How to Organize For Company

How to Organize Your Home for Guests

Having guests in your home can be a stressful experience.

You want to make your visitors as comfortable as possible without disrupting your home life too much.

There are always exceptions, but usually your guests don’t want to bother you with minor needs or desires that would make their stay with you more comfortable.

They might think they are being rude or imposing by asking you for an extra blanket or towel. If they forgot their toothpaste or toothbrush, they will probably wait to buy one instead of asking if you have an extra one.

Put Together the Perfect Guest Room

You want your guests to feel comfortable in your home. If you organize ahead of time, you will be able to meet almost all of their needs.

Plan Your Cleaning Strategy in Advance!

If you have advance notice that your guests are coming, plan a housecleaning strategy. Spend one week in each room. Every weekday you have to do something productive in that room, and on Saturday or Sunday, you have to freshen up the rooms you’ve already done.

Don’t plan on cooking every day that your guests are with you. Plan at least a couple of nights of either restaurant or home delivery so you can relax and enjoy your guests.

Even if no one has slept in your guest bed, change or wash the sheets to freshen them for your guests.

Organize your home, not every minute of your guests’ visit. You should plan one or two nights of entertainment a week. Allow them plenty of time to visit other people, explore on their own, or relax in their room watching television.

Organizing Multi-Purpose Rooms

If your guest room doubles as an office, sewing room, or play room, be sure to make the transition back to guest room several days ahead of time.

If you use your office daily, set up an alternate office space elsewhere in your home. Don’t expect to be able to use the room during the day while your guests are staying with you. Even though they are in your home, you should give them as much privacy as possible in their room.

Evacuating your office a day or two ahead of time gives you a bit of time to run back into the room for the printer that you forgot or the sticky notes you need to function. It will make your guests uncomfortable if you keep interrupting them to get things you forgot to take out of the room.

If you have young children, you should explain to them that the room is off limits while the guests are there.

Providing Entertainment

While you have guests, you should expect them to want to spend some time alone in their “quarters.”

If you have a television in the room it’s great, and you should provide some magazines and books. They won’t care if the magazines are out of date. The next time you are getting rid of some of your magazines, simply stick a few in a drawer or on the nightstand in the guest room.

While you should keep magazines, books, and the TV remote in a drawer while the room isn’t being used, you should put them on top of the table before your guests arrive. Depending on the personality and manners of your guests, they might not feel comfortable opening drawers or cabinets.

Leave Items out in the Kitchen

When your guest gets hungry or thirsty in the middle of the night, the last thing they want to do is rifle through your cupboards and cabinets, but we often leave them no choice. Instead of making them go on a scavenger hunt for food, leave a glass or two on the counter or leave open the cupboard containing the drinking glasses.

To make it easier for both of you, leave munchies out on the counter as well. Choose something salty, something sweet, and a bowl or plate that they can fill and take back to their room. And don’t forget napkins so they don’t ruin your sheets!

Baskets for Organization

You should always have a large basket or container (baskets are more “homey” and containers look better with modern design themes) ready for guests. If you have an unexpected visitor, you will always be prepared.

The basket should contain a couple of bath towels, wash cloths, an unopened bar of soap. You might include a note explaining where the linen closet is if they need more towels, and let them know that they should help themselves.

Keep a towel or plastic over the basket to keep it from collecting dust when you don’t have guests. You can store it on the nightstand, on a shelf in the closet, or under the bathroom sink.

If you want your guests to be even more comfortable, you should hit the trial size area in your local discount store for special conveniences to add to their basket:

  • Two cheap toothbrushes (in case you have more than one visitor who needs a toothbrush)
  • Trial size toothpaste and mouthwash
  • Trial size shampoo and conditioner
  • Hand lotion
  • Hand sanitizer (especially if they don’t have their own bathroom)
  • A large bottle of water

The Self-Contained Guest Room

Try to make as many items available as possible without taking up much space.

Extra linens for the guest bed should be stored in the guest room. Use a storage container that fits underneath the bed if there’s not enough room in the closet.

Make sure there are tissues in the room and the bathroom. Of course you should have plenty of toilet tissue available as well.

If your visitors are staying for more than a day or two, you should offer a basket of munchies.

If you have frequent guests throughout the year, you should consider putting a mini-fridge in the room for their convenience. Stock it with soda and water with far-away expiration dates and forget it! If you prepare the room as though you were running a bed and breakfast, both you and your visitors will better enjoy their stay!