Is your guest room as welcoming as you think it is? Here are 6 simple things you can do to create an inviting guest room that’ll make your visitors feel at home. (Just don’t blame us if they decide to stay an extra week …)

1. Consider all the “extras” that make a big difference

Chocolates on the pillow might be very “hotel-esque,” but there are ways other than turn-down service to show that your guests’ needs are top of mind. Think comfort (earplugs and an eye mask), entertainment (magazines and a channel guide), and functionality (a reading lamp, night light, phone charger). Little amenities can make your guest feel both safe and extra pampered, so stock the room accordingly.

2. Make sure there’s ample storage room

Have you converted your guest room closet to a catch-all or stuffed the bureau with out-of-season clothing? Before sending your guest in, take a few minutes to clean things out so they have room to store their stuff. (Don’t forget extra hangers!) It’s also thoughtful to offer a luggage rack to make it easier for them to get into their suitcase and a small table if you don’t have a nightstand.

While you’re clearing things out, take some extra time to clean too. Cobwebs and dust are anything but inviting, and they tend to accumulate even in rooms you don’t often use.

3. Pay special attention to the most important room in the house

That is, of course, the bathroom. First, make sure it’s squeaky clean. Then provide your guests with a basket filled with fresh toiletries so they can make believe they’re retreating to a spa, instead of roadtripping to your suburban home. And besides the lotions and potions, think about all the supplies they might feel hesitant to ask for, from cotton swabs to extra TP — and, of course, toothpaste.

4. Fresh linens make them feel welcome

Sure, it’s tempting to put the old, scratchy sheets and faded, ripped towels you no longer use in the guest room, but … you can do better. The next time your local big box store has a white sale, resolve to be the host with the most and get a fresh set of high-quality linens. Commit to reserving them specifically for guests.

5. Don’t make them guess

Is the Wi-Fi password all caps or lowercase? Which remote turns the TV up and which one lets them stream movies? Today’s smart homes can be confusing, so create a cheat sheet that gives your guests the inside scoop on all the home’s tech so they can access it without asking a million questions. You also might want to label remotes if your system requires multiple inputs.

6. Give it a test drive

Want to ensure your guest room bed is really as comfortable as you think it is? There’s no substitute for playing guest in your own home and trying it out to see. You might find out that the room is ridiculously cold or that the morning light is unexpectedly blinding. Staying there yourself can give you firsthand intel into what changes you should make.

And the best amenity of all? Homeowners insurance in case something far worse than nubbly sheets befalls your house guest.

DIY hacks | Home and garden


about Cathie

Cathie Ericson writes about personal finance, real estate, health, lifestyle, and business topics. When she's not writing she loves to read, hike, and run. Find her @CathieEricson.