Monday, January 30, 2012

Creating space for your guests

If you frequently have guests - or are a guest, you know that packing everything one might need for a trip rarely happens (unless you are my best friend, in which case her old station wagon was barely big enough to haul what was required for a weekend away).

Aside from your good food and company, nothing makes a guest feel more welcome than knowing you have tried to take all their needs into consideration. A well supplied guest closet does just that. Make sure it is one of the first things you point out when they are settling in.

Creating your own “Stuff Closet” is easy.

1. First, find the space.  You don’t have to dedicate an entire closet for this. It can be smaller than a breadbox. A linen closet in a common area (hallway or guest bath) is perfect as everyone in the house has access to it.  A drawer or shelf in the guest clothes closet would work, too. Even space under the bed can be utilized.

2. Find a container that fits the space.  An open wicker basket for a hall closet, a plastic tub with a snap-on lid for a humid bath area or an old shoebox with “Guest Stuff” marked on the end and stored above the clothes in the closet also works. You mainly want it easily identifiable, retrievable, and permissible. As a guest, I always seemed to need something after my host had retired for the night. Knowing where to look relieves you from feeling like you are rummaging through private things.

3.What to stock? If you have the room – everything.   Everything we personally use is stocked for our guests: shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soft soap, razors & shaving cream, dental hygiene products, cotton balls & Q-tips, first aide kit, hair dryer, makeup mirror, iron, fingernail polish remover, etc.  When we personally run out of something we get what is left in the “stuff closet” and get a fresh box/bottle for the guests next time we are out.  This insures the aspirin, cold relief medicine, TUMS, etc are rotated for freshness and we always have what we need.  Those little samples the dentist gives you are perfect for this space. 

But also consider things you never use, but often want when traveling.  For some reason, my digestive system seems to come to a standstill or work overtime when I am on the road.  We keep remedies for both and they get used up.  Also recommended – earplugs. Your spouse may be used to your snoring but your guests may not. Or, if two friends are traveling together, they may not be accustomed to each other’s habits when sharing a room.

Whatever you can provide for the comfort of a friend staying under your roof will be appreciated. It can be as simple as a clean set of folded towels laid out on the bed, a fresh flower in a vase on the night stand or a warm smile…anything that says, “I’m glad you are here.”


  1. I am getting better when I travel. At least my car is downsized!!

  2. I bet you still take a fan, a cooler, and enough food for a small army!