5 Free (or Cheap) Ways to Impress Your Houseguests

The Griswolds would disagree, but I think it’s fun to have family stay over as houseguests during the holidays. I love having the whole family under one roof, enjoying leisurely hot breakfasts together and staying up late to watch movies. Just no cousin Eddie.

I like to have my guest rooms decorated with themes because I’m obnoxious (my themes are cats and travel). But in addition to room decoration and upgrades that cost money, there are several last-minute things you can do for free or cheap to make your houseguests feel welcome.

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Storage Options for Your Houseguests

The first thing most houseguests want to do is unpack, to varying degrees. Some like to hang everything in a closet, some like to live from a dresser, and others keep almost everything in a suitcase. It’s easy to please all three types.

Provide an elevated spot for houseguests to access luggage

Empty a few dresser drawers or provide a shelving unit to be used as clothes storage. Make space in your closet with extra hangers, and provide an elevated platform where guests can easily access their luggage. This could be the top of a low dresser, a flat wood trunk that can double as seating, or a bench (this one’s on my list).

Other nice-to-haves: a chair, a lint roller and a mirror. You can probably find these items in your house and add them to your guest room. Dressing is easier with a chair and a mirror, and in my house the lint roller is necessary to ward off the constant settling of cat hair.

Give your guests access to a dresser, with extra pillows and a lint roller

Fancy Towel Rolling

Next, stock your guest room with towels. I borrowed this towel rolling trick from my Grandma Alice. She rolls several towels and stuffs them into a basket, making a pretty display for houseguests. Fold each towel in half twice, and then roll it up.

I like to roll one towel per guest and leave them on the dresser, chair or bed, along with hotel toiletries and a washcloth draped over each towel. For guests who will be in town for a while, I leave extra rolled towels on the bathroom counter or make sure they know where the linen closet is for more.

Roll towels and display toiletries for your houseguests

Clutter-Free Bathroom

If you have enough bathrooms, it’s nice to have one dedicated to your guests. Clear out all of the clutter, toothbrushes and personal items while guests are in town. A tote basket makes it easy to move your items out so you can use them in another bathroom.

Make sure the guest bathroom is sparkling clean and stocked with extra toilet paper, fresh towels, shampoo, conditioner and soap. You could even go extra fancy and provide a robe or two.

Functional Lighting

Readers or night owls will appreciate having a reading light next to the bed, in addition to the overhead lighting. I keep an IKEA lamp and this mid-century style lamp on my guest room nightstands.

Outside the guest room, it’s a good idea to light the path to the bathroom with a night light. It can get pretty dark and confusing when you’re sleeping in someone else’s house, and no one wants any intra-family lawsuits when Aunt Bethany trips and breaks a fibula.

The Fixings for a Good Night’s Sleep

Stock the guest room with extra pillows, blankets, and a contoured pillow

Finally, one of the easiest things you can do that makes a big difference is to provide lots of bedding options. Keep extra blankets on the bed and offer a few pillows of different sizes, including a contoured pillow.

Find more ideas for your guest rooms:


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2 thoughts on “5 Free (or Cheap) Ways to Impress Your Houseguests”

  1. We love being houseguests at your house! “Our cat-themed room” is comfy and cozy and says “Welcome..Enjoy your stay!” I, too, love the leisure breakfasts and late night movies..always look forward to our visit there!! You always provide all the amenities for a great comfortable time..lots of great memories from our vacations there! You and Eric are definately great hosts to your houseguests!

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