The Basics, The Inevitable and The Extra Touch: What You Need When You’re Expecting Guests

02.05.18 | By
The Basics, The Inevitable and The Extra Touch: What You Need When You’re Expecting Guests

I used to think that the holidays were the only time I needed to prepare for overnight guests but I realized that hosting guests is a year-round activity. Your family members might want to stop by on their summer vacation, your cousins want to stay over during spring break, or you want you have friends spend the night rather than drive home after a night out. To make my house guests feel more comfortable when they’re away from their own home, I prepare the basics, the inevitable, and the extra touch.

1. The basics: Even though your house guests probably came prepared to spend the night, there’s always the off-chance that they forgot something. Rather than waiting for them to ask, I like to have a basket that includes all the basic necessities. This includes fresh linens, toothbrush and toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, tissues, phone charger and a set of the house keys. I also make sure that there’s a stock of toilet paper under the sink, a set of matches or deodorizing spray on the counter, and a plunger next to the toilet because guests are usually most embarrassed to ask for those particular items. An item that gets asked for a lot is contact solution so I make sure to have a mini bottle on hand too.

2. The inevitable: By now, you should expect that anyone who comes over, whether they’re staying over or not, always asks for the house WiFi and password. No one wants to use their data plan if they don’t have to on their their phones and if laptops are involved, it’s always a must. To save guests the trouble of asking (and save me the trouble of telling them it’s a capital C or an O and not a zero), I’ll have a card on hand with the name of the WiFi and the password and include it in the basket. (I printed these ones here.) Additionally, NETGEAR makes it easy for me to share the guest credentials via text through the handy Orbi WiFi app.

In the past I’ve had trouble with more guests connecting to our WiFi, which tends to lag when more people connect to it. It sounds silly but I equate a lack of internet with something equally motifying, like a clogged toilet. It’s just something I don’t want to have to tell my guests! To combat this technologic annoyance, I recently installed the NETGEAR Orbi WiFi, which should be shocking to my friends and family reading this because I never install anything tech related (that job is for my tech-savvy husband). However, the Orbi was so easy to install that I was actually shocked when I reached the end of the step-by-step instructions. That’s it, there aren’t any more steps? I thought as my Orbi router and satellite’s LED lights turned blue, signifying a successful connection.

The Orbi router and satellite work in tandem to strengthen and spread your home WiFi (up to 5,000 feet which is great if I ever live in a mansion). I installed the main router downstairs and the satellite upstairs to make sure we have ample coverage and there aren’t any “dead spots” like the corners of the rooms where the beds are. I also love that the Orbi looks really cool and sleek with its slim, white profile and colored LED lights and pairs with my Amazon Alexa to control the router.

3. The extra touch: Finally, I want to make my house guests feel like they’re welcomed and not imposing, so I try to add a personable touch, like fresh coffee waiting in the morning for my caffeine-addicted friends, a travel magazine for out-of-towners, a mini candle for my mom or a new book for my dad. It’s that extra step that tells your guests you’re happy they’re here.

So the next time you have guests over, run a mental checklist of the above items. It’ll set the tone for the duration of your guests’ stay and you’ll be glad you did it when they tell you they had a wonderful time.

Is there anything you always make sure to have on hand when you’re expecting house guests? Let us know in the comment section below!

As the Lifestyle editor, Vy Yang is obsessed with discovering ways to live well + with intention through design. She's probably sharing what she finds over on Instagram stories. You can also find her at