No guest room? No problem!
Your in-laws just called to say they are coming to stay for Christmas. Great news, right? But, what if you don't have a guest room?
The best solution for next year is to let me help you buy a new home with the perfect private guest suite. But, it's a bit too late for that this year.
I read an article by Maura Fritz in Real Simple that gave some great ideas, and I've added to them as well. Even if you can’t offer guests more than an air mattress on your living room floor, rest easy: There are plenty of simple ways to make them feel at home.
Maura suggests some of the following:
1. Do some recon work. If you’ve never experienced your guest accommodations as visitors do, try them out. Is your living room quiet? Is a night-light needed? Is the floor or rug as clean as it can be? Is the air mattress comfortable? If the answer to the latter is no…
2. Upgrade to an elevated air bed, if possible. Yes, a raised air bed costs more, but if you have the budget (and space), it will go far in ensuring your guests’ contentment.
3. Give your guests a choice of pillow (even if it means pulling one from your own bed). For some people, a good night’s sleep starts with what’s under their heads. A back sleeper will need firm support under the neck; a stomach sleeper might want something softer. The right pillow can make all the difference. My husband and I stayed at a resort in Mexico and they literally had a "Pillow Menu." I felt like a queen.
4. Reserve a super-cozy blanket for them. A cuddly cover—something that feels rich and plush (even if it’s inexpensive)—can make company feel luxuriously welcomed.
5. Supply a lighter blanket too. Sometimes finding just the right ratio of blanket to room heat can be tricky. Let a guest experiment.
6. Spritz sheets with linen spray. Maura suggests that not only will a fragrance freshen sheets that may have been sitting on a closet shelf for a while, but a soothing scent—such as lavender—can also help lull visitors to sleep. I'm very sensitive to scents so that would be unwelcome for me; but, a light mist of unscented Fabreeze may do the trick.
7. Provide sound control options. The home I grew up in backed to Route 12, a busy 4-lane highway. A silent room is like a torture chamber to me. Give your guests options like a fan or sound machine if they need white noise; or ear plugs if they want it quiet.
8. And an eye mask is nice. Adjusting to a new environment can be difficult for a guest. An eye mask will eliminate distracting light sources, making falling asleep easier.
9. Set up a folding screen. An inexpensive divider—which you can stash away after your visitor departs—will help make the space feel as if it’s his or her own. I just bought a screen from Hobby Lobby for less than $30 that is perfect to divide the room for privacy.
10. Unfold a luggage rack. Having a place to rest a bag during a stay will be more comfortable for a guest—and keep your living room neater.
11. Give them bottled water. Make a makeshift night stand for a bottle of water. I use a folding plant stand.
12. Put out something to read. Leave out a few magazines or paperbacks for your guests.
13. Make it easy to charge their phone. Plug in an extension cord next to the bed to make it easy to the phone.
14. Put together a little basket of mini toiletries. Visitors will feel pampered.
15. Give your guest a set of towels. Keep them color-coordinated and distinct from others. And then designate space in the bathroom—on the towel rack or a hook—where he or she can hang them.
16. Earmark some plastic bags for laundry. A visitor might forget to pack something to hold wash—and you don’t want it balled up on your living-room floor. (You know it could happen!)
17. Have an OTC allergy medication available. Are you a pet owner? A guest may not be aware of sensitivity to pet dander—until the sneezing starts. PM medication or antacids are also good to have available.
18. Jot down your Wi-Fi password. Make it easy for guests to stay connected.
19. Let guests know what your routine is. Just because your guests are on vacation may not mean that you are. You may need to get in the shower and off to work; be clear on a schedule so you’re not jockeying for bathroom time. And then straighten the bathroom to ready it for their use.
20. Get the coffee choices ready. Whether you have a pot ready to share or K-cups for self serve, let your visitors know how to start the coffee (or where your closest coffee shop is). If your guests are early risers, it makes it less awkward the next morning.
And, if your New Year's Resolution is to be in a new home, complete with guest suite, call me! We can make that happen for you.
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