Hospitality

The Ultimate Guide To Being The Perfect Overnight Host

perfect overnight host

You want to be the perfect overnight host for visiting family and friends. “Perfect,” in the context of hosting people in your home, simply means thoughtful preparation within your means.

The perfect overnight host treats their guests with the same attention to needs they themselves would appreciate. It’s really that simple. If your guests were looking for The Ritz treatment, they’d stay there.

You don’t have to fill all your rooms with fresh flowers and mints or buy 1,000 thread-count sheets. If you live like Oprah and can do that, great. But your family and friends know how you really live. And all they really want is for you to graciously share what you have. Just like you could ask of them.

When you’re the guest and not the host, read The Ultimate Guide To Being The Perfect Houseguest.

By hosting others, you fulfill the Biblical exhortation to show hospitality and model it for your children. So here’s what to do to be the “perfect” overnight host:

Advance Preparations

Give your visitor’s space a touch-up cleaning. Vacuum the floor, dust the furniture, clean the toilet, sink, shower and empty wastebasket. Everyone appreciates a clean place to sleep and bathe.

Plan meals and grocery shop according to your expectations for the visit. Find out if there are any allergies or dietary restrictions to consider.

If your guests are bringing a young child, childproof your home. Remove precious breakables, cover sharp corners, and secure hazardous chemicals.

Your Guest Space

Bedding: If you have a guest room, put clean sheets on the bed and freshen the quilt/comforter and decorative pillows (wash or dryer fluff) to make sure they’re not dusty. Set an extra blanket on the end of the bed or chair. If your guests are sleeping on a couch or air mattress, set clean sheets and blankets in a handy place and help them make the bed the first night.

Provide a clean towel and washcloth. I recommend keeping a nice, fluffy set of towels just for guests’ use.

Make space available for clothing or luggage. Clear a bit of closet space and provide hangers for hanging clothes. Empty a few drawers in a bureau or provide a luggage rack or bench to set a suitcase on – which is kind to a guest’s back.

Ensure your guest can see when it’s dark. Check light bulbs in overhead light or lamp and provide a nightlight so they can see their way to the bathroom.

Have a bedside outlet available for charging a cell phone.

Provide your wifi password. You can print and frame a small (4”X6”) graphic of the password and keep it handy to set out when guests arrive.

Collect hotel or travel-size toiletries and pain relievers in a pretty jar. Everyone forgets or runs out of these.

Educate Your Guest

If you have a roaming pet, introduce your guests to it and advise them of any issues.

Make sure guests know how to work the shower, television, and laundry appliances. If you have a house alarm, make sure they’re aware of it.

Let guests know where they can find extra toilet paper.

If parking is an issue, let your guest know what’s available.

If you and your guest will be going separate ways, advise them of your schedule. Consider providing them an extra key to your home so they can come and go as they need.

If your guests have downtime and are looking for entertainment, provide suggestions of local attractions.

Extra Touches

Make sure your home smells nice, but not over-powering. A subtly scented candle or room diffuser is nice.

Have a bowl of snacks and coffee/tea service on a kitchen counter and cold drinks in the fridge.

A unisex bathrobe is a handy thing to have. If guests have traveled by airplane, they likely didn’t use valuable space to pack one. Although you love your guest, you probably want to leave a little mystery between you.

Put cards, board games, and puzzles out. They’re great, non-electronic entertainment for at-home evenings.

If guests are to “make themselves to home” in your kitchen, it’s super-helpful to have a small map of your cabinet contents. Laminate it on an index card and leave it on the counter or held on the fridge with a magnet.

It’s often the case that we host others in our homes for a holiday or event (wedding, funeral, graduation, etc.) And because preparations for these other events can distract from preparations for guests, here’s a free download & print checklist to help you mind the details. I printed mine and laminated it for reuse with a washable marker.

perfect overnight host

See, being the perfect overnight host isn’t an impossible achievement. All it takes is thoughtful consideration and preparation.

perfect overnight host

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  • T-Nicole Johnson

    I love the idea of including a luggage rack. I need to purchase one for my holiday guests

    • Wife Sense

      They ARE cheaper than bottom-of-the-bed benches!

  • Yza Relativo Pillone

    Love this post! The guest will surely feel at home. It’s the little thoughts that count.

  • Jenni L.

    I love that you pointed out that it’s not about extravagance, it’s about sharing what you have.

    • Wife Sense

      Yup! I figure if folks expect The Ritz, they can stay at The Ritz. 😜

  • This is a great outline. Being a hostess is so much fun, but can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to do!

    • Wife Sense

      I agree about the overwhelm, Dawn. That’s why I thought the checklist would be helpful. I need it!

  • June Jewels

    I’m always super anxious when a guest is spending the night but you just took a whole lot of anxiety away. This was so helpful! Thank you so much

    • Wife Sense

      You’re welcome, June!

  • Jen Enoch

    What a great idea to childproof your home, even as a mom, I never thought of that. And I love the tip about giving access to a charger/outlet. The coffee on the counter tip…BEST ONE YET!

    • Wife Sense

      Sometimes people who don’t have children of their own forget little ones are curious and clumsy. Better to put precious objects up than cry over their accidental destruction, right?!

  • I love this! I wish we had a guest room but I still do my best to be a good host, even when they have to sleep on an air mattress in the nursery.

    • Wife Sense

      I’ve slept on many an air mattress in my day and have been grateful I wasn’t paying for a hotel. 😁

  • these are great tips! Always putting out extra towels, toiletries, and bedding items is a must in my opinion!

    • Wife Sense

      Thanks, Cara! I agree.

  • what great tips. im good about pre cleaning and I always stock up on snacks (and wine). But the hangers and board games are a great idea!

    • Wife Sense

      Ha, wine! Something to add to the checklist! 😜