Hosting guests can be an exciting time. You get to visit with people you may not get the chance to spend time with very often. Whether it’s for a short stay or an extended visit, having family and friends close is always a blessing. One thing that makes this blessing a bit more difficult to manage is not knowing where to keep your guests. It’s easy to agree to host somebody—or multiple somebodies—but hosting them is trickier when you don’t have a guest room.
Guest rooms are becoming fewer and farther between in the modern household. Between rising housing costs and the growing amount of work-from-home careers, guest rooms are either nonexistent or being used as home offices. If your home or apartment has limited space and you have guests coming to stay, do what you can to make the experience as low-stress and as enjoyable as possible. Check out this guide on how to host guests without a guest bedroom.
Provide a comfortable place for your guests to sleep
You may not have a designated guest room, but you should aim to make it feel as if you do. Your guests are staying with you to visit with you and to see your city, but they’re actually staying at your home to get a good night’s rest. Make sure to provide as comfortable a place for guests to sleep as possible. This starts with a sleeping surface. We recommend that you have a futon that guests can turn into their own personal bed at night and that you can transform back into a functional sofa during the day. Dress up the futon with fun-colored futon covers to keep it clean and to give it a welcoming appearance. Then, outfit your futon with a cozy top sheet and a luxurious-feeling comforter or quilt. The lux feel of the linens can make even the most standard futon feel like a sanctuary.
Another item that will keep the sleeping space comfortable for your guests is an option of pillows. Try to provide a firm pillow for people who prefer to sleep on their backs and require ample neck support and a softer pillow for side and stomach sleepers. Always keep these in fresh pillowcases.
Now that you’ve nailed down the “bed,” it’s time to think about the sleeping environment. For example, if there are nearby windows, try to affix window treatments so that the morning light doesn’t disturb your sleeping guests.
Create as much privacy as possible
Privacy is key to you and your guests’ sanity during the course of a stay in a home without a guest room. If your guests are staying in a common area such as the living room, try to rearrange your space temporarily to provide the maximum amount of privacy. Consider investing in a room divider to place in front of the guest’s makeshift bed to allow them the feel of a private room. Be mindful of your guests’ routines and sleep schedules by avoiding their sleeping area at night. Grab any snacks, books, or entertainment you may need throughout the night before the guest turns in for the night, and camp out in your bedroom to avoid disturbing them. This allows both parties to enjoy a semi-normal and mostly private bedtime routine.
Clean before your guests arrive
Before your guests arrive—even if it’s a last-minute trip—make sure to clean your entire home. It’s easy to overlook mess if it’s your own, but when you visit another person’s house, the first thing you probably notice is their mess. Clean the space in which your guests will stay as well as the entryway. Deep-clean your bathroom and kitchen, as your guest will most likely spend some time in these rooms. Do all the dishes, and do your best to keep them clean throughout your guests’ entire stay. Dirty dishes can easily pile up while you’re carried away with the responsibilities and joys of entertaining your guests. With the extra mouths to feed, you’re bound to have a larger dish count than you’re used to. Letting dishes pile up can lead to bad smells, bugs, and an overall unpleasant stay for your guests.
Furthermore, part of cleaning goes beyond scrubbing floors—make sure you tidy up while you clean. Put away any piles of clutter, or stow it in a closet your guest won’t be opening. Clutter makes a space feel instantly crammed, and it can add to the stress of you and your guests living in such tight quarters.
Give guests amenities
Amenities aren’t just for hotels—you can offer some to your guests, too. This doesn’t mean you have to act as your guests’ personal concierge and be on constant call, but a few small gestures go a long way when you’re hosting guests. Consider providing your guests with a small welcome basket full of essentials. Here are some of the most popular items to include for guests:
- Phone charger: After traveling, your guests will need to charge their phones. Providing a phone charger will help ease their stress after a long travel day.
- Ear plugs: You may have grown used to your street’s traffic noise, but your guests most likely don’t have the trained ear to block it out. Provide guests with disposable ear plugs to drown out bothersome noise while they sleep.
- Eye mask: Even if you’ve fallen asleep on the futon your guests will stay on, you may not have a full grasp of the bothersome lights that may be present in the space, such as a blinking TV light or an ill-placed streetlamp. Guests will appreciate the aid of a sleep mask to help them sleep.
- Water bottle: Many people prefer to sleep with a small glass of water by their beds. Help out your guests by providing a water bottle for them.
- Wi-Fi password: Leave a slip of paper with the Wi-Fi password on it. This way, guests can get online with ease and feel independent while doing so.
- Instructions for the television: Staying at someone else’s home can mean struggling to work the TV. Leave instructions for which remote is for what machine and how to use each one.
- Spare key: If your guests will be coming and going independently from you during the course of their stay, you may want to give them a spare key so that they don’t feel like prisoners to your schedule.
- Bedside table: Everybody benefits from a bedside table. Temporarily turn an end table into a bedside table to give your guests a space to set their glasses, keep a cup of water, and simply store things they may need at night and when they wake up.