How can I Prepare for House Guests?

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  • Written By: Deborah Ng
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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If you’re expecting house guests, you’ll want to do everything you can to make them feel at home. There’s nothing worse than being a guest in someone else’s home and feeling bored or uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to make your guests feel welcome and comfortable.

Hopefully, your house guests are good friends and you know their interests and hobbies. This is especially important when preparing the guest room. The room where your visitors will stay should be a cozy haven, one to which they can retreat and feel pampered and indulged.

Be sure the bed is made, with clean, fresh bed linens. The carpet or floor should be vacuumed thoroughly, especially if your guests suffer from dust allergies. Also dust surfaces such as tables and lampshades. If you have time, give windows and mirrors a polish to remove dust and fingerprints.

Stack the bedside table with magazines and paperbacks. If you know your house guests’ favorite authors, pick up some of the latest best sellers. Magazines should reflect your guests’ interests.


If there’s a bedroom television, make sure it’s working properly and isn’t difficult to figure out. If your guests wake in the middle of the night, they’re not going to want to knock on your door to ask you how to work the remote control. If there’s a DVD player in the room, perhaps leave some of your visitors’ favorite movies with it. A deck of cards or a backgammon set may also be an enjoyable way to pass time.

Fill a vase with your guests’ favorite flowers and a dish with their favorite candies. Leave out scented candles and a book of matches. They’ll be sure to be grateful for all of the “homey” touches.

The guest bath should also be clean and stocked with plenty of folded towels and washcloths. Leave unopened soaps, bath gel, shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath and toothpaste within easy reach. A hair dryer, extra tooth brushes, disposable razors and other bathroom staples should also be left out for your house guests’ convenience.

Keep your house guests in mind when shopping for food and drinks. Stock favorite snacks in the pantry and find out which wines, juices and bottled water they enjoy best. Before your guests arrive, ask if they have any food allergies. If so, it’s best to keep these foods away from them for the duration of the stay.

Leave magazines, newspapers, and videos in an area that’s easily accessible. Your house guests may not ask you for these things, but they'll appreciate having them nonetheless. When guests come to stay, the little personal touches can make them feel at home. They’re sure to be touched by your thoughtfulness and will be sure to reciprocate in the future.


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Discuss this Article

Post 4

@Anon15746: What's the point of commenting on a 'Preparing for House Guests' article, if you have no intention of preparing? If some people have more time to take care in adding 'extra special touches' then I don't think it's your place to chastise them. Let them have their fun and you can go back to your grumpy demeanor.

Post 3

@ anon15746: I save all the little packets that come in the mail of shampoos and such. It's kind of fun to keep a basket of that kind of thing. I also have "company" towels that only come out with guests.

While I totally know what you mean about frequent guests, it actually makes it easier for you if you already have "the guest basket" that you dump stuff back into after each visit. My sister-in-law has a mystery medicine cabinet in the spare bathroom. She made it into the "guest cabinet" with a note on the door and all. We leave behind the little travel jars of facial cream and such when we go.

A couple things that my

guests have specifically mentioned that they appreciate:

An electrical converter for overseas guests.

I do a note on a fancy letterhead like a real hotel that explains our various schedules with pretend job descriptions, the dog becomes the nightwatchman and if you don't want her checking on you, you should close your door, dh becomes the night manager who ends his shift at 7 a.m., so if you hear him moving around, this is him leaving. It keeps it fun.

Post 2

Nice thoughts, but most hosts are not running a bed and breakfast. I like to think that most guests realize this, and are simply grateful to share some quality time with friends and family. Many of us, especially those of us who live in vacation/tourist destinations, have a fair share of guests and must also work while their guests are visiting, and may not always have time for "extra special touches" like favorite books or scented candles. Sometimes it is enough for guests to have a place to lay their heads for a few days.

Post 1

Great suggestions! When I visit friends of family, I've found these little touches can really make or break the quality of my stay! There's nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable in someone else's house and not wanting to impose to ask for a bunch of things. One thing I'd add...since people are carrying their laptops around with them more and more, a cleared off area for them to use as a desk for surfing or a few hours of work they might want to squeeze in during their stay can be very helpful and will be very much appreciated!

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