Preparing For a Houseguest

Entertaining friends and family in your apartment should be a happy time to relax and enjoy the company–but playing host to overnight guests can be stressful!

Here are a few tips to better prepare you ahead of time to ensure that expected (and unexpected) houseguests feel right at home in your apartment.

Prep the Guest Room

Planning on having overnight visitors? Then you’ll have to prep the guest room. Here’s what you need to do:

  • First, make sure the bed has clean sheets. No one wants to sleep on dirty sheets!

  • If possible, make some space by clearing out a few drawers or closet space to provide guests with some room to unpack clothes so they don’t have to live out of a suitcase during their stay.

  • Provide wifi information so your houseguest can get connected.

  • Leave a bottle of water for them on the nightstand so they don’t have to find the kitchen if they get thirsty in the middle of the night.

I Don’t Have a Guest Room!

If you live in a less-than-spacious apartment like I do, you don’t have the luxury of a spare room—but that doesn’t mean that you can’t accommodate overnight guests.

Invest in a good air mattress and keep it handy in a nearby closet. You’ll also want to have a set of spare sheets and pillows to go along with the mattress. You can make the bed before guests come over and lay it down wherever you have space (lean it against the wall when it’s not being used to keep it out of high-traffic areas).

If you really want to be the ultimate host, you can let your guests take your room for the night and you can use the air mattress or the sofa. If you go with this option, offer your visitors a set of fresh towels, some reading materials and maybe some travel-sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion (so they won’t have to use yours).

Set Out Extra Blankets

No matter where your guests end up snoozing, it’s important that you lay out some extra blankets. There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night shivering and having no way to warm up. Your guests will appreciate the gesture.

Clean Everywhere

Don’t greet your guests in a dirty, cluttered apartment. Nobody wants to look into the kitchen sink and see what you had for dinner two days ago. Floors and countertops should also be cleared of any messes.

Next, go through each room with antibacterial wipes and clean off surfaces of tables, dressers, countertops, appliances, etc. Then, spray your favorite air freshener or light a few scented candles to create a relaxing and pleasant-smelling atmosphere.

Take a Trip to the Grocery Store

Just because you live off of Nutella doesn’t mean your houseguests should have to. Go to the grocery store to stock up on basics like bread, eggs, milk and coffee (and don’t forget about the beer, wine and cocktails).

If you know your visitors particularly well, you can pick up snacks that you know they like. It’s always nice to have some food in your apartment to accommodate hungry guests. Always keep dietary restrictions in mind when you’re stocking your fridge. For instance, if your friend is lactose intolerant, you probably don’t want to pick up ice cream for dessert.


You don’t have to redecorate your entire apartment or anything, but there are a few simple things you can do that will make a big difference when your guests arrive.

Display Flowers: Put a few fresh-cut flowers into a vase and place the vase on a windowsill or use it as a centerpiece on your kitchen table. Blooms are such an easy way to add some personality and cheeriness to your apartment.

Use Coasters: Unless you would like to have rings of condensation forming on your coffee table, I recommend investing in a set of coasters.

Set Out Mugs: If your guests get up earlier than you, place a few mugs next to the coffee machine. This way, they can help themselves and don’t have to wait until you wake up in order to enjoy a cup of coffee.

Use a Bar Cart: Are you planning on offering your guests some libations? If so, you can jazz up your apartment with a small bar cart. This item doesn’t take up much space and will keep all of your drink must-haves organized and accessible.

Have a Spare Key Made

A good way to ensure your guests don’t get locked out of your apartment is to have a spare key made. This way, they can feel free to leave your place and go explore the surrounding area while you’re at work or out running errands.

Pin this post:

This article fits under the following categories:

Rent Editorial TeamAt, our goal is to be the most efficient digital resource to help people find and live in a place they love. We strive to help renters make informed decisions by providing them with valuable information and advice, including money-saving tips, local guides, HD photos and certified ratings and reviews from actual residents.

Recent Articles

There’s more to Chicago than cold winters and the Cubs. Check out these truths!

See which 10 cities give you the most bang for your grocery buck.

Most Popular