Best Tips to Prepare for Hosting Overnight Guests


Are you expecting overnight guests soon? Hosting friends or family can be an enjoyable experience, but it can also be a stressful one if you’re not prepared. As someone who has hosted many overnight guests over the years, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to make the experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for both my guests and myself.

Having hosted several overnight guests just recently, I thought I would write about it while it is fresh in my mind. 

vase with flowers on nights stand next to bed

First and foremost, it’s important to prepare your home for your guests’ arrival. This includes making sure the guest room is clean and tidy, with fresh linens and towels. If your guests will be sleeping on a sofa bed or air mattress, make sure it’s set up and ready to go before they arrive. Additionally, stock up on any necessary toiletries and provide extra blankets and pillows to ensure their comfort. By taking care of these details in advance, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your time with your guests instead of scrambling to prepare at the last minute.

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Preparing the Guest Bedroom

As a host, I want my guests to feel comfortable and at home during their overnight stays. That’s why I always make sure to prepare the guest bedroom with all the necessary amenities and comforts. Here are some tips to ensure your guests have a great night’s sleep:

Ensuring Bed Comfort

The most important part of the guest bedroom is, of course, the guest beds. I always make sure to provide a comfortable bed with clean sheets, extra pillows, and extra blankets. This way, my guests can adjust their sleeping arrangements to their liking and feel cozy throughout the night.

Our third bedroom is technically the only room that has a guest bed and I keep it ready with clean sheets at all times. 

We have a sleeper sofa in my home office and even with an upgraded memory foam mattress, our guests get a better night’s sleep when we added a 4″ foam topper that we put on before the clean mattress pad and sheets. 

the corner where the desk used to be in the one room challenge. It now is a dresser with a large mirror and French art work on the wall
This trunk holds extra pillows and blankets

In case you don’t have a guest bed, you can consider other options like air mattresses or sofa beds. Both are great options for homes like ours with limited space. Just make sure to provide extra pillows and blankets to ensure your guests are comfortable.

For our recent houseful, we purchased a new air mattress bed from Ivation. It has a nice metal frame so it sits off the floor like a regular bed. I slept on this same bed when I was visiting my friend Diane from South House Designs so I knew it was going to be perfect for house guests. 

Again, I think it is better with an added pillow top mattress pad to give it more comfort. 

vase with flowers on nights stand next to bed

Providing Essential Amenities

Apart from the bed, there are a few essential amenities that every guest bedroom should have. I always make sure to provide a bedside lamp and an alarm clock so that my guests can read or check the time without having to get out of bed.

Additionally, I provide a power strip so that my guests can charge their devices without having to unplug any of the other electronics in the room. This way, they can stay connected and charged throughout their stay.

If your guests have access to a TV make sure guests have directions on how to use it. 

A few other things that I like to have available for guests are night lights and spare phone chargers. You’ll get bonus points for being a good host when you anticipate the things that guests might find convenient or have forgotten to bring along with them. 

I like to prepare a basket for each guest that I put on their bed or in their room for their stay. Here are some of the things that I include:

  • Bottle of water
  • Kleenex
  • Mints/Gum
  • Tums
  • Magazine
  • Motrin/Tylenol Packs
  • Make-up Remover Towels
  • A few snacks

By following these tips, you can make sure that your guests have a comfortable and enjoyable stay in your home.

Basket filled with goodies for overnight guests

Setting Up the Guest Bathroom

As a host, I always make sure that my guests feel comfortable and at home during their stay. One of the areas that I pay special attention to is the guest bathroom. Here are some tips on how to set up the guest bathroom to make your guests feel welcome and comfortable.

Stocking Up on Supplies

Before your guests arrive, make sure that the guest bathroom is well-stocked with all the necessary supplies. This includes bath towels, extra toilet paper, body wash, and other toiletries that your guests might need during their stay.

To make it easy for your guests to find what they need, arrange the supplies neatly on the bathroom counter or in a basket. You can also create a small welcome basket with travel-sized toiletries, such as toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner, for your guests to use during their stay.

a plastic tote with cleaning supplies to help prepare for overnight guests

Maintaining Cleanliness and Convenience

To ensure that the guest bathroom stays clean and convenient for your guests, make sure to clean it thoroughly before their arrival. This includes wiping down the bathroom counter, cleaning the toilet and shower, and changing the bath towels.

During their stay, make sure to check the bathroom regularly and restock any supplies that are running low. You can also provide an air freshener in the bathroom to keep it smelling fresh and clean. Also, make sure that you have a place for everyone to hang a wet towel. I like to use over-the-door hangers for both the bathroom and bedroom doors. 

small Waterford vase with flowers in bathroom on marble countertop

Overall, setting up the guest bathroom is an important part of preparing for overnight guests. By stocking up on supplies and maintaining cleanliness and convenience, you can ensure that your guests have a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Creating a Welcoming Living Space

When preparing for overnight guests, it’s important to create a welcoming living space that will make them feel comfortable and at home. Here are some tips for managing common areas and providing food and beverage basics.

Managing Common Areas

In a small space, it’s important to keep common areas organized and clutter-free. Before your guests arrive, tidy up the living room and other shared spaces. Make sure there is enough seating and lighting, and consider adding some cozy touches like throw pillows or blankets.

If you have a small home or apartment, be mindful of noise levels. Your guests will appreciate a quiet and peaceful environment, so try to keep the volume down on your TV or music.

Finally, make sure your guests have access to the Wi-Fi password and name. Write it down and leave it somewhere visible, like on the fridge or coffee table. I have ours on a printable that I frame and leave in a few different spots in our house. If you are a Friend of Living Large in a Small House, you have access to my editable WiFi printable in my Resource Library. 

Providing Food and Beverage Basics

It’s always a good idea to provide your guests with some basic food and beverage options. Stock up on water bottles and granola bars, which are easy and convenient snacks that can be enjoyed any time of day.

If your guests have any food allergies or dietary restrictions, make sure you have some options available for them. Consider taking a trip to the grocery store before their arrival to pick up some fresh fruit, healthy snacks, and some of their favorite foods. 

I plan by doing meal prep so I have things on hand in the freezer like lasagna, breakfast casserole, and homemade chicken tenders for easy meals. I also have the ingredients for a few of their favorite meals on hand. 

We kept a basket filled with snacks on the kitchen counter and everyone knows that our extra refrigerator is stocked with beverages. 

Overall, creating a welcoming living space is all about making your guests feel comfortable and at home. By following these tips, you can help ensure that their stay is enjoyable and stress-free.

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Planning for a Pleasant Stay

When hosting overnight guests, it’s important to plan to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Here are a few tips to help you plan for a pleasant visit.

Respecting Privacy and Comfort

As a host, it’s important to respect your guest’s privacy and comfort. Make sure they have a private space to retreat to if they need some alone time. Provide fresh linens and towels so they can feel comfortable in their sleeping space. If your guests are early risers, make sure they have access to coffee or tea in the morning. 

Anticipating Guest Needs

Anticipating your guests’ needs can go a long way in making their stay more enjoyable. Make a list of activities or places to visit that you think they would enjoy. Ask them ahead of time if they have any specific likes or dislikes when it comes to food or activities. You can also provide a to-do list of things they can do on their own if they need some downtime.

If your guests are going to have an extended stay, try to get a sense of their daily routines so you can accommodate their needs. This can include providing a quiet space for work or study or making sure they have access to a laundry machine if they need it.

By planning and anticipating your guest’s needs, you can ensure they have a good night’s sleep and quality time during their stay.

direct access to my guest room favorites

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We like having family members and friends visit and feel comfortable staying with us in our small house. We do our best to make sure that even in our tight space, everyone feels comfortable. I believe that the easiest way to have a good time along with your guests is to do some planning ahead. 

If you are someone who isn’t comfortable hosting overnight guests, you should provide visiting family and friends with several options near you where they can reserve a hotel room. The same goes for guests who would rather stay the night in a hotel. Never feel bad if you opt to not have overnight guests or want to be an overnight guest. 

Whatever works for you, I hope that you have an enjoyable visit.

Peace and Love,

Meet Me

My name is Lynn. I live in the suburbs of Chicago in a 1,300 sq. ft. home with my Handy husband, Keith.

I’m an open book about my life on my blog. You can find out more about me by visiting my About page.

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  1. Linda Johnston says:

    Excellent tips Lynn We don’t have many over night guests these days that are not our kids. Still we do everything you listed except welcome basket. Oh, I stock them; just not in their room! Hope ‘Handy’ is doing better.

    1. Keith is so much better. He’s walking around here like nothing happened. I’m actually a little anxious for him to go back to work!

  2. Great tips Lynn. My guest rooms need some help. I don’t even have decor on the walls! Pinned 😊

    1. Once you have things in place, hosting overnight guests is so much less stress. I had a houseful this past week and my family even commented on how cool I was. 🙂