Friday, June 14, 2013

Guest Basket~Things To Have On Hand When Hosting Guests

With summer season upon us, I thought I'd do a post about things to have on hand when you're hosting guests. I'm by no means an expert, but after talking with friends about this very subject, I came up with a few ideas. We were all talking about what we like/dislike when staying overnight with relatives, etc. Some of the situations we'd gotten into were pretty comical. :) I think they got just a little annoyed with me when I kept saying "Wait...let me write this down...this would make for a great blog post!" Ha! (All pics enlarge when clicked.)

One of the things I like to have on hand is a "guest basket" in the guest bathroom. 

This is just a basket filled with all kinds of toiletries the guests may have forgotten. 

I have some toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, and toothbrushes in  here. A lot of these were just from the trial sized bin at Walmart, or things we brought home from hotels. 

I also have men's and women's razors, shaving cream, and lotion. Most of these I got free with a coupon.

I also have some men's and women's deodorant and a new set of combs and brushes along with some kleenex and even a couple of sewing kits. :)

Here's the basket I used. 

Okay, this may sound obvious, but it's a good idea to have hand soap in the guest bath. I've stayed in a couple of homes where the only kind of soap in sight was "fancy" soap. You know, like the ones shaped like flowers, etc. I really didn't know what to use because the fancy soaps clearly had never been used. :) I didn't want to use something that was "off limits." LOL! Having clearly marked hand soap definitely made the list. :)

I can see my mom laughing now because I've never offered her mints when she stayed with us. Ha! I have offered bottled water though. :) One of my friends was saying how nice it was that she had mints on her nightstand when she was a guest at someone's house. So, mints made the list. It's nice to have some bottled water in the guest room or in the bathroom because a lot of people take medicine at night or in the morning and they don't want to wake anyone up by rummaging around in the kitchen for a glass or water. 

I have learned the hard way to always have regular towels, hand towels, AND washcloths available to guests. We don't use washcloths to wash our faces, so I never thought to set any out for guests. Well, once my mother in law was staying with us and she came out of the bathroom still wiping her face with ONE OF MY RAGS I USE FOR CLEANING!! Oh my! I was mortified to say the least. She uses a washcloth every morning to wash her face and when she looked in the linen closet, the only washcloths in there were the ones I use to clean with way in the back! They were stained and had holes in them and everything! Needless to say, I made a bee line to Walmart to stock up on washcloths. :)

One of my "hilarious" friends insisted I include "room-freshening spray" to have in the bathroom for obvious reasons. :) She once had an awkward moment when she stayed with someone and this wasn't readily available. LOL! I keep this little pump bottle of body spray in the bathroom. I got it at Walmart for about $2. Dollar Tree also has a big selection of body sprays. I talked about them in THIS POST

This kind of goes along with the soap thing. It's nice to have paper guest towels to use. I like that they're disposable. Some people (not naming any names) said they hate to use a "common" hand towel to dry their hands when staying at someone's house. I have to admit, it is kind of nice to have something that no one else has used to dry your hands with. :) I've been in many situations where the only towel in sight was a "fancy" towel. I'm always afraid to use those. :)

I thought a nite light was a good idea too. Especially if someone's not used to the layout of your house. It's nice to have a little light to guide you at night.

Here's something we all agreed on. Shower gel instead of bar soap. A friend of mine was freaked out once when the only soap available in the guest bath was bar soap that was half way gone. She couldn't stand the thought of using "someone else's soap." Ha! Another alternative is to place a brand new bar of soap (still in the wrapper) in the shower. That way, they know it's new.  Of course, don't forget to have a washcloth available to use with that gel. :)

Ah...we can't forget a good supply of toilet paper. Preferably in an easy to find/convenient location. I got this plastic bin at Dollar Tree and keep extra rolls in it under the sink. I always point it out to guests so they know where to find it. Here's another tip...if you're having a party, check the roll of toilet paper and if it's more than half way gone, go ahead and replace it with a full roll. That way, it'll probably last the whole party and  guests most likely won't have to search for a new one.  I just tuck the half used roll under the sink and bring it back out to use later after the party. 

I almost forgot this one. A bath mat WITH a rug pad under it to prevent falls. I can't tell you how many times I've stayed with someone and there was no bath mat. I had to either step out on slippery tile or use another towel as a mat. 

Here's something else we thought of. Paper cups. Remember someone might need to take medicine at night and these are perfect for that. Also, kleenex, cotton balls, and q-tips. I got the plastic containers at Walgreens. They were 3 for $1. I keep the cups, kleenex, cotton balls, and q-tips in the linen closet in the guest bath. 

I promise this has something to do with this post. :) This is what Holly's been doing lately. Pilfering q-tips out of the trash can in the bathroom! I've caught her with q-tips and those little flossers. I guess I should pause for a moment and just be grateful that my teenage sons USE q-tips and flossers. Ha! Anyway, Holly is constantly fishing them out of the trash. 

This one cracks me up!

Here she is trying to make a quick escape.

All this to tell you that a trashcan is essential for your guests. We just had to replace ours with this LIDDED one from Walmart. :) Let's hope the lid keeps curious kitty out. It's nice to have a place to throw away all the kleenex, q-tips, and cotton balls. I've stayed at houses before where there was no trashcan in the bathroom and I kept having to go all the way into the kitchen to throw things away. 

She's already trying to figure it out!
Well, hope this list helps. I know we laughed a lot when making it. :) We've all been in hilarious and not so hilarious situations when staying overnight. Oh's also a good idea to make sure you have WORKING locks on your bathroom doors. Cause you wouldn't want your nephews to walk in on you taking a shower. TWICE. Ahem. :)

Another good idea that came up was to spend the night in your own guest room before the guests arrive. You never know what'll happen. You could find out that the room is constantly cold/hot or that the sun blares in the window early in the morning. That way, you'll have time to get extra blankets or a blackout curtain. Ha! Hope y'all picked up a tip or two today. :) I'd love for you to add your own tips in the comments section. I'm always looking for new ideas!


  1. I want to be your have thought of everything :o) Love the pic of the cat making a quick getaway too!
    Have a great weekend!!!

  2. Smart girl! We have guests all the time! It kind of feels like a B&B here sometimes. :) I'm amazed at how often we need another toothbrush. That is by far the most requested item.

  3. This is a great post with a ton of fabulous ideas. Since we have a lot of guests at the lake, I do try to think of things that make them comfortable. The water bottles and mints are a really nice idea as well as the room freshener and paper hand towels.

    Since we don't have a linen closet upstairs, our towels, etc. are stacked in the laundry room. I put a towel and washcloth on the end of each bed for my guests. And I keep lots of books and magazines in case someone want to read at night. We've been having mostly the same friends and family here at the lake for so many years that they have pretty much made themselves at home!

    Thanks, Lisa!


  4. You have thought of everything! Your guests will sure feel honored! Life to the full! Melissa

  5. I love your ideas for a basket for guests. I like having some of my 'extras' in my own bath in a basket, too. It makes it handy and feels like a spa. You've thought of everything!

  6. Will your guests ever leave? Great ideas for pampering your guest. The only extras I leave out are sample sized toothpaste, toothbrushes and mouthwash in case they are forgotten.

  7. Great ideas, Lisa! I do those things, too. I have some extra drawer space in my guest bath where I stash all kinds of extras my guests might forget and always make sure that I point out those drawers to them. There is also one for plenty of extra hand towels & wash cloths. I love to make little gifts for our guests (foot scrubs, etc.) & have those wrapped up along with some bottled water, a flashlight, & some nibble in a basket on the guest room nightstand. We even added a couple of nice thick terry bathrobes to hooks in the guest room (got them at IKEA). We've had guests say they felt like they were guests at Martha Stewarts, only a whole lot! We didn't have a dedicated guest room in our last home, so making the one in our current home has been so much fun!

    Your kitty cracks me up! Abby just likes to tip over the waste baskets, but doesn't usually take anything out. She prefers to just move things around and curl up inside! They are so darn entertaining, aren't they?

  8. Great post. I love all of your tips, they are perfect. You have some super idea. Thanks tons too for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  9. I also have an alarm clock and / or it can be connected to clock radio.

    I also like small bags of munchies.

    I also give them the passcode to access our internet/WIFI.

    Garbage can in their bedroom. Clean and empty. I also make sure the garbage can in the guest bath is also clean and empty.

    I tell them where extra pillows/blankets are in their closet and clear a spot with empty hangars.

    I let them know what our morning routine is and where they can find coffee, juice, cereal etc. I listen if they have dietary concerns, if they eat gluten or nut free etc. They usually indicate ahead of time. I accommodate or they bring specialty foods and work around our menus. I have cut and ready fruit bowls/trays. Just about everyone can find something to eat on these.


  10. Wow! Teresa, you've thought of some great additions! An alarm clock is so important and the password to wifi is essential, especially now days. :) Thanks for your ideas!

  11. You have thought of everything! I'm sure your guests don't want to leave...
    Holly is adorable, got the biggest kick out of seeing her with the funny!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!!

  12. Since space for hanging towels in the bathroom is a premium, I have towel racks ( with towels) on the back of the guest room door.

    1. Oh, I like that idea! I don't have a lot of space for towels in the guest bath either, so this is very clever! Thanks!

  13. What a cute idea to have a guest basket like this! So nice and welcoming (and practical, too!) We often have guests come and stay, I'll have to put something like this together too! So sweet! :)


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