One of my friends travels with her own air mattress, which is genius if you don’t know what your sleeping arrangements will be. But college days are over, and I don’t want my guests to feel like they’re crashing in my college dorm room!
If asking your guests to bring their own air mattress (and sheets, towels, and pillows) seems inhospitable, that’s because it is….
Creating a comfortable guest retreat for your visitors is a great way to make them feel at home and welcome in your house. And while you might not have the budget to create a Joanna Gaines-worthy space, there are still some things you can do to create a guest retreat that makes your friends and family want to come back.
1. Declutter the main living space
Is your spare room a “catchall” room?
I fold laundry on the bed, store the kids’ Christmas presents in the closet, and I even store extra pantry items, like coffee, in a corner of my guest bedroom. ?♀️ Needless to say, if an unexpected visitor comes to stay, I have to do some speed cleaning to make the room presentable.
If your guest room is cluttered, regardless of how well you cleaned, your room will look dirty and messy – and unwelcoming.
Your guests won’t feel welcome in a room that’s packed with junk, so do a quick declutter (or even just move the junk, if you’re in a hurry – just don’t forget to get rid of it once your guests leave).
2. Dust (or air out) the room
Once you’ve decluttered (or at least organized the room), spend some time cleaning. Even speed cleaning can do wonders to brighten a room and make it more welcoming.
Don’t forget to dust the ceiling fan or lights. You might also want to check the corners, window sill, and along the ceiling for cobwebs if the room hasn’t been used in a long time (gross but true).
Even if the room isn’t used, vacuum or sweep the floor quickly just to remove the dust.
3. Always keep clean sheets on the bed
I often rip the sheets off the bed, wash them, and replace them immediately after a guest leaves.
But if you didn’t do that, spend five minutes and change the sheets right now! If you’re a top sheet freak like me, you could even turn down the sheets so that your guest can slip right into their fresh, cozy bed (and then you won’t have to worry about someone sleeping on top of your blankets and making more laundry for you later).
Also, some guests may prefer different pillows (like a firm or soft pillow), so if you’re setting up the bed for the first time, keep that in mind.
Once your guest leaves, don’t forget to set yourself up for next time!
4. Set out extra towels and toiletries
Keep extra towels and toiletries in the bathroom that your guest will be using. Don’t forget to set out extra toilet paper so your guests don’t have to go hunting in case of an emergency!
You could even create a toiletry basket and set it out in case your guests forget a personal item, like a razor, toothbrush, or even face wash.
If they’re sharing (my guests have to share a bathroom with my kids), you might want to keep the clean towels on the bed so that your guest knows which set to use. That also prevents your kids from rubbing their toothpaste all over your clean guest towels. ?
5. Create an emergency kit (or help them find yours)
Similar to the toiletry basket, think of things that your guest might need but might be afraid to ask for or not know whether you have.
Things like tissues and a waste paper basket are essential, but think of things like batteries, a sewing kit, or even an iron that your guest may need.
Setting out over the counter medications, especially things like Tylenol and Benadryl, are always helpful, too.
If you have a charging station, show your guests so they can charge their phones or tablets. You could also plug in an extra cord next to the nightstand in case if they forgot their own.
6. Add a few nice touches
Print out the wifi password, place a couple magazines on the nightstand, and light a candle or put a vase of fresh flowers on the dresser.
Set out a nightlight (and don’t forget to put one in the bathroom and in the hallway so your guest can find their way in the dark).
If you live on a noisy street (or have loud tractors driving by, like we do), you may even want to think about setting out earplugs, a sound machine, or even an eye mask if your windows face the east. Help your guests sleep better, even in an unfamiliar bed!
7. Give a tour
Once your guests arrive, don’t forget to give them a tour and show them where to find things (especially things like the towels, toiletries, and even extra toilet paper that you set out).
Let them know where they can find extra blankets. Also, don’t forget to show them where they can find snacks, drinks, and other things they might need, especially if they’re early risers.
If you’re trying to create a guest bedroom on a budget, you can still create a welcoming retreat. Use what you have and make your guests feel at home with your finishing touches.
By creating a welcoming guest retreat, you’ll be able to help your guests put their college day nightmares of air mattresses behind them.
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