Tips & Tricks

5 Steps to Getting Your Guest Bedroom Ready for Holiday Guests

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There’s no place like home for the holidays — or, judging by the number of guests you have coming over in the next few months, no place like your home.

Between friends, your ex-roommates, your tía, and the distant relative your S.O. just remembered to tell you they invited, it seems everyone and your mother is planning to spend the holidays at your house–invited or not..

No need to break out the emergency eggnog just yet. We’ve got you covered, with this step-by-step guide, complete with guest bedroom ideas, to get the space ready for any and all visitors joining you for the holidays.

1. Do the Declutter Dance

Okay – it’s not really a dance. But we figured if we made it sound fun, you’d actually look forward to it. Because unless you keep your guest room immaculate, decluttering will be the crucial first step in getting it ready for visitors.

If you have a few hours to declutter…

Take a step back and visualize how you’d like the room to look. This will help determine your decluttering focus.

For example, which pieces of furniture do you really want to emphasize? Since it’s the guest bedroom, we’re guessing the bed – but what about the dresser and nightstands?

If you’re going for hotel vibes, interior designer Anne Michaelsen recommends springing for a luggage rack. In a pinch, a wooden bench at the foot of the bed will do, too.

A chair or seating area is a great touch for encouraging your guests to enjoy some post-journey relaxation in privacy (read: give you some space). Throw in a knitted blanket and a reading lamp, and you’re golden.

Give the floor a visual sweep before you give it a literal one. Ideally, the only items that will be on the ground are rugs and, technically, furniture.

Do away with any stray board games, gym bags, yoga mats, and any other miscellanea that’s standing between you and your guest room vision. If you can’t move the items elsewhere in the house, consider putting them in the closet or moving them to one or two drawers in your guest room dresser.

If you have just 30 minutes to declutter…

First thing’s first: Use one minute of that half-hour block to ready yourself with some breathing exercises.

Feeling rejuvenated? Great. Grab two trash bags – one for trash and one for stuff you’ll deal with later (hey, you only have 30 minutes!). No time to waste: Get to tossin’!

Once you’ve sorted through everything, chuck the bag of trash, and put the other bag(s) in a spot where you can deal with them later (probably in 2019, TBH).

Psst: The decluttering process may not technically be a dance, but feel free to put on some jams and have at it. It’ll make it easier as you get the rest of your home ready for guests.

2. Give the Guest Room a Quick Clean

The inevitable cleaning part – you knew this was coming, didn’t you? The good news is that after all your decluttering endeavors, cleaning will be a breeze. You’re just a vacuum, sweep, or rug shake away from a clean guest room. If the guest room isn’t used very often, now’s a good time to open a window to air it out, too (or at least plug in an air freshener).

After the basic room maintenance is taken care of, your #1 focal point will be cleaning the linens. Avoid using any detergents that are too strong, since fragrances can irritate guests with sensitive skin. Bonus points if you launder with hypoallergenic detergent.

3. Test Out the Guest Room Yourself

The surefire way to decide whether your guest room is up to snuff? Try it yourself! Spending a night in your own guest room will help you figure out what, if anything, is lacking.

If the test run reveals that your futon or pull-out couch has outlived its glory days, and you need a mattress or bed frame delivered — use Dolly! A helper will pick your brand new furniture up from the store and deliver it straight to you.

4. Add Some Thoughtful Touches to the Guest Bedroom

Fresh flowers, water bottles, and a clean towel are a great start – but professional organizer Jamie Novak recommends dropping a couple amenities that go above and beyond, too.

Start by labeling the drawers to eliminate any confusion about what goes where. Write down the wifi password and any instructions for the TV remote, and leave those on the bedside table for easy access.

Adding a small stack of magazines and a good book is also a sweet gesture – even sweeter is including a note that encourages guests to take the reads home with them if they’re not finished.

(Oh, and a note on those flowers – they make actually trigger allergies for some guests, so stick with allergen-friendly varietals like begonia, daffodils, and geraniums.)  

5. Tend to the Guest Bathroom, Too

If your guests will have their own loo, make sure it’s stocked with the necessities. TP should be in plain sight, as should shampoo, conditioner, and lotion.

Opt for a soap dispenser rather than bar soap, which tends to get grimy pretty quickly.

Also consider tucking away a hospitality box that’s filled with items your guests might need (but wouldn’t want to bother you for), like floss and spray deodorant.

And, of course, a candle with a holiday scent will keep the bathroom fa-la-la-lit.

Have some last-minute items you need to get to your home before your guests do? Book a Dolly to have them delivered. Whether it’s a snazzy new dresser for your fashionable cousin or a must-have coat rack you spotted on Craigslist, a Dolly helper will be one holiday guest you’re actually thrilled to see!

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