Guest Room Checklist

Many of us have an occasional guest in our homes. This is certainly true in my Florida home. If you have a space that can be set aside for a guest, I have a few suggestions for additions to the space with special attention to your guest’s needs. It might be an office/guest room and have a multiple purpose. We still want to create a room that’s inviting and comfortable as well as functional. After all, when we travel, we all would like a quiet place to rest in the evening. That’s where you come in as the hostess.

So open the door to the guest room and take an honest look. Your hospitality is always warm and cozy, but could your spare room use a little of that same love? Make some easy updates before your guests arrive.

Where to begin?

1 Start with fresh bedding

A comfortable bed is the most important feature in the room. Next, fresh, soft bedding is the easiest way to make the whole room look and feel fresh. Research shows that clean bedding improves your sleep. A 2012 study by the US National Sleep Foundation found that 73% of us sleep better on fresh sheets. I know I certainly do.

I prefer simple designs in a guest room especially if the room is only occasionally used for guests. My preference for linen is soft, breathable 100% cotton. Layer it with just a sheet in warmer months or a cozy duvet when it’s cool. It’s versatile. Cotton is completely machine-washable. Easy to launder ahead of the visit, easy to clean when guests go home. And, cotton gets softer with every wash.

2 Place to Unpack

After a long drive or lugging your suitcase through an airport, weary travelers need an easy place to park a suitcase and unpack. Repetitive kneeling to access a bag on the floor can aggravate a tired back and knees. And open luggage on the bed gets in the way. Try these easy fixes:

  • Two small ottomans, at the end of a bed, are just the right height for propping bags. They can easily be moved around the room and used as extra seats once guests have unpacked.
  • What about a versatile storage bench? A table, a seat, and—inside—a convenient place to store extra blankets and pillows, so guests can create their own level of overnight comfort.
  • A luggage rack is always handy when company comes.

3 Clothes Storage

Welcome guests with a space for their clothes. If possible empty a drawer or a storage cube and leave it slightly ajar or readily accessible. This lets your guest know it is ok to use. Hang a few empty hangers in the closet, on wall hooks, or on an over-the-door hanger. Now the room’s occupant can hang up clothes and feel at home.

4 A Mirror

Nearly everyone needs to check out their appearance before they leave for the day’s activities. A mirror is a real necessity. This is especially true if there isn’t an on-suite. Many traditional dressers have an attached mirror. If a mirror doesn’t come with your dresser, add a wall or floor mirror. I have a full size mirror on the back of the door for my guests.

5 Nightstand With Lamp & Outlet

tablet stand to charge electronics
Photo Amazon

It’s very irritating to get in bed and not have adequate lighting for reading. The bedside table or wall should have a reading lamp. The table should also have an outlet within easy reach for recharging tablets or phones. How cute is this? Sit Amazon‘s Kitty Phone Stand beside the bed in your guest room. It’s a fun way to make guests feel at home.

6 Basket of Necessities

Offer a neat grouping of basic necessities in a cute basket. Be sure to include new toothbrushes, travel-size toiletries (including soap, shampoo, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, and hand lotion) and a box of tissue so guests instantly feel cared for. If the basket is replenished after each guest, even unexpected guests can know they are welcome in your home.

7 Waste Basket

It’s inevitable that guests will accumulate trash. A waste basket lets them toss litter. If you want a covered trash can, I would suggest that a step can would be more sanitary. Step on the pedal, the lid lifts. I also use plastic bag liners for all waste cans or baskets. Remove the bag and tie. It’s easier and more sanitary.

8 Motion Sensor Night Light

Waking up in the night in a strange room can be disorienting. You get out of bed and a small light shows you the way. I personally love nightlights. It doesn’t bother me if a little small light is on, but I know it bothers some people. Get a nightlight that has a motion sensor and it is only on when needed. Another small way to show concern for your guest.

9 A Clock

Although many people use their phones for the time, I think it’s a nice extra if there is a clock in the guest bedroom set to local time. Choose a clock with an alarm and consider other functions. This unit below also has a radio function.

10 Wi-Fi Password

Everyone in today’s world is connected virtually. Have the Wi-Fi password readily accessible for the guest’s electronic devices. Below is a 6″ x 4″ card that can be printed and filled in with your home network information. I keep my WI-FI information in the nightstand drawer beside the bed.


Decorating Thoughts

For extra comfort, I like a small rug beside the bed. It feels great while you put on your shoes. Light blocking curtains provide a comforting darkness when trying to go to sleep in a strange bed. If there is room for a stand or small desk, leave a pad, pens or pencils, and other thoughtful additions for your visitor. A comfy chair is always welcome when you’re tired. On the nightstand, offer a carafe of water with a glass. Now your visitor doesn’t have to go the bathroom or kitchen to quench his thirst. A guest room does not have to be large or look like a hotel room. Staying with friends and family is so much more friendly, comfy, and cozy. Local wall art or your favorite photographs framed make the room more personalized.

For a list of the 10 suggested additions to the guest room, you may download my Guest Room Checklist PDF. Have a beautiful day!

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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

14 thoughts to “Guest Room Checklist”

  1. In our other home we had three rooms that could have been used after the kids left but my wife didn’t want to use it. I could have made some money but not now. Our new place is small. I love it.

    Cruisin Paul

  2. These are great tips Carol, thank you! We will be having guests soon and they will be very useful. We try to make our guests as welcome as possible. We once stayed with friends not having seen them for a couple of years, who had a framed picture with about a dozen do’s and don’ts, more don’ts than do’s. I definitely won’t be doing that, it felt very uncomfortable about putting a step wrong and so unwelcoming.

    1. That sounds like a mean commercial hotel not a friend at all. Yikes! Do forgive them as they know not what they do!

  3. My guest room is so small, I call it the Nun’s Room. (Or Lizzie’s room, as she has co-opted the bed for her afternoon snoozes). But I still try to do many of these wonderful tips. Thanks for the list!

    1. All of my friends with cats have spare bedrooms that are used by the cats. The felines know what they want!

I love to make new friends and get to know you.

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