Make anyone feel comfortable and right at home with these 10 simple items to have for your guests. Having overnight guests can be daunting, but knowing a few simple items to make someone feel welcomed and cozy will help put you at ease!
Hospitality has always been an interest of mine. I am currently working as an event planner for a college ministry. It excites me to work hard to create a space for someone to feel welcomed and comfortable. In the home, this looks different than planning an event. They are definitely different types of hospitality. But, as I start my posts related to the topic of hospitality I will continue to unpack this idea of hospitality. So stay tuned! But for now, here are some tips on welcoming overnight guests!
Simple items to have for your guests
Having an overnight guest is always a joy. As the one opening your door you undoubtedly want your guest to feel comfortable and at ease.
If you have been a guest at someone’s home, you know how awkward it can be to ask for things you might need, or ask to use something. So as the host preparing a space for them while they stay with you, having these few simple items can keep you prepared. But most importantly these items will create a warm and welcoming space for your guest.
1 – Tissues!
I have never really been a Kleenex person. I never really thought to keep them handy or have them in my regular rotation of household products. The only time I saw a need for them was when I was sick.
It wasn’t until I got married that I realized not every person thinks the same way I do (duh!). My husband likes to have kleenex around. He uses them on a daily basis for little things here and there. I have noticed his family is the same way.
I can say now, after having a baby and being sick three times this year, kleenex has made it into our regular rotation of household products.
Your guests may feel the same way. You never know when someone is going to want a kleenex, or what they might use it for. Having a box of tissues in your guest room is an easy, inexpensive way to provide comfort and ease for your guests. And if they don’t need it, then it will be there for the next guest.
2 – Have books they might enjoy reading on the nightstand.
I read this tip from a magazine once. Put some extra time and thought into who is coming to stay with you. Think about what they are interested in, or what they might like to read if they have some time alone before bed. Have something specially personalized like that will communicate to your guest that you thought of them when you got the room ready. Whether they read it or not, they will notice it on the nightstand and feel loved and comfortable.
3 – Towels and Washclothes
This item may seem obvious, but it can be easy to forget. Laying them out either on the end of the bed, or on the nightstand can add an extra special touch.
Anything laid out for them will make your guest feel that you have thought ahead and are ready for them. This will keep them from having to ask you where they are or if they can use a towel or washcloth.
If you have the time and money, purchasing some special guest towels can be something to consider. Our towels have gotten so nasty over the years, I recently went out and picked up some newer and softer ones for our guests. This is not a necessity for you in your hospitality. Hospitality is about opening your home and providing a need and care, not having the perfect x, y, and z item.
If someone is in desperate need of a place to crash, they won’t care what your towels look like. They will be grateful for whatever you provide. The basic concept here is to have towels and wash clothes ready.
4 – Comfy Pillows
Similar to the item above, having a place to lay one’s head at the end of the night is fulfilling a basic need. You don’t have to have ten pillows of different fluffiness levels, just one or two pillows for your guest will do.
5 – Curtains
Whether you live on a busy street or out in the country, curtains are a nice touch to your guest room. They are not just for decor purposes but serve the function of privacy.
In addition, everyone has a different level of comfort on how dark they need their room to sleep. My husband likes it to be really dark. I can do with a little light shining through my window. Growing up in the country, I love to have the light coming in through the windows in the morning to wake me up.
You never know what your guest’s preference is so having some curtains can serve your guests well.
6 – A Fan or Blankets
We live in a 131-year-old home (wow, that’s old!). It does not have central AC or forced heat. So it can get pretty hot and stuffy in our guest room. Putting a fan in the room and lots of blankets allows our guests to stay cool or be cozy depending on the season.
Another reason fans and blankets are great is that everyone’s body temp runs differently. I have a friend who is always cold and wants a blanket at all times. I typically run hot. I am always hot and get uncomfortable easily in 80+ degree weather (thus I live in Minnesota). Therefore I love a fan to keep me cool.
Also, some of your guests might be used to some kind of white noise while they sleep. Having a fan available for them can help them fall asleep more easily. And if they have a baby with them, fans definitely come in handy for white noise.
You never know what your guests will need in this department and having both fans or a blanket around can help your guests be comfortable.
7 – Wastebasket
A wastebasket is another simple thing to have in a room. It will make your guest feel like they have what they need. If your guest gets ready for the day in that room, they might have cotton balls, kleenex, or Q-tips they will want to throw away. Having a wastebasket in the room keeps them from having to carry tissues, or other things out to the garbage or ask where the garbage is. It is simple, but it creates a comfortable and easy atmosphere.
8 – Lamps
A few months ago I put out a question box on Instagram about what makes a home or room warm and welcoming to you. The most popular response I got was lamps! Lamps provide lighting at night, a soft warm glow that makes one want to cuddle up with a blanket. Putting a lamp or two in your guest room (especially on the nightstand) will communicate to your guest “stay awhile.”
9 – Coffee and/or Tea
Coffee, coffee, coffee! There is nothing I love more than a cup of coffee in the morning. I know I am not alone in this. Even if you aren’t a coffee person, a warm drink of tea, chai or even warm water with lemon is something cozy to hold in the morning.
Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine you have a relative who is going through a rough time come and spend the night with you. They are exhausted and need some extra love. When morning comes, they are tired and waddle out of the guest room. You hand them a warm cup of coffee. Liquid sunshine. Even if their day doesn’t get any better, a warm drink communicates to them that you care.
Additionally, everyone has their morning routine. If your guest is reliant on their coffee or tea to get them going, you save them the awkward situation of going out to get a cup of coffee somewhere.
10 – Their Favorite Drink or Treat
My mom has always been great at this! Whenever we were having overnight guests she would make sure she had their favorite drink or treat on hand. If she didn’t know what it was she would call and ask. What a great way to communicate, once again, to your guest that you love them, care for them and are glad they have come to stay with you.
Summary of 10 simple items to have for your guests
As you can see these items are quite simple. Yet however simple they communicate a huge level of care to your guest. Here is a summary:
- Books your guest may like to read
- Towels and Washcloths
- Comfy Pillows
- Fans or Blankets
- Favorite Drink or Treat
Blessings on your hospitality!
Stay tuned for more tips on hospitality! If you have a favorite item you like to keep on hand for guests, put it in the comments below! Or what is your favorite special touch someone has done for you when you are an overnight guest?
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