16 Tips to a Welcoming Home for Holiday House Guests

Home & Garden 25

bedroomThe holiday house guests are coming! The holiday house guests are coming!

If the holidays mean overnight guests in your home this year, it's time to ready the Hotel de Your House for their arrival. Get organized and prepare your home before your guests arrive, so when they come through the door, they feel nothing but welcome.

We've put together an easy house guest preparation checklist to make it easy on you. This time of year, we know everyone needs all the spare mental energy they can get. Happy hosting!

Think of all the amenities provided in your favorite hotel room, and do your best to match your guest room and bath up to those. After all, hotels are in the business of preparing for guests on a daily basis, so you can bet they know what they're doing.

Besides, the fewer times your guests have to ask you for something, the more at ease they're going to feel in your home. Because it's all ready and waiting for them to settle in!

Guest Room

  • A warm and inviting bed is essential: pull out the flannel sheets and provide your guests with several blankets and pillows to layer to their preference.
  • Provide drawer and closet space with hangers.
  • Plug in an alarm clock and a reading lamp for guests to use.
  • Leave some empty, easily accessible outlets so your guests can charge their cell phones or laptops. If your guests need a code for the wireless, leave them a note with the code in their room.
  • Fresh flowers can't be beat -- or even a small festive boxwood wreath hung on the headboard or footer of the bed.
  • While you're getting festive, consider adding a few (a few!) festive seasonal touches -- a red quilt, a small poinsettia, or a festive holiday throw pillow.
  • If your house guests include children, think ahead about their sleeping, bathing, and entertainment needs and prepare accordingly.
  • Other great extras: full-length mirror, pitcher of water and glasses, slippers, bath robes, and reading materials.


  • If you can dedicate a bathroom just to guests, this is best.
  • Hang a fresh hand towel or two for your guests to use and put out a fresh hand soap or fill your hand soap container.
  • Leave a towel and washcloth for each guest. More than one if they're staying longer than a couple of days.
  • Stock the shower/bath with shampoo, conditioner, and a fresh bar of soap.
  • Make sure there's a hair dryer and plenty of toilet paper and other toiletries, like toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, etc.


  • Stock your fridge with lots of easy-to-grab drink choices from pitchers of water and juice to sodas and beer/wine.
  • Place out a big bowl of fresh fruit for your guests to snack on.
  • Other easy foods to make readily available: yogurts, cereal, sliced cheese, and crackers.

What personal touches do you like to add for your houseguests?


Image via House to Home

christmasdecorating, bedroom, bathroom, entertaining, organizing


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Peajewel Peajewel

A basket by the bed with silly things in it.  Like hand lotion and chapsitck and other snaks like mints, gum and nuts.  Also, if they are planning on site seeing you can go to your local AAA and get area attractions for them.  You could also leave a bottle of a local wine in the room.

toria... toriandgrace

Holy cow, I must be a terrible hostess, but it seems overkill to leave toothbrushes, tooth paste, razors, etc. for guests. Plus, I don't think alarm clocks are necessary anymore, unless your guest is not likely to have a cell phone (grandma, maybe). I do second the extra blankets. I hate being cold at a guest's house.

nonmember avatar Monzie

Anybody who stays at my house knows they will be sharing the one and only bathroom with everybody. Welcome to 1926...ha! I do try to make everything *else* as comfy as possible, though. A few things I'd add to your list: a box of tissues in the guestroom, some earplugs or a white-noise generator, a variety of interesting reading material in a basket near the bed, a night-light in the bathroom (so your guests don't need to wake the entire house while fumbling around in the dark trying to find the light switch), and some muffins or pastries and a coffee pot that is all ready to brew, in case your guests wake up before you do and sneak into your kitchen. Oh, and unlike the previous commenter, I really do think that an alarm clock is a necessary thing. I'm not a granny and I have a cell phone, but when I wake up in a strange place in the middle of the night and wonder what time it is, I like to just be able to roll over and see a digital clock next to the bed.

maine... mainemusicmaker

I AM the guest every year...and I get the couch. LOL! No pamperin' for me, I feel cheated!

cjcha... cjcharlie1959

Normally, with guests that come to our home I do all the things mentioned above but I also put out an itinerary of fun things in the area.  This gives them the option say what they want to see & so we can plan accordingly.

tazdvl tazdvl

You had me until I got to.....

  • Other great extras: full-length mirror, pitcher of water and glasses, slippers, bath robes, and reading materials.

  • Any guest that would stay with me knows where the kitchen is and they know they can get whatever they want when they need it. If they forgot something at home all they have to do is ask.

    3lilc... 3lilcoconuts

    My House guests get their choice of a comfy blow up air mattress (OUCH on the Back) n BYO toiletries LOL

    MomIWant MomIWant

    Can I come stay at your house?

    ethan... ethans_momma06

    I don't have house guests but this sounds so nice!

    clean... cleanaturalady

    Why the heck would I want to do all of that and make them comfortable?  I say make it as uncomfortable as possible so they won't stay long.

    I kid.  I kid. 

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