Cover Shot Hospitality

6 Ideas for Welcoming Your Overnight Guest

Hospitality House & Home Our Life

A few weeks ago, my dear friend came to visit us. It was only for 24 hours, but oh was it sweet! We’ve been friends since we were 15, have lived in different states since we were 18, but remain the closest of friends – I’m so thankful! Over the years, we’ve visited each other – whether that’s me going to Indiana or her coming to Ohio. But this was the first time I had an entire guest room to treat her to!

Guestroom Bed Straight

When I shared a little peek into my guest room over on Instagram, one of you asked “how do you prepare for guests?” Well friends, I’m certainly not an expert in this area, but love exploring how I can grow. I’ve learned so much from my mom (lover of all things hospitality) and also from just being a guest. Before I share a few of my favorite ways, let’s chat about some freedom when it comes to hospitality.

A Note on Hospitality

Guestroom Bench

As I shared in my summer hospitality post, it’s very important to remind myself that when I’m inviting people into my home – especially friends and family – I don’t need to strive to offer perfection, but rather a safe place for them to land.

For most of my life, visiting friends have stayed on a couch (or I’ve stayed on the couch)! Whether you’re in college or don’t have an extra space, a couch or air mattress is just fine! Hospitality doesn’t come from an overflow of the perfect hotel-like space, but from the heart.

May it be an overnight guest or just for dinner, invite them in to the real you. Be present with your guests – just know the pressure is off. It’s going to look different for each person, but the goal is not to impress people, but to love them! What it looks like for me without children yet will look different from what a friend can offer with children, or a home versus an apartment – neither is superior!

A HUGE disclaimer to all of this is that your friends and family just want to see you. If your house is a wreck or dirty, invite them in! If hosting is something you desire, start the conversation of combating perfection with grace with your spouse, housemate, or friend.

Guestroom Wide

My guest room is a hodgepodge of all the random things in my home, including my old bedding and mismatched furniture, but it’s a soft place for people to land and I’m so thankful we can provide that. Don’t let that home-shame creep in, friends!

6 Ideas for Welcoming Your Overnight Guest

You could do all of these, some, or none and still be a wonderful host or hostess. These are just a few ideas I’ve picked up over the years from my mom and from being a guest. These aren’t rules or laws, so receive the freedom!

Guestroom Amenities Wide

    1. Know what your guest is coming for and what is restful. Our most frequent guests in the last year have been Mike’s parents and we just love having them! I’d say their most requested reason to visit us is just to see us! I know they love seeing where we live life and our favorite spots too, but they are just pleased hanging out at our home. But some come for a mini-vacation or want to explore the local attractions. I find it really helpful to ask ahead of time what they are craving – exploration, just seeing each other face-to-face, sitting around in sweatpants, or going out on the town.
      Guestroom Bedside
    2. A place to sleep. It could be your couch, air mattress, or a finely curated guest room. Before they arrive, I put on fresh bed linens and clean their room. If your guest room is a couch (which for most of my life it has been), check out the clearance section for sheets, blankets, or pillows. You could keep the linens in a bin or sealed bag when you’re not using them.
      Grocery Bags
    3. Make it or make it happen. I try give myself plenty of time to have my house ready to host so I don’t get too overwhelmed (which definitely happens)! One of the things I’ve learned from my mom is the art of “making it happen” instead of making it. I try to have pre-made snacks and drinks on hand and ready to go, asking my guests ahead of time if there’s anything specific they’d like to request (be it a special diet or even a favorite drink or breakfast). This way, I can be present with my guests. I do try to have at least one meal I can make if we decide we’d like to stay in. If you love to cook, treat them with your gift!
      Wi-Fi Password
    4. Anticipate their needs. Think from their perspective and what they might need (or forget)! The first things that come to mind are the ever-coveted Wi-Fi password, an extra towel, little essentials (razor, toothbrush), non-perishable snacks, and the list goes on. I purchased this sweet bag a few years ago with the desire to host guests in the future and it’s nice to pull it out when I know someone is coming over (already stocked with all the necessities). To achieve the same look, if you already have a bag, you could add a tag like this one with the same phrase: “Be Our Guest!”
      Be Our Guest Bag
    5. Expect your guest to extend you grace – and receive it. It may seem to be redundant, but your guest is likely not going to expect your home or their experience to be perfect. And my encouragement from the other side of this is when we are the guest, to extend love and grace to the gracious host welcoming you in.
      Guestroom Wedding Photo
    6. A few special touches. A few of my favorite additions (all ideas that I’ve learned from my mom) are fresh flowers, local flavors (coffee, chocolate, snacks), and photo of them in their room!

    What are your favorite ways of displaying hospitality to your overnight guests? What is a time that you’ve received hospitality as a guest? I’d love to hear from you!

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    Right after I pre-ordered the book Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith (also known as The Nester), I received an email from her with this article! I love what she has to say about trusting people to enter our messes and thought it really spoke into a beautifully view of hospitality: Why You’ve Got To Have Guests When Your House Isn’t Perfect.

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