Preparing Your Spare Room For Guests

When we lived in Halifax, we were a 20 minute drive from both of our parents houses. Now that we are in Ottawa, the drive is more like 14 hours. Therefore, it was really important for us to have somewhere for our parents and friends to stay when they come to visit (Andrews parents have already picked a week to come up shortly after we move in). I thought it would be helpful to me, and hopefully helpful for you, if I created a list on how I prep my spare room for guests.


1. Wash the Sheets

I wash the sheets before and after each guest. I also keep the bed made between guests. There is nothing better than getting in between clean sheets, and I want my guests to feel as comfortable as possible. Also, I have a cat who can get his hair over everything, so washing the sheets the day before a guest arrives helps remove any unwanted hair from the top sheet. I also have a blanket that I throw over the bottom of the guest bed for the cat to lay on instead of the duvet cover.

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My cat taking a nap on our guest bed

2. Provide Extra Blankets

I like to leave an extra blanket or 2 in the closet in case it’s chilly over night. I don’t want my guests to have to go searching for the throw on my couch at midnight just to stay warm.

3. Variety of Pillows

Every time I sleep at an airbnb or a friends house, the pillows are always old, thin, and not very comfortable. In my guest room, I like to provide as soft and firm pillow option for each guest. They can also use multiple pillows to sit up in bed if they are reading.

4. Towels 

I keep towels in the linen closet outside of my bathroom, but guests who aren’t familiar with my home may not know that. To save my guest from having to ask where I store the towels, I usually leave a few towel sets (bath sheet, face cloth, hand towel) in the spare room.

5. Side Table

I know this may go without saying, but have at least 1 bedside table in the guest room. I hate not having somewhere to keep my phone and a glass of water when I go to bed. I like to keep a lamp and a little saucer for jewelry for my guests. I do not over fill this table as the guest may want to keep a few bedtime things there, such as an e-reader.

6. Necessities

You know those little travel size toiletries? I fill small basket with a few of these items for my guest room. You never know what your guest is going to forget. Shampoo, Conditioner, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss, Hairspray, and Makeup Wipes. I also keep a box of tissues in the room (this doesn’t fit in the basket).

7. Waste Basket

A small basket for any garbage your guest may have is great. This really doesn’t need a long description.

8. A chair or bench

I think it’s nice to have somewhere else for your guests to sit than the bed. They may use it to read, put on shoes, or even to keep their luggage elevated off the floor.

9. Local Attractions Guide

Unless you plan on spending every waking hour with your guests, it’s nice to provide them with a list of local things to do. Museums, shops, markets, great restaurants, and coffee shops. You don’t necessarily need to make this yourself. I found a great local guide for Ottawa called An Insiders Guide To Canada’s Capital that I plan on keeping in my guest room.

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10. Clean & Remove Personal Items

I give the room a good tidy and clean. Dust, sweep, and wash the floors, windex the windows and mirror. Anything personal that I was storing in the room gets moved out. I also make sure the washroom is clean and tidied before their arrival.

Of course, depending on the guest and the season, I might throw in a few extras like fresh cut flowers, but this list sums up the main things I put in my spare room when guests stay over. What are some things you like to see in a guest room?

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