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The subject of houseguests presents an interesting conundrum to us millennials.
Our ever shrinking starter incomes, as well as the conscious choice to live minimally in smaller spaces makes it much more difficult for us to open our homes to guests. But that doesn’t stop us from trying, now does it!
Since moving into my little apartment (all 515 square feet of it), I have hosted overnight guests several times. Each time, I picked up a few more tricks on how to make the experience enjoyable for my guests, as well as for myself and my boyfriend.
With only one bedroom and one bathroom, I had to figure out ways to share space to ensure everybody has room for their belongings and enough privacy. On top of that, I wanted to make sure that my guests beauty and hygiene needs were taken care of as if they were in a place of their own.
Keep reading to see what I do before and during my guests’ stay. See all of the beauty, toiletry, and comfort items that I always keep on hand for making my guests’ stay as comfy as possible, whether they are nomadic travelers or parents visiting for a weekend.
Beauty is a lifestyle, not a procedure. By helping others to feel beautiful with great company, soothing products, and a peaceful environment, you’ll turn the tide on yourself, and you’ll feel the same.
Let’s get started!
Setting up a guest room in the middle of your home isn’t easy. But on the plus side, all the hard work is done! Now comes the fun part. Instead of offering your guest a roof over their head and nothing else, strive to give them the most relaxing and comfortable experience you possibly can. After all, they chose to stay with you. These products I like to always have available for guests.
Dental hygiene products — toothbrushes, toothpaste, & floss
Yes, most guests will pack these along themselves. However, accidents do happen, toothbrushes fall into toilets, etc. Brushing and flossing are the most basic human hygiene needs, and not being able to take care of these is the worst. To keep guests feeling fresh and happy throughout their stay, keep a few basics within easy reach.
TMI? My favorites ATM>> Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, & Floss
(Don’t laugh at my choice of toothpaste, just doing me.)
Small variety of bath products — shower gels, bath bombs
You could ask your guests what kinds of bath products and scents they enjoy, but why not give them a choice? Places like Lush and Bath & Body Works make it super convenient to pick up a selection of products to help your guests feel comfortable and beautiful from the inside out.
Gentle face cleanser
In the struggle to pack light, we sometimes ditch face cleanser in favor of more multi-purpose items. Do your guests a favor and provide a gentle face cleanser so they don’t have to resort to soap, (or worse,) when it comes face-washing time. My pick is CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, as it is light, non-drying, and recommended for sensitive skin.
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser >> Purchase on Amazon
Clear, unscented lip balm
Like floss, lip balm is one of those little items that is often forgotten or lost. Keep Chapstick multipacks around, if not for guests, then for yourself. Pick these up at any drugstore, as they are lifesavers for anyone with chapped lips.
I tend to stick with the clear and unscented variety to satisfy everybody, but you can easily customize this to suit your guests.
Chapstick Multipacks >> Purchase on Amazon
Luxurious, lightly scented hand lotion
Nothing screams “luxury hotel” quite like a creamy, indulgent hand lotion. There are so many great quality creams and lotions available without the luxury price tag. All you have to do is choose one!
I keep various scents on hand, and offer them to guests based on their preferences. But if you’re just starting out, vanilla is a safe bet that most people will enjoy.
Gud Vanilla Flame Natural Hand Cream >> Purchase on Amazon
Multi-purpose skin & haircare items — aloe vera gel, Argon oil
Nobody expects their hosts to have all of their favorite products handy. Though, it’s a nice gesture to have a couple of multi-purpose items around for extra pampering. Argon oil is a great moisturizer for skin and hair. It makes a great remedy for everything from frizzy hair to flaky elbows. Just be sure to get 100% pure Argon oil, not the fake stuff.
Aloe vera gel is especially great for sunburns, but can also use it as a moisturizer or hair gel in a pinch. I recommend always keeping these around, but also think about what products your own guests might find useful.
PURA D’OR Moroccan Argan Oil 100% Pure >> Purchase on Amazon
Nature Republic Aloe Vera Gel >> Purchase on Amazon
Do these really require an explanation? Scented candles are relaxing, pleasant to smell, and pleasant to look at. Choose three different scents and place them around the guest room. If possible, try to choose one fruity scent, one floral scent, and one musky scent. This should allow your guests to at least find one they enjoy.
Do I even need to tell you how amazing Bath & Body Works is for this?
Antibacterial hand wipes
Stickiness has a way of multiplying in my home. Don’t ask me how it does it. To combat this, keep antibacterial hand wipes within easy reach in your guest room. They’re great for cleaning up messes on surfaces, as well as preventing finger stickiness from becoming couch stickiness. Set them out in a prominent place where guests won’t miss them.
Wet Ones Sensitive Skin Hand Wipes >> Purchase on Amazon
A crisp bottle of pleasant smelling hand soap
While there is nothing wrong with a half used bottle of hand soap, something about a full soap bottle with a crisp label is just so picturesque. That, along with a neatly hung hand towel, can make your humble bathroom look like a magazine spread.
Just before guests arrive, switch out your used bottle for a new one to help make your bathroom look fresh and spiffy. You can always finish the old one later. Again, Bath & Body Works. (Nope, not sponsored. 🙂
My favorite hand soap >> Bath & Body Works Eucalyptus Mint Foaming Hand Soap
You don’t have to give up opening your home to guests just because you live in a small space. There are always ways to organize your surrounding so everybody can be comfortable. With these strategies and products, there is no reason why guests can’t have a wonderful experience in your makeshift “guest room,” and feel beautiful while they’re at it!
Make guest room adjustments before your guests arrive
Preparing beforehand takes the stress out of nearly everything. Having guests over is no different. Instead of waiting until after your guests arrive to begin arranging the “guest room,” accomplish these things beforehand to help make the transition as seamless as possible.
Now, I say “guest room” in quotes because in my case, I’m referring to my living room as the makeshift “guest room.” My apartment isn’t very large, and I don’t have a second bedroom. I’m a millennial, what can I say.
Designate a place for guests to store belongings
When you don’t have a spare bedroom, keeping your guests’ belongings safe and tidy can be challenging. Rather than having guests randomly plop their bags on the floor, clear a space in an out-of-the-way corner. You could also allocate space under a desk or table, or on a shelf. Have them place their items in these areas so they they won’t be disturbed for the duration of their stay. This way, the guests likely won’t misplace anything, and you won’t wind up with a sprinkling of random things all over.
Ensure that guests’ sleeping space is their own
You wouldn’t want people lounging on your bed as if it were a sofa, right? Neither do guests. Wherever your guests are sleeping, whether it’s on the couch or on an air mattress on the floor, prohibit others, (especially pets,) from using the piece for sitting. Just because it is in the living room, it doesn’t mean household members or daytime guests have dibs.
Create separation between the sleeping area and the hanging out area however you can. Place floor mattresses behind the couch to make it inconvenient to sit there. If the couch is serving as the bed, arrange other sitting options around the room and guide people toward those.
Clear a space in the bathroom for convenient toiletry storage
A small apartment often means a small bathroom, and a small sink counter. Because of this, it is easy for the space to become cluttered and uncomfortable. You don’t want your guests to feel like they’re intruding by storing toothbrushes and razors in the bathroom where they belong. Alternatively, they may opt to pack away these moist items after every use. Talk about inconvenient. (And gross.) To make guests feel at home, clear a space either on the sink counter, or on a shelf near the sink. When the toothbrush feels at home, so does the guest.
Arrange the area to maximize sleeping and bathroom privacy
It’s sometimes uncomfortable having to sleep or use the bathroom in such close proximity to others. Oftentimes what works when you’re home alone isn’t as great when there are extra people around. Think about what changes can be made to help the situation. Things as simple as closing a door that is usually left open can work wonders.
Consider purchasing an inexpensive folding room divider to add some visual partitioning. Try swiveling the couch to face another direction. These simple ideas can help create mental separation between the “guest room” and common areas, helping guests feel more at ease in a small, crowded environment.
Make life as simple as possible for guests during their stay
Now that you’ve worked out the logistics, it’s time to implement strategies for making your guests’ stay as pleasant as can be. All of these tasks take almost no effort on your part, but they will make a world of difference in your guests’ mind.
Make sure commonly used items are easily accessible
No guest wants to feel like a nuisance, especially when things are already so tight. Rather than letting guests have to ask where the coffee filters or bath towels are located, set them out in easy to see, (and reach,) places. Us small apartment dwellers often get pretty creative with our storage tactics, and our methods sometimes don’t make a lot of sense to people with more space at their disposal.
While I think the napkin basket on top of the refrigerator is a perfectly good spot for my coffee filters, my mom doesn’t feel the same. Mom, who keeps her filters right on the counter at her coffee station, would have never found them. Think about the items that you know your guests will need, especially when you aren’t around, and make them readily accessible.
Make temperature adjustment easy
Small spaces tend to get stuffy. Being in a stuffy, confined space is arguably one of the more uncomfortable situations one can find herself in. Don’t let this happen to your guests, especially while they’re sleeping. Have movable in the guest room so they can control air circulation.
Clear the area around windows for easy access. Ensure they can be easily and safely opened or closed, even in the dark and without vision correction. If all else fails, assure guests that they are welcome to use the AC if need be.
Anticipate things that could make your guests uncomfortable
Advise guests before their arrival about things out of your control, such as bright outside lights at night. If your guest room is near a road prone to noisy traffic, offer solutions on how to deal with the situation. In my case, there happens to be a raised train track being erected just across the street from my building. They often work at night with those giant lights that make a nighttime football game appear like it’s taking place during daylight hours. They’re bright. I advise my guests to pack an eye mask.
Temporarily adapt to your guests’ schedule
When sleeping in a closed room, you have control over when you open the door and present yourself to the world. You can also decide when to close the door for privacy to retire for the night. For those sleeping in an open “guest room,” that control is taken away. To make guests feel comfortable sleeping in an open area, allow them to dictate the sleeping and waking schedule as much as possible.
If you must pass through to go to work, (or something), do so discreetly, but if it is a weekend or off day, try to wait until you hear your guests up and about before you come charging into the living room. It’s only polite. Similarly, take hints about when they would like to sleep, and kindly turn off the TV and vacate the room. It may not be your usual routine, but the guests’ needs should take precedence for the short time they are around.
Have several wastebaskets around the room to prevent messy build-up
In small spaces, just a few empty water bottles and snack wrappers can really make the place look like a shambles. With so few surfaces, clutter accumulates very quickly. Your guests probably hate messes as much as you do, but are likely unfamiliar with your trash solutions. Make sure there are plenty of waste receptacles around to collect trash before it ever hits the coffee table.
That’s all for today!
Related: 5 Reasons Why Vacations Make You a Better Person
If you found this post interesting, informative, or just plain entertaining, tell me about it below! What do you do to make your houseguests comfortable? And remember, sharing is caring. Don’t forget to share this post!
Till next time. ♥︎
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FTC- This post is not sponsored by any brands mentioned. I purchase all products myself. All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliated.
I love this! Such a common thing to be happening yet nobody talks about it. We always hear how to be picture-perfect host, but the simplest things get forgotten. these things that nobody talks about makes all the difference. Thanks for the insight.
Yes, so true! I can’t even count how many posts I’ve read about how to make the perfect quiche for your guests’ breakfast, but fails to mention that a lot of times guests have different sleeping preferences than you, and that you should think about that so they are comfortable. Don’t get me wrong, the floofy stuff is fun, but I do enjoy the practicality posts too! Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙂 xo
This is such a unique post. I’ve never seen anything exactly like it. It always focuses on beauty for yourself, but forgets others. I like that you also try to make others feel beautiful too. Kudos!
Thank you, Filipa! It’s definitely something less people talk about, but I think it’s an important one. Thanks so much for reading! 🙂 xo
bookmarked!!, I love your site!