If you’re expecting overnight visitors this season, then it’s time to prepare your home for house guests!

how to prepare your home for house guests

PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR HOUSE GUESTS  – Get Your Guest Room & Bath Ready to Host Your Friends & Family

A gracious hostess always greets her guests with hospitality and style.  Take the time to think of your guests’ needs and comfort, then prepare your home for house guests with those necessities in mind. 

It’s so lovely to enjoy house guests during the Fall or Winter months, especially with a fire roaring in the hearth.  There’s a tray of mulled wine on the coffee table, perhaps a basket of cheese straws and pot of fig jam.  Talk of attending the local outdoor festival the next afternoon swirling around the room.

That’s the kind of scene you daydream about while doing the dishes after dinner at night.  You start to think, “Maybe I’ll call so-and-so to invite them for a long, relaxing weekend.”  Why not!


how to prepare your home for house guests

It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the midst of a holiday, or anytime in-between. You can prepare your home for house guests with all my fabulous tips and ideas for making your company comfy!  It’s always a great idea to have house guests to enjoy a fabulous long visit!

But first, you need to give your guest room and bath a little attention to get them “company-ready”.



Guest Bedroom and Bath Prep ChecklistsSince this kind of preparation can be quite an undertaking, I created a fabulous 3-PAGE GUEST ROOM AND BATH PREP CHECKLISTS PDF.

I’ve tried to anticipate all our guests’ needs and little ways to create a comfortable space in our guest bedrooms and baths.  Once I finished that task, I put together a fabulous checklist that we can all use when prepping our homes for house guests.  

Once you’ve looked over the checklists, you’ll be able to plan your cleaning and any purchases that you might need to complete your guest spaces.

I’ll tell you a little later how to get your own copy to help you navigate prepping both rooms for your impending guests’ arrival.




It’s actually quite logical to start your guest bedroom and bath decorating plans with your guests in mindEspecially if the room doesn’t serve multi-purposes.  When I designed my guest bedroom after downsizing a few years back, I did exactly that.


how to prepare your guest bedroom and bath for houseguests



You know the feeling you get when you see a Sandals Resort commercial?  Or when you walk into a luxury spa and the vibe is perfectly relaxing and elegant?

That’s what you’re going for when you decorate your guest bedroom and bath.

And that’s what you want your guests to feel when they cross the threshold of their temporary lodgings.

A relaxing getaway at their friend’s home is something that most people would say “YES” to when asked.  Wouldn’t you?  Putting together a palette of mixed and matched colors and patterns in several neutral colors is where you should start.

You’ll want to try to pick a color combo that can work for all four seasons. Unless, of course, you like to mix things up with Christmas or seasonal bedding changes.  I have a dear friend who has two sets, one for spring/summer and a second for fall/winter.  It works for her, and I personally love it.


prepare your home for house guests


I tend to be a little obsessed with my hostessing skills and the comfort of my guests.  So, I’ve developed a list of my own “pet peeves” that comes from renting a ton of “other people’s houses”.  (gotta love Airbnb)

H.H. and I are huge fans of traveling the world, while staying in lovely chalets, cottages and villas.  But, sometimes they’re missing some of the creature comforts that I would have liked to have during my stay.  I always think to myself, “it would be nice to have some guest bathroom accessories” for my convenience.

We recently moved to a home in a golf/ski resort on a mountaintop in Western North Carolina.  Our intent is to make it a vacation rental during the times of year we do extensive traveling.  So, my whole house has to be “guest ready”!


how to prepare your home for house guests

GUEST BEDROOM AND BATH PREP CHECKLISTS – How to Prepare Your Home For House Guests

Here’s the list I’ve put together of some of the things I’d love to have when I’m a guest:prepare your home for house guests

  • Wastebasket in the guest bath AND bedroom
  • Full length mirror 
  • Water carafe and glass(es) with coasters
  • Location of the bathroom fan switch!  (don’t you just hate steamy mirrors?)
  • Guest bathroom accessories – covered containers of cotton pads/Q-tips/tissues  
  • Ample bedside lighting – 3 way  bulbs are really nice!
  • Luggage rack
  • Hooks for hanging coats/robes
  • Extra blankets/pillows (in cases)
  • Bedside flowers and jar of sweets/trail mix
  • Guest bathroom accessories – blow dryer
  • Extra charging cords bundled in a basket
  • Extension cord bundled in basket
  • Accessory tray for keys, wallet, etc.
  • Organic non-allergenic toiletries and soaps
  • Individually wrapped make-up remover sheets (no stained towels!)



Here’s a list of those little “extras” that ensure your guests’ total comfort and pleasure during their stay:

  • Type and print out a FAQ card for your guests. It includes instructions for your television’s remote, cable/satellite system, WIFI passwords, bath fan switch location, etc.  Anything you want your guests to know, put on this card.  Is there available hanging space in the closet?  Where are extra blankets, pillows and towels?  Use card stock or your personal stationery for printing and laminate a copy for your guest room.  Keep it under the television remote, so late at night your guests won’t have to disturb you.  Or even worse,  feel they can’t watch a little television before retiring.  (I got my laminating machine at Aldi’s for $14.99!)
  • Placing a “bedside gift” in your guest room to delight your friends.  Start your guests’ visit with a smile when they see a beribboned  potted pansy or succulent on the bed stand.   Or if your guests are flying, perhaps a vial of local artisan hand cream.  (it’s winter, and we’re in Western North Carolina!)


prepare your home for house guests


  • Give your guests a “luxury hotel” sleeping experience.  If you’ve ever had the pleasure of sleeping on Belgian linen sheets, well, you know then.  It’s a whole different sleeping experience.  They are durable, colorfast and get softer with each laundering.  But, what’s really fabulous is, linen sheets are thermo-regulating!  They insulate in the winter and are cooling in the summer – a real boon for a gal who gets hot flashes on a regular basis!
  • A welcome note to your guests.  A personal message on the bedside table (next to the gift!) is really a guest bathroom accessoriesnice touch.  If you’ve got personalized note cards or stationery, this is the time to use them.  Take a moment to greet your guests and make them feel welcome in your home.



  • “Hotel slippers” for my guests’ use.  I always bring home the “hotel slippers” we receive while traveling.  H.H.’s feet are way too big for standard sizes, so his pair never even gets opened.  And as I usually pack some “slipper socks” (my go-to for travel comfort) I don’t open my set either.  We keep a rattan bin with towels and slippers to use when enjoying the hot tub on our bottom deck.  This is one of the “guest bathroom accessories” that people really appreciate!



It’s big, soft and fluffy.  Therefore, perfect!   Perhaps, not so much.

guest bath towelsThere are some characteristics that can make a huge difference between towels.  Knowing what they are before choosing and buying your guest bath towels is essential if you don’t want to waste money.

Towel Weight –

Judging the thickness of a towel can be tricky, especially if you’re doing your comparison shopping online.  What you want to look for is the towel’s GSM, or grams per square meter.  A towel’s GSM refers to its weight, and most of the time, the higher the number, the better. 

The general consensus is that a guest bath towel with a GSM of 500 will give good performance.  If you want a softer or more absorbent towel, start looking at 700 grams per square meter or higher range.

Unfortunately, many retailers don’t share the GSM, especially online.  That may mean you’ll need to get “up close and snuggly” with your choice of towel before actually purchasing.

Type of Material –

It’s no surprise that 100 percent cotton makes the best guest bath towels.  The best type of cotton though, is long-staple cotton, which means the fibers are longer.  Longer fibers mean the towel will be softer, more durable and more absorbent too.  The towel’s material can be found on the care tag, along with the laundry instructions.


guest bathroom towel buying guide

Go big, or go home!

When deciding on the size of my guest bath towels, I consider what I like to use at a hotel.  The standard 30″ x 56″ size are barely serviceable for my five-foot frame, let alone over six-feet of H.H.  I prefer a bath sheet or body towel, which provides more coverage and performance.  The over-sized 33″ x 70″ towels provide a much cozier experience for your guests.

Dense is Good –

What you’re looking for is a guest bath towel with bulky, textured or tightly woven loops.  If you bend the towel, you should not be able to see the innermost layer of a fairly dense towel.

Money, Money, Money…

Exactly how much are you supposed to spend on a great set of guest bath towels anyway?  It’s not easy to ferret your way through the vast array of bath towels on the market today.  But, take heart!  Some reasonably priced options are available at a decent price, if you take the time to do a little research. 

The key is telling the difference between low-cost, quality options and an affordable higher quality one.  You’ll need prepare your home for house gueststo apply all the information I listed above and let your eyes decide.



Let your guests know what towels they should use.  Deco guest bath towels are fabulous, but they intimidate house guests! 

Even better, make a display of their towels in the guest bath or bedroom.  How fabulous a hostess are you!




Hate to tell ya, but…  Your bathroom may be a sparkling “spa-like experience” every time you walk in, but it could be a bastion of contamination too!  This too is a part of your guest bedroom and bath prep.

Steady yourselves before reading this.  


bacteria in the bathroom

When you flush the toilet, the plume of aerosol created can travel up to six feet in every direction.  YUCK!  Even low-flush versions create a plume several feet wide.  That means when flushing the toilet, especially with the lid open, it spreads those contaminants all over your “clean” bath.

Those bacteria and viruses can settle on your guest bath towels and stay alive for days to weeks.  How’s that for a bit of bad news?  It’s fine to display your guest’s towels during their visit, but put them into the linen closet after they go home.  Of course, if you have space in a closed cabinet, feel free to keep them closer to where needed.



cleaning our your refrigeratorSince you’ll be doing some cooking for your house guests, wouldn’t it be nice to have a clean refrigerator?

Before your house guests arrive, you’d better stick your head inside your vegetable drawers!  Do you need to read my post??   “Refrigerator Resolutions” – How to Clean and Organize Your Refrigerator

It’s a little gross, I warn you, but I’ve included some really great products to help keep your refrigerator clean afterwards.




When it comes to being a great hostess, it isn’t really that tough.  Especially with my GUEST ROOM AND BATH PREP CHECKLISTS DOWNLOADABLE PDF to help you get started.

Just check off the items from the list of guest bathroom accessories you added.  And how about those new guest bath towels you expertly purchased?  

Your guest room and bath prep can be pleasurable now that you have all the information you need.  Now where is your phone?  Call some friends and book a weekend soon.  You don’t want to miss out on a fabulous winter weekend in front of that blazing fire, do you?



guest bedroom and bath prep checklist

Just download and print the FREE PDF, and you’re in business. 

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UPDATED 7/29/21




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