One of the best things about the holidays is the anticipation of company coming and getting everything prepared for their arrival. At the top of the holiday to-do list is making the guest bedroom ready for visitors.
With all of us shut in our homes this past spring, increasing our outdoor activities this summer, working and schooling from home, being quarantined, having groceries delivered or taking advantage of the curbside pickup, and ALL of the stress of the pandemic, not to mention social unrest and the election, we are READY to have a little family-time and enjoy each other this holiday…..I’m exhausted aren’t you? lol
This merry season, we can follow safety guidelines AND enjoy our company.
Whether you’re on a strict budget or you have a little extra, read on for a comprehensive list to help your guests feel welcome and comfortable.
One Month Before Visitors Arrive
This applies for all carpet in the house, not only the guest room. Look at your carpet from different angles and decide whether the carpet needs to be cleaned. Ask yourself these questions:
· Has it been 6-12 months since the last professional cleaning?
· Are there spots and traffic lanes creating a not-so-fresh feel?
· Do you have pets that shed their dander, hair, and add more dirt?
· Will you have young children crawling and playing on the floor?
If your carpets are looking ‘less-than’, it’s time to schedule your carpet cleaning. If professional cleaning is not in the budget, consider renting a cleaner from your local home improvement store.
Schedule the cleaning a week and a half to two weeks out from your guest’s arrival.
The Week Before Holiday Guests Arrive
Wash the linens.
Every guest wants to climb into fresh, crisp, good-smelling sheets. Even if they are clean, after many months of not being used, sheets may take on a musty smell. (If your guests are sleeping in one of the children’s rooms, wash the sheets the day of arrival.) Get them washed, dried, and back on the bed. When washing, also clean the pillows, blankets, throws, comforter, and towels.
One recommendation is to have an extra set of freshly washed linens in the closet for accidents. Some guests also like to change the sheets and remake the bed when they leave.
Whether you have a beautifully decorated cozy comforter with an inviting array of pillows, a modest quilt with two pillows, or your son’s spiderman sheets on twin beds, what matters is that it’s fresh and clean for your company.
It goes without saying that you should vacuum and thoroughly dust your guest room. In addition, you should also clean the windows and mirrors, run the broom through the corners of the room and over the light fixtures to knock down any cobwebs, and wipe down all the light switches, railings, and surface areas with a disinfectant.
Another important room to deep clean when preparing for guests is the bathroom your company will use. If it’s in the budget, hire a professional cleaning company to come in to thoroughly clean. If it’s not in the budget, then use your own elbow-grease to do some serious cleaning. If you have one, evaluate the inner shower curtain to decide whether it needs to be replaced.
In the sink cabinet, make sure there is ample toilet paper and a plunger, so guests don’t have to ask for it.
Guest bedrooms tend to be the room where people dump stuff they don’t know what to do with. If the room where your guests are sleeping is one of the kids’ rooms, it may have piles of toys or clothes. Find a home for and put away any piles that have built up over time. To make room for your guest’s belongings, dressers and end tables should only have a couple items on them. The floor should be void of extra items.
Keep this in mind:
More space, more comfortable, and more welcoming.
Remember to clear some space in the closet too. Leave about two feet of hanging space with 6-8 empty hangers for your visitors.
Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve had a little one in your home. If your guests have small children, enter the guest room with a new set of eyes considering any unsafe areas.
· Childproof the outlets.
· Remove or put up any cords including the blind strings.
· Remove unstable furniture.
· Clear out any small objects that an infant or toddler could put in their mouth.
· Consider moving plants up out of reach or removing them from the room for the duration of the visit.
· Remove unnecessary rugs that they could slip on.
· Secure the TV, dresser, and shelving units to the wall.
Something fun to consider for your child guests is to set up a fun child sleeping area such as a teepee with roll-out foam bed bundle or a tent with pads and sleeping bags. It would be fun for the kids if you gifted them colorful, child-friendly flashlights to use in their special sleeping area. Kids want to feel welcome too.
There are items that you should always have in a guest room and a few simple basics that your guest may have forgotten to include in their suitcase.
· A few travel-sized hand-sanitizers and extra masks.
· A lighted alarm clock near the bed.
· An outlet strip on the end table so they have an easily accessible outlet.
· Bathroom items such as an extra toothbrush, floss, shampoo, soap, body wash, cotton balls, Q-tips, shaving cream, and a disposable razor.
· A washable water bottle for each guest, a pen and notepad, phone charger, tissue, and a wastebasket.
Provide them with an information card on their night table. If your home is wired, share the Wi-Fi password. If not, then provide a cable connection for their computer.
Consider sharing your home’s security system password, gated community information, swimming pool code, parking regulations, other HOA guidelines, the garage code, and add FAQ’s to the information card.
You can also provide an extra set of keys during their stay. Let your company know if you have any special events or plans.
There is nothing worse than being cold at night. Place extra blankets and pillows in the closet and let your guests know where they are. Make sure that they are also recently washed.
Add a freshly cleaned, colorful throw blanket on the bed. It not only adds a pop of color to the room, but it also invites your guest to curl up and get comfortable. With that same pop of color, and in your favorite scent, set one or two favorite candles in the room.
Leave a few of your favorite reading materials in a basket or set on the dresser. Early morning risers may not venture out of the room for fear of waking the household.
Consider adding a place for your guests to place their luggage. This could be a bench, foldable luggage rack, or an ottoman.
Above and Beyond.
For those with a larger budget, you may want to consider luxury items similar to a 5-star hotel service. You can provide a brand-new robe and slippers for each guest. If your family participates in a matching pajama’s photoshoot for Christmas every year, set out each guest’s pajama set. To provide a basket of toys, coloring items, dolls, and books to play with will bring a smile to the faces of your younger guests.
A bit of cheer that will brighten any guest’s day are fresh flowers. Set a colorful vase of flowers on the dresser or end table. Double-check ahead of time to make sure someone is not allergic or sensitive to flowers. Remember to change out the water and add vitamins if your guests stay more than three days.
Guest Bedroom on Day of Company Arriving
Set Out Towels.
Lay out a full set of towels for each guest so they do not have to go searching for them. That includes a washcloth, a hand towel, and a bath towel.
If company is staying for more than a couple days, you may want to wash all of the towels on day three, after they use them in the morning and replace them before they get ready for bed in the evening.
You know your guests better than a local hotel chain knows them, so you have an inside track to knowing what will help make them comfortable. Do the best you can to think of what they might need and create a cozy, oasis that is restful and peaceful.
We’ve tried to provide a comprehensive list of ways to get your guest room ready for company. If you think of one that we’ve missed, please add it to the comments below!
Have fun and enjoy this well-deserved time with your company. Have a happy, healthy holiday season from the BGI Team!