tips are going to be utilized right away…for example, bottled water nearby and written instructions on operating the TV remotes AND the wi-if login/password! Thanks for the info!