We've all been there: You're staying at your aunt's house, ready to take a shower, and... uhh, can't find a towel. Or you're at your brother's for Christmas, and while everyone is dreaming of sugar plums, you're up trying every combination of his dog's name to come up with the Wi-Fi password.
Problems like this can make guests feel uncomfortable. And sometimes they can't always ask you for help (you're out or it's late). So they may have to start snooping around in cabinets for that extra roll of toilet paper — which makes them even more uncomfortable, thinking that if they are caught, it'll look like they are snooping.
To make things pleasant for everyone — and keep your guests coming back — be sure to have the following items ready at your guests' fingertips. (Just don't make them too comfortable, or they'll never want to leave!)
1. Wi-Fi password
Have your Wi-Fi password ready to go for them. Whether you frame it, place a note on the dresser or text it to them beforehand, making it available will have them feeling welcome and keep them from shyly having to ask later, "Do you mind if I could get your Wi-Fi login?"
2. Charging station
And... speaking of Internet... set up a charging station for them. If you've got extra charging cables lying around, plug them in here in case they forgot to bring their own. Also, don't be shy with the number of outlets — when people travel, they have all kinds of devices they might need to recharge, like a laptop, iPad, Kindle or battery for their camera.
3. Place to unpack
Living out of a suitcase can cramp anyone's style. If you are expecting weeklong guests or even just weekend guests, offer them an empty (completely empty) dresser and extra hangers in the closet. (If you even have a few things in some of the top drawers, guests will feel like they are infringing on your stuff.)
4. Privacy curtains
While you don't necessarily have to offer them blackout curtains, some type of filter over the window (blinds, shades, curtains) will definitely put your guests at ease. Your neighbors may not mind, but your guests probably don't want to be flashing any strangers during their visit.
5. Extra linens
Always provide them with extra blankets (in case they get cold easily), extra towels (if they use a new one every day, don't make them feel uncomfortable about it) and extra pillows (some people really like to pile them up!)
6. Bedroom staples
Likewise, while some guests might get cold easily, others can be uncomfortably hot. So make sure you've got a working fan set up for them. It can be a ceiling fan or a cool vintage floor fan. Also, don't forget a wastebasket and hamper. Guests might want to go shopping, and they'll need a place to throw away tags and bags.
7. Bathroom necessities
It's definitely no fun to realize you left your toothbrush behind. Keep some extra items like this on hand in the linen closet. Include bathroom essentials like mini soaps, lotions and shampoos, but also don't forget to have extra rolls of toilet paper and tampons easily accessible too.
8. Medicine basket
It can be pretty embarrassing to wake up hungover (from such a great dinner party last night!) or get stuck with an upset stomach when you're visiting family and friends. So set up a little basket of medicines (Tylenol, Pepto-Bismol, Band-Aids, etc.) that your guest can find easily.
9. Bedside essentials
A great bedside table for your guests will include a clock, magazines (or reading material) and notepad and pen. When they're waiting for others to wake up or finish getting ready, they'll have something to keep them occupied.
10. House keys
Sometimes your guests will fly in on a Friday or not leave until Tuesday, but you've still got to go to work. Leave them a house key so they can come and go as they please while you're away.
11. Fresh flowers
Fresh flowers will make the room look alive and welcoming. Sometimes guest rooms feel a little abandoned, like no one's been in there in months. Flowers (not fake ones!) will make guests feel that you care.
12. Candy jar
Who doesn't like to snag a few sweet treats here and there — without the judgmental eye of your other friends and family? Set up a little jar of jelly beans or a fun bubble gum machine.
13. Don't forget the kitchen
Most guests will tend to wake up earlier than usual when sleeping in an unfamiliar place. This means they might be up even before you. Set up a coffee station in the kitchen, and show them how to use it. You can also set up a coffee and tea cart in the guest room.
At the end of the day, you really want your guest to feel comfortable. If your guest has particular dietary restrictions or is gluten-free, accommodate them with options so they don't feel like a burden (when they can't eat anything you made for dinner). Oppositely, if you tend to run a strict household, don't make your guest feel like a soldier in your army. If you make your bed every day, but they don't, let it go. You can make their bed as much as you want after they leave.
This post was brought to you by Value City Furniture. For more inspiration, visit their blog at blog.vcf.com.