Laura Rennie

guest prep

Laura R.Comment
Ever since we moved in I've been thinking about how I can better cater to guests so they will have a comfy cozy stay. I find that the times I'm stressed about someone coming over are the times that I'm unprepared. With that in mind, I put together this checklist of basic guest prep, along with some ideas on how to go the extra mile. Some of these tips are ones I've read in magazines, but most come from watching and learning from my mom and sister- the best hostesses in my book!

Regardless of who is coming and how long they're coming, CLEAN THE BATHROOM. Beyond that, I suggest tidying up, dusting, vacuuming and spot mopping.

for drop-ins or day guests
- have something to eat and drink to offer them, even if it's just a water bottle and some goldfish
- check that you have plenty of TP and a box of tissues
- extra mile: homemade baked good or meal

for overnight guests
- clean the shower, wash the curtain liner if it's grimy
- put out shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrush, a razor and shaving cream. leave the razor and toothbrush in a package, otherwise the guest might think they're yours!
- check that a toilet brush and plunger are somewhere in the bathroom
- make the bed with clean sheets and set out clean towels (if they're using a shared bath, put their towels on their bed so they know which ones to use)
- put an alarm clock and something to read by the bed
- make room in the closet for a few hanging items and stock it with hangers
- place an extra blanket at the foot of the bed or somewhere where the guest can easily locate it
- jot down instructions for the TV, the shower (if it's complicated) and any codes they may need to access- Internet, the garage, etc.
- check that you have tea and coffee supplies
- really mean it if you say "help yourself to anything." hide your favorite snacks if you must!
- extra mile: flowers by the bed

for extended stay guests (in addition to the prep above for an overnight guest)
- ask what kinds of snacks and drinks they like and purchase them
- ask if they have any allergies to pets, feathers, food, etc. and be as accommodating as possible (I got sick on our honeymoon because I slept on feather pillows)
- if they'll be on their own at all, provide them with a map of the area and a list of things to do
- put a hamper in their room and show them how to do the laundry
- extra mile: put together a little basket of potential necessities, such as a toothbrush, a nail file, Advil, etc.

I love the idea of a guest basket so much that I put one together yesterday. I plan on putting it on the guest bed or the nightstand and re-filling it as needed.


magazine, book of crosswords, bag of earplugs, lotion, sleep mask, notebook and pen, q-tips, sewing kit, bath gel, gum, shave gel, razor, sunscreen, chapstick, contact solution, mouth wash, wrinkle spray, toothpaste, brush, toothbrushes and tweezers


still to add: nail file, clippers and Advil 

UPDATE: the basket has been a big hit! I also set out two chilled bottles of water and the next morning my friend asked jokingly if he and his wife had to pay for the water.