I LOVE hosting. Having friends come from out of town to stay the night or for a weekend is an honor, and I always want them to feel at home. Over the years I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks that keep the cost of hosting down and cleanup to a minimum, while still providing a memorable experience for our guests.
1. Stock Your Guest Bathroom
I’m putting this first because, for me, it’s the most fun. 🙂 We just moved into a new (to us) home and we FINALLY have a guest bedroom and bath. I was over the moon to host our first over-night guests, so I went ALL OUT on the guest bathroom. I wanted them to feel like they were staying at “Hotel Parsons.”
The good news is, I got everything at Walmart or on super sale. Yay!
I spent some time filtering through the bathroom decor at Walmart hoping to find the perfect pieces. The truth is, the majority of the bathroom accessories there are cheap for a reason, and I wanted my find to feel luxurious (for a fraction of the price).
I finally found a variety of glass, apothecary jars and a set of faux marble accessories. I picked up two jars, one larger than the other, as well as a tray and toothbrush holder from the marble set. This only cost me about $35 and now I’ll have them for future house-guests as well.
Q-Tips & Cotton Balls
The “little things” can make all the difference in the world. As you can see above, I filled the jars with Q-Tips and Cotton balls. This was an inexpensive way to make this bathroom feel more like “home” and less like an empty, rarely-used space. We buy most of our bathroom essentials at Costco, so we always have plenty to go around.
TP & Feminine products
This is another easy item that adds a nice touch, making your guests feel more at-home. I filled a small vase (I had in the garage) with a supply of both pads and tampons and put it down with the extra toilet paper. Of course, I let my female guests know the cupboards are stocked and to help themselves to whatever they need.
Have you ever traveled and forgotten your shower essentials? While I was at Walmart, I picked up full-sized Dove shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Again, a small investment that will make your guests feel refreshed and at-ease.
If you do have it in your budget, another nice touch would be to have a couple disposable razors and a travel sized face wash. Just in case. 😉
This goes without saying, but make sure your guest towels are freshly washed. The last thing you want is for your guest to dry off with a towel covered in pet hair or anything else (yes..this has happened to me).
2. Food & Drinks
There’s a reason you find fresh baked cookies and goodies when you go to an open house. Yummy food says, “Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here.” Being prepared with food and beverages for your guests is an easy way to make a warm impression.
Be Prepared to Cook
Even if you think you’re guests may want to go out to eat, have breakfast & dinner planned! If you’re not a cook, pick up an oven-ready pizza or lasagna and garlic bread. Spaghetti and meatballs is a great, affordable option too! Add a side salad and bread and you’re set!
This way, you’re prepared to offer a meal so your guests don’t feel obligated to go out and spend money.
*Make sure to ask if your guests have any food allergies in advance so you can make sure to accommodate them. Speaking as someone who is gluten and dairy intolerant, it’s easy to feel like a burden when you have dietary restrictions, so being prepared with options that fit their needs will be a huge weight off their shoulders.
Have Beverage Options
It’s always nice to say, “Can I get you something to drink?” and not have to follow it up with, “we have water!” (let’s just be honest, I’ve done this on MANY occasions. LOL!)
If you’re not a soda drinker (me neither!) a sweet tea is a great option.
You know you started craving some warm cookies when I mentioned open houses. 😉 Baking cookies is an easy way to make your guests feel welcomed (you’re kitchen will smell great too!)
If your guests do have food allergies, check out these cookies a friend of mine found at Sprouts! They are DELICIOUS! Gluten & dairy free.
The Guest Bed
Clean Sheets are a MUST!
Whether you have a guest bedroom or not, you can offer your guests a cozy place to sleep. Make sure your guest linens are clean and the bed is made beautifully (even if it’s a futon, couch or air mattress!).
Simple Enough, Right?!
Being an amazing hostess really isn’t as much work as most people think. It does take some thoughtful planning, but for me that’s half the fun!
If you love hosting, like me, I’d love to hear some of your tips and tricks! Let me know below!
If hosting really isn’t your thing, I hope this post made it seem a lot more possible. Let me know in the comments below what you’re excited to try next time you have overnight company.
Happy Hosting! 🙂
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