Guest Bedrooms: The Essentials

Thanksgiving is only a couple short weeks away and Christmas four weeks later. Visitors are common over these holiday seasons and everyone is making a mad scramble to get their guest room in order.

As stated previously, our family has been traveling across the U.S. staying in many hotels, motels, missions apartments, prophet's chambers, and guest rooms. The guest rooms we've stayed in have been quite varied - some are simply a private bedroom, while others, such as "prophet's chambers" attached to a church, are more like a small apartment complete with a small kitchen and living room area. Obviously, we are very grateful for any type of accommodations! It is always such a blessing to be able to stay in a place where we can relax and feel at home after having traveled for many miles. For my own sake, since I'd like to have a guest room myself some day, I've decided to keep a list of things that are essential for a guest room and also a list of notes and "extras" I could add.

Basic Guest Room

1. Full or queen sized bed
While not an absolute must, a full or queen sized bed is most comfortable for guest. It is difficult for a couple to sleep in a twin bed no matter how in love they might be, unless they each weigh 110 pounds. 

2. Clean, unstained sheets and bedding

No explanation needed here. Be mindful of tears and strange smells that may accompany blankets that have been away in storage.

3. Fluffy pillows and Extra Pillows

Find some other use for the old, matted, lumpy pillows and buy some nice fluffy pillows with medium firmness. My husband likes a firmer pillow, I like soft ones. Some people like extra pillows for support while sleeping. Obviously, not everyone is the same. Providing extra pillows will give the variety needed to suit most any guest. 

4. Extra blankets
Guests may not feel comfortable about asking you to turn up the heat. Providing some extra blankets will assure that they are sufficiently warm during the night. 

5. Night stands

One frustrating thing when sleeping somewhere, albeit a rather minor problem, is to have no place to rest my glasses (I'm blind without them), set a glass of water, or lay my phone (which doubles as an alarm clock). A simple table or night stand beside the bed would solve this dilemma, preferably one for each side of the bed. Nothing fancy is necessary, just a resting place for small personal items. We've stayed in some guest rooms where the host used a small empty dresser as a night stand. This was great because we could also make use of the empty space while staying there!

6. Bedside lamps

It is polite to provide your guests with a bedside lamp or two. This way, they can read or relax in bed and turn out the light when ready without getting out of the warm comfort of the bed to walk across the room to turn out the light. You get the idea.

7. Alarm clock

While many of us use our phones as alarm clocks, there are some who still depend on a trustworthy alarm clock. For this reason, it is always a good idea to provide a small electric alarm clock.

8. Extra plugs for charging electronics

This happens to be another matter of frustration: not enough empty plugs to charge our electronics. While traveling on the road, we depend heavily on our phones for directions and information about the area, not to mention keeping in touch with people. If you are limited on outlets in your guest room, consider purchasing an outlet strip of some sort. We have seen some outlets that include a USB port, which is wonderful for charging our phones!

9. Mirror 

It's just simple courtesy to provide your guests with a mirror that they can use to get ready for the day, preferably full length mirror.

10. Garbage can

Everyone has garbage. Nobody wants to carry it half way through the house on a search for a garbage can. You can find decent garbage cans at the dollar store.

11. Kleenex

We all need them from time to time, it's nice if they are provided for the guests.

12. Fan

As with providing extra blankets in case guests get cold, also provide them with a small fan in case they are too warm in your home. Everyone is used to different temperatures. What may feel great to you, may be entirely way to warm for your guest. Just don't forget to clean the fan before providing it!

Keep in mind that these items are merely the "bare essentials" of the ideal guest room. This list is intended to give you an idea of some things to include in your own guest room and why your guest will find them useful. I will be posting a list soon of "special touches" you can add to make the room even more pleasant.