Show of hands: Who’s planning on hosting family, friends, or maybe the unexpected, ate-too-much-turkey, guest over the holidays? Yep. It’s always a good idea to have that guest bedroom ready to go at any minute for both the planned and not-so-planned visitors. Especially during the busiest season of the year! Who’s got time to make sure there are fresh sheets on the bed while simultaneously whipping up meals, wrapping presents, or keeping the rest of the house clean? Not this gal.
For the first time ever, though, I might actually be on top of things this year with my holiday planning. And that includes prepping our guest room with thoughtful touches. Ready for the checklist so you can earn that superhost badge? Here we go:
First of – yes this is our bedroom, not the guest room. However, in preparation for a massive basement makeover in 2019, our guest room is currently out of commission. SO, that means any houseguests we have in the coming months are staying in our room this year while we suck it up in the disarray that is our lower floor. Which leads me to pro-tip number one: always offer guests the best room. Heck, some of you don’t even have a guest room, so maybe guests are staying in your room.
For those of you in a predicament similar to ours, we’ve got some extra tips here for you, too!
For me, guest bedroom prep step one is: clean out any excessive junk. Or – if it’s your actual bedroom – all your personal stuff. You don’t want guests going through your nightstand drawers, and they don’t want to have to try and settle into your room while picking through your things either.
Obviously, fresh sheets, pillows, and extra blankets is step number two. Once you’ve got that bed set up, it’s time to look at where you can be super thoughtful with details.
My number one pet peeve when traveling is when I can’t find lotion. What’s yours? Whatever it is, think about those things when prepping for your visitors. Then, find a cute way to provide thoughtful toiletry and tech items. Here, I’ve got a spare toothbrush, mini toothpaste, USB cord, ear plugs, and – hell yes – lotion. A little tray is also a nice touch for people who want a spot to put their reading glasses, jewelry, etc at night. If your bedroom is bright, think about adding a sleeping mask. If it’s far from the kitchen, maybe a water carafe. Think like a guest!! Which brings me to one of my very favorite tips.
Provide a card with your wifi password and leave it on the nightstand. Yes, really. How many times have you crawled into bed a friend’s house, settled in, opened up your ipad and realized… you have no idea what the wifi is!? The worst! Just leave a little handwritten note so people can get connected.
And speaking of all those tech gadgets, let’s talk for a sec about outlets.
One little update that was super easy that we made to the room was swapping our basic outlets for the radiant double outlet with USB chargers from Legrand. You may remember that we’ve been partnering with them all year to make updates in our home, and I will tell you that this one is already a game changer. I freaking love having outlets with the USB in them!
Not only does it mean that my in-laws, who always travel with their phones and their ipads have enough places to plug in, but it frees up so much room for the plugs to be used for other essentials (hello, lighting!). For us personally, I can now run an extension cord from this outlet, behind the bed, to power the stuff on my side of the bed. My husband can use the USB to charge his phone at night, and we can plug the bedside lighting in directly to the remaining outlet.
“But what about the outlet on your side of the bed, Cass? Why wouldn’t you just use that?” So glad you asked.
See that lovely little nightlight? Yep, that used to be my outlet. And it was in the most annoying spot. I had to run an extension cord from it to behind the nightstand and then plug everything in over there, and it was so cluttered. Now? We have a lovely light that helps me to see what the heck I’m doing in the middle of the night if I need to get up.
And for guests who are waking up in an unfamiliar place, a nightlight is a very thoughtful touch indeed! So, yes. I’m actually telling you to install a nightlight if you can!
Also, this one is great because you can keep it simple, or you can add the directional screen to it, which I prefer. It’s on a sensor, and there are three light levels so you can adjust it to whatever your preference is, or just turn it off completely. This is definitely a tip I hadn’t even thought of before, and now I love it.
Now, let’s leave the tech realm to discuss the cozy necessities!
I have a secret and that secret is that I like to steal things (that you are actually allowed to steal) from hotel rooms. I hoard them to leave for guests. And my favorite thing? Slippers. Let’s be honest: nobody packs slippers and everyone wants them when traveling. This is one the best little touches you can offer! Leave out slippers for your guests. They will feel like they’re staying a 5-star hotel! Heck, if you’ve got it in the budget, leave a bathrobe too!
While we’re talking pampering, flowers and candles are always a lovely touch. A live plant would work too! This is my absolute favorite scent from dipytyque, but for the holidays maybe try something that smells like a walk in the forest? Don’t forget the matches! If candles make you nervous, then think about slipping some eucalyptus into your floral bunch like we did here. It smells so fresh and yummy!
Whether it’s on the nightstand or dresser, leave a pile of books (ones that you’ve read and don’t mind leaving with your guest) as a nice gesture. You can see here, too, that we really cleared off the surface to let guests feel at home, but kept some nature and of course the mirror and artwork. If you can, clear space in your closet or dresser for guests to settle in to as well!
The final touch? Leave out a set of bath towels and soap! That’s a no-brainer, but it’s always nice to leave these in the bedroom so guests don’t even have to ask, and it’s clear which towels are theirs for the stay. I love leaving locally-made soaps that I pick up at little pop-ups and boutiques around town this time of year!
And lastly, when your guest room is ready to go, don’t let your dog climb all over the pillows. Even if she’s the cutest in the world. Luckily for Gracie, the only ones sleeping here tonight were my husband and I, so I let her stay – ha!
But seriously – as someone with major cat allergies, if there is pet hair on my pillows, my eyes puff up like crazy. Keep those pets out of your guest’s accommodations if you can! Did I miss anything? Is there anything you’ve ever had as a guest that was a super nice touch from your host? I’d love to know!