Preparing for house guests

I live in a two bedroom home, and my husband and I use our second bedroom as a home office/television/media room. The room is pretty tiny and there isn’t even enough space in it left to fit a blow-up mattress. So, whenever we have house guests, they are relegated to our living room and its foldout couch.

We have enough storage space in our bedroom closet to store the extra pillows, sheets (it’s a different size than our bed), and blankets for the foldout couch. We decided, though, to store these items all together to make assembly and storage simple and uncluttered.

We use two XL Ziploc Big Bags (one for the pillows and one for the bedding) for storing these items. One of the XXL Ziploc Big Bags might hold all of the materials in just one bag, but these weren’t available when we went shopping.

Additionally, we have a clear plastic box in our guest bathroom with items people commonly forget while traveling. It’s labeled “For our Guests” and takes up relatively little space beneath the vanity. Most of the items in the box are travel size and came free from the dentist or were hotel samples we collected on vacations.

Keeping supplies for house guests contained makes life uncluttered for you and leaves your guests feeling like you’re a considerate host. Additionally, it makes accommodating unexpected guests simple because you’re always prepared for them … well, at least prepared for their sleeping arrangements!

13 Comments for “Preparing for house guests”

  1. posted by Marie on

    Great ideas. Now the only danger is that the guests will feel TOO welcome and stay an extra day!

  2. posted by Erin @ Unclutterer on

    @Marie — The metal bar in the foldout couch alleviates that danger :)

  3. posted by x on

    That’s awesome to offer toothbrushes and paste and fresh little soaps and stuff!

    Speaking of ziplock bags, my partner and I recently went through all of our random wires, cords, cables, strange electronics, old phones, etc that we had collected in shopping bags. We coiled them individually and put each in a plastic ziplock and labelled them. The mystery ones we put ?s on and plan to ask electronic savvy relatives what they are for and if we can chuck them.

  4. posted by Jasi on

    Guests are a great way to get rid of dental samples w/o waste. Toss them all in a shoe box- reusing rather than buying more clutter. They can each have their very own paste/ brush preferences and take them home.

    Sheet sets can go into one of the pillow cases and be stored between mattress and box spring (if you’re really short on space). Why waste plastic bags?

  5. posted by Kris on

    We are fortunate to have a family room with a very comfortable sofa. If a single person is staying the night and it’s not planned, they stay there. When one of us (me or my husband) is sick, we sleep there, too, to keep from disturbing the other. We have a trunk as a coffee table in that room and in the trunk we store a full set of towels (hand, wash, bath), a ziplock bag with the toiletry items mentioned above, two pillows, a sheet and a down comforter. All in one place and right next to the sofa.

    For couples or longer term guests, we move our boys twin beds together, attach a giant elastic around them to hold them in place, put down a king sized featherbed and make the bed up. They have their own bathroom which is off limits to them normally so it’s stocked and ready to go and is clean as nobody ever uses it except company. The linens for this room are kept in the master closet as we have a king bed in there, too, and it’s easier to keep all the linens in one place. Under the sink in the boys’/guest bath is another ziplock bag with toiletries.

    It makes life very easy to do it this way. I change out the toiletries every Christmas when we go to the beach. I use what’s left and restock when we return.

  6. posted by Melissa A. on

    I’ve never seen those giant ziplocks before. I can’t order non-media items from Amazon.com (so I’ve been told). Can you usually find them at any department store?

  7. posted by Kris on

    I found the giant ziplock bags at Lowe’s.

  8. posted by molly on

    I got my xl bags at Target. I love them. When I travel, all of my son’s clothing and other stuff goes in one and in the stroller travel bag. Fabulous!

  9. posted by Andamom on

    Hmm… We live in Brooklyn — and close enough to Manhattan that people regularly want to stay in our two-bedroom pad. When I say us, I mean, I live with my husband and our 2 children in a 900 square foot apartment — my son has a crib in our bedroom while my daughter has her own room.

    There certainly isn’t a lot of space for guests, but I really appreciate it when people trek up here for a visit. So, we bought an Aero-bed that we store in a closet, have a sofa that is deep enough to sleep on (we are replacing it with another deep sofa shortly), and we have a trunk television stand so that we can store our pillows and blankets out of sight.

    In the bathroom, we generally have extra toiletries on hand because well teenagers (of which we have one) tend to invite their friends over regularly and overuse goods.

    Here’s a list of things people seem to forget or need:
    -sanitary napkins or tampons
    -dental floss
    -toothpaste
    -q-tips
    -cottons
    -band-aids
    -asperin, Motrin, or Tylenol
    -saline for contacts
    -toothbrush
    -comb

    Mi apartamento es su apartamento ;)

  10. posted by Haittersinign on

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  11. posted by pixieopower on

    When storing sheet sets I fold the sheets lengthwise then roll them and stuff them in the coordinating pillowcase. Less clutter in my closet and i know that it will always look “classy” because the set really do match. And rolling the sheets up makes for super easy bedmaking.

  12. posted by craigsf on

    I live in an old drafty 1 bedroom apartment in chilly San Fran. I use an Aero bed or the sofa (lumpy) for guests, but the pillows and comforters (2) take up lots o space. I’ve tried the ziplock bag, even the vacuum version that sucks the air out, but the smell when they come out disagrees with me. They’re clean, but it’s damp here, and it takes a day or two for the smell to go away. So I am still searching for a storage solution in my tiny apartment.
    Any ideas’ out there?

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