Hospitality – How To Prepare For Overnight Company | See in this post how to help your overnight guests feel right at home.
Having guests in your home for an overnight stay can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s not that hard to create a space that makes everyone feel welcome and comfortable.
How To Prepare For Overnight Company
I love having family and friends for overnight visits. Sometimes overnight stays are planned, and sometimes they can be spur of the moment. When preparing for your company, there are a few things to keeps to keep in mind.
- Have the guest room ready before guests arrive. When guests see you making a bed and shuffling things around the room, it can make them feel like they have inconvenienced you. Make sure the bed is already fitted with fresh sheets. If additional bedding is required (portable cribs, air mattresses, etc.) make sure to have that set up before guests arrive.
- Have necessities close by. Having towels and washrags (not really rags or raggy looking – just my southern term for them) already set out for each guest keeps them from having to ask you for them. It’s always nice to have a basket of toiletries set out. I like finding bargains on little travel size bottles of different items when I’m out and about. Even personal items saved from hotel stays will work. (And no it’s not stealing – those items came with your stay when you paid for the room.) Be sure and remember to add a couple of toothbrushes and toothpaste to the basket. It’s so easy to forget something when packing, and if this should happen to your guest, it makes it so handy for them to have at arm’s reach. Make sure toilet paper is well-stocked as this is one thing you really don’t want anyone to have to ask for.
- Add some extra touches. Show your guests your not just ready for them but that you’re excited they’ve come. Put some flowers in a vase on the nightstand along with some bottled water or a water carafe. I love to have a little lamp lit when they enter their room. There’s something about a low-lit room that screams cozy to me. Consider the temperature of your home and provide extra blankets if necessary. I like to put a throw in the room in case someone wants to curl up for some alone time, and an extra blanket at the end of the bed is always nice to have your feet under and can be pulled up if needed. I let them know that extra blankets and pillows are on the closet shelf so they can grab them if need be. It’s always handy to have a clock on the nightstand. A chair is also nice to have close by. It’s great for sitting down to put socks and shoes on.
- Have your fridge and pantry well stocked. I always give our guests some highlights of what’s in the fridge and pantry and make sure they know to help themselves to any drinks or snacks they desire. It’s also nice to send your company off with some bottled water and a couple of treats for the ride home.
- Plan a day out. If you have local attractions close by, your guests might enjoy a day out exploring. We have some shops that are unique to our area and often find ourselves at these places when we have company. We also have the surrender grounds (where General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant ending the Civil War) close by which is an attraction where people love to go.
Before making the bed, I like to iron the top sheet and the pillowcases. This for sure isn’t a must, and I bet no guest expects it, but it’s a nice touch. Here’s a little tip: When ironing, I don’t do the entire sheet. I iron the top half. I like for what’s turned down to look nice and have straight lines. When anyone is getting in bed usually no more than the top half is turned back, so it’s never even noticed. When guests see and mention the fact that I’ve ironed the sheets, I usually let them in on that little secret. It a shortcut but still leaves the bedding with a nice crisp and inviting look. I don’t worry about the bottom sheet. Once it’s stretched out across the bed, you don’t see any wrinkles.
I only use white towels and washrags in our home, but I do have fluffy white towels put away that I just pull out for our company. Since these don’t get used as often, they stay nice and fluffy a little longer before needing to be replaced.
I plan on replacing this wooden chair with a more plush and cushy chair in the future, but for now, it serves the purpose.
I have big changes planned for our guest room. I still need to decide on what I want for window treatments for the front window. I’ll probably leave the transom windows bare since they are so high up. Truly, the only thing one needs to worry about seeing them back here in the woods is the deer, bear, and rabbits. There’s more, but those three are our most frequent species of wildlife visitors. Our guest room is small and simple, but I’m told it’s warm and cozy and my company seems to love that. So keep in mind you don’t have to have a big elaborate room to make a good guest room. With the right touches, you can make any room feel welcoming and inviting and a place where people will love to settle in for a couple of days.
I usually have more pillows on the bed for looks, but when I know that company is coming, I remove most of them. No one will use them all, and this way they don’t have to find a place to put them. Since extra pillows are on the closet shelf guests can help themselves to what they actually need.
Help your overnight guests feel included…
When prepping for meals while you have company, make guests feel at home by giving them something to do. Most likely, they’ll ask if they can help anyway. You can have them set the table, or wash and cut up veggies, put ice in glasses and pour the tea. They’ll feel like they are contributing to the meal as you allow them to be a part of your routine. And hey, can’t we all use a little help every now and then? Great times are shared when we’re busy in the kitchen. That’s why it’s so often referred to as the heart of the home.
You can read all of the posts in my Hospitality series at the following links:
How To Practice Practical Hospitality
Hospitality – How To Have A Hospitable Home
Hospitality – How To Serve Guests In Your Home
Hospitality – How To Plan Meals For Your Guests
Hospitality – How To Prepare For Overnight Company (you are here)
You know I love it when you comment! I would love to hear how you prepare your guest room for overnight company.