I love having friends or family come to visit and sometimes it is a planned and sometimes they end up dropping by. During the holiday season I try to have several items on hand for those “just in case” moments! I feel more inclined to offer for them to stay knowing that I’m somewhat prepared. Today I’m sharing my fifteen favorite things I keep on standby to host like a pro!
I also have a $100 Gift Certificate giveaway to Amazon at the bottom of this post, so keep on scrolling to the bottom of this post for that!
Fifteen Things to Have on Hand For Overnight Guests
When I am out shopping during the year I try to look for bargains on great small toiletries. Little shampoos, conditioners, mouthwash, toothbrush, toothpaste and sweet smelling soaps. Your guests will appreciate a small basket of goodies to make their stay pretty perfect. Grab a basket the next time you are thrifting and put something together to keep hidden away for the next guests.
During white sale season I often purchase new fluffy towels and washcloths and put them away with a great smelling sachet in the closet and keep for overnight guests. Towels seem to lose that plushness when washed several times so I keep new ones on hand for guests. Guests seem to love those special pampering touches and feeling that extra love.
Hello….nothing quite as embarrassing as running out of toilet paper when you’re a guest and having to tell the host! Keep extra packs of toilet paper at all times in the cupboard so you never run out. We store ours in a cabinet in the laundry room that is dedicated to holding extra paper goods and various other supplies.
Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate
How about a mini coffee bar for your guests to feel more at home and independent? Try setting one up a corner in the kitchen for coffee, tea and hot chocolate or if you have a spot in the guest room…why not in there? Utilize some nice mugs and spoons, maybe some mini marshmallows and cream and sugar. It’s such a nice touch that they will appreciate and likely remember.
Pitcher of Water
Fill up a glass container with ice and water at bedtime and place it somewhere close to your guest’s sleeping area. Add some nice cups and they don’t have to fumble around at night looking for a cold drink.
Comfort I think is the winning factor and that is what guests will remember, so don’t forget a couple of throws at the end of the bed or on a chair in the guest room. Everyone loves snuggling with a throw and tossing one over their feet at night if the room is cold.
Most guests seem to come with some type of electronic device, so don’t forget to write down the password and keep it handy in the guest room. A mini chalkboard is a great place to write that down and those are pretty easy to find in places like the dollar bin at Target or the drugstore. Make the chalkboard cute and glue a silk flower on one of the corners!
I know everything can be Googled now days and that includes local activities. If I have some local favorites I like my guests to know and giving my favorite places new customers as well;-)) It doesn’t cost me a thing to be a great host and have a notebook or folder with menus and flyers from local attractions. You can also include a local first care center and hospital just in case they need the information and have a few food delivery menus in the notebook. It is an easy thing to organize and makes guests comfortable.
If it is close to the holidays when you think you might have guests think of making some variety breads or mini muffins and freezing them. Take them out and they are ready to serve in as little as 15 minutes. Some of my favorites are Cranberry Orange Bread by Play Plan Party and Banana Chocolate Chip by Bunsen Burner Bakery. If you don’t serve for a breakfast then give them some as a late night snack.
You don’t think you need to go crazy or be elaborate taking your buddies out to fancy dinners when they come into town. Go for a few frozen meals that can be popped out of the freezer and into the oven quickly. A super easy meal would be a pan of lasagna with a quick salad and a loaf of garlic bread from the freezer. I usually also have shredded chicken on hand and can make chicken/cheese quesadillas, nachos, tacos, soups. Keeping it simple but delicious is the key to non stress dining with guests.
I keep my cupboard stocked with some basics. Popcorn and some popcorn seasonings to throw together a popcorn bar is easy and fun. If you need some ideas for a popcorn bar here is an example by Buzzfeed. Try some keeping some black beans, sour cream, cream cheese, crackers , cheese sticks, salsa, marinara sauce and taco seasoning on hand. Make a quick dip with any of those items or use them to compliment a meal. Pumpkin stuff is completely overdone in the fall season, but here’s a 5 minute recipe for pumpkin dip by Hip to Save . Serve it with graham crackers or vanilla wafers as a seasonal treat. Apples and nut butter…yes please!
Just a fun thing to do, but I keep a bar cart set up in my home at all times 😉 I provide two types of wine with a red and white choice. Then I usually will have some beer in the refrigerator and I make a sangria in a pitcher in the refrigerator. Ice and limes and lemons make it festive, so cut some up if you are spending the evening with your guests at home. Find some of my cocktail recipes HERE.
If it is a rainy or cold time of the year it is great to have plenty of tissues available. I also grab some of those personal size ones and include them in my guests little toiletries. I like hand sanitizer to be available so if one of us has a cold we can just use it to be on the safe side.
Those small individual bottles may be refilled by a large container. Finally the air freshener is a nice touch for the bathroom or to spray in the bedroom when just refreshing during their stay.
It is nice to just relax and not follow a schedule when you have guests but sometimes it is not realistic. Be upfront about what the day might look like and if you have to work or have prior commitments. It is okay to still take care of yourself as a host while you have guests. They appreciate all that you do and showing them that you are relaxing too while they are visiting is important. A happy host makes happy guests!
I hope some of these ideas help you to easily prepare for any guests along the way. The extras make the stay special for everyone.