How to Prep for Holiday Guests
Five trusty tips to keep guests coming back again and again.
Clear the Clutter
Many guest room closets tend to house other long-term storage—oversized suitcases, boxes of decorations, old kids' clothes. While guests tend to look past this, make sure there is an appropriate amount of empty space on the closet rod for hanging clothes, and that the closet floor is clear for shoes and bags. Also make sure there is at least one empty dresser (even if it doubles as a small nightstand) for storing folded clothes. Keep a range of empty hangers available in the closet, including wooden blazer hangers, a few velvet hangers for delicate clothing, and a handful of skirt and pant hangers. If your guest room doubles as another household space—say, an office or a playroom—make sure that the room is tidy and that the carved out guest area is outfitted with a cozy bed, a good lamp, a small dresser, and a foldable luggage stand.
Add a Gracious Touch
Before friends or family arrive, place a small arrangement of holiday-themed flowers and foliage on their bedside table. Holiday decorating doesn't typically extend to the guest room, but this thoughtful touch will add a hint of seasonality to their space. It will be hard not to get into the holiday spirit if it's the first thing they see in the morning.
If your guests are coming from far and wide, they've probably left their armory of full-sized beauty product behind in favor of TSA-friendly travel bottles. Consider investing in a variety of nicer travel-sized products—these are available at stores like Sephora and Ulta for only a few dollars a bottle, and will make your guests feel like they're in a luxury suite. Also be sure to stock the guest bedroom with extra toiletries that they may have forgotten at home (all in their original packaging, of course): A toothbrush, lotion, comb, razor, bar of soap, and a travel-sized tube of toothpaste. Arrange all the products in a pretty basket on their dresser.
Make it Comfortable
Guests tend to have a wide range of temperature preferences—some opt for an ice-cold space for sleeping, while others will freeze if the temperature is cooler than in their own homes. Because most guests won't realize it until the middle of the night—when they probably won't want to wake you to ask for help—put additional options within easy reach. A stack of cozy folded blankets will do (in both throw and bed sizes), as will a small heater or circular fan stored in the closet. Remember, too, that some guests aren't used to nighttime noise, so be sure to include a small, inexpensive sound machine in the closet that they can plug in if necessary.
Keep Them Informed
Place a small notebook or a card on their bedside table with important household info on it, such as the Wi-Fi password or an alarm code you may want them to keep on hand. If your guest is staying more than a day or so, also leave them an extra house key (on a bright, pretty ribbon) so they feel like they can come and go as they please.