Even the most hermit among us has need of guest accommodations occasionally. If you are lucky enough to have a dedicated guest room (or even if you don’t) here are a few tips for having what you need to be able to open your home to others.

A “Bed”

We are lucky enough to have a guest bed in our office until the little man is big enough to need his room back. If you don’t have a dedicated guest bed or room, think about how else you can accommodate overnight guests. Here are some options:

  • Sofa bed
  • Couches
  • Inflatable mattresses
  • Cot
  • Floor

I suggest having someplace place big enough for two adults. Married people aren’t usually fond of sleeping separately :). Also, if you plan to use the floor, one of those memory foam mattress toppers will go a long way to making it more comfortable.

Alternately, you could require that others in the house give up their beds. Either way, you have extra bodies who need a place to sleep.


You should also have seasonably appropriate bedding. I provide all weights at all times of year. Not everyone likes the same temperature you do :).

The following is needed for each guest/bed:

  • Sheets set (even on floors or couches)
  • Blankets
  • Pillows

Pillows can be robbed from other beds (those pillows in shams, for instance) or you could have a few extras in the closet. That’s a great use for the super cheap ones that can’t be washed — they won’t get used enough to need it!


Clear off the counters to make room for guests bathroom items. If you have many guests and one bathroom, consider providing bath caddies like college students use. These are usually cheap and easy to find on clearance in the fall.

It would also be helpful to have a hospitality basket available for items for guests may have forgotten:

  • toothbrushes
  • floss
  • toothpaste
  • soap
  • shampoo & conditioner
  • lotion
  • pain reliever
  • nail clippers
  • q-tips
  • feminine hygiene products

Freebies, samples & hotel bottles are great for this.

Don’t forget to give them towels & washcloths!

The Guest Room


If your guest room closets are as full as mine, you should still provide a place to hang up clothes. I’m a huge fan of those hooks you can put over doors. If you have an extra bathrobe or sweater, you could add those in case of cool evenings.

The Care Basket

If you are lucky enough to have a dedicated guest room, you can also create a care basket for other needs. This is especially useful for guests who aren’t comfortable enough to raid your kitchen :). You might include:

  • a bible
  • a few books
  • water bottles or decanter & glass
  • fruit
  • snack mix/trail mix
  • granola bars
  • a few pieces of chocolate 😉

If you wanted to get real fancy, a dorm fridge with beer, wine & drinks, would make guests feel extra pampered.

Other Items

Other items that might be useful to a guest include a note directing them to various things available to them or good to know–like the trick to flushing the toilet nearest them or that coffee is available at the 7-11 two doors down :).   Or better yet, instructions for using the TV/DVD/etc.

A chair for dressing / undressing or to hold a suitcase is handy, especially if their bed is on the floor. A TV tray is great as a makeshift bedside table, if you have a set of those.   A table lamp would be useful, also.



With a little extra time & effort ahead of time, you can make your houseguests feel treasured no matter how busy life is when they come.

How do you accommodate your overnight guests?

Jen S.

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