We all have those organized friends who plan their visit to your home months in advance—and then we have those in-laws or distant cousins who call the day before to let you know that they’re coming for a quick visit and need a place to stay. Sigh. Whether or not entertaining overnight guests is your jam, it can be stressful to prepare your home for visitors. We recently sat down with HGTV host and designer Chip Wade to collect his 3 easy steps for preparing your space for guests.

Step #1: Clean Linens

Since your guests need a comfortable place to sleep and shower, let’s start with linens.  It’s smart to keep supplies, like extra sheets and towels, on hand for surprise overnight guests, so that you’re never caught unprepared. Chip recommends oversized white bath towels and soft white microfiber sheets for a fresh look that feels like a hotel. Make sure that clean sheets are on your guest’s bed with extra pillows and warm blankets that are easily accessible.


If finding the right space in your home for a guest bed is a challenge, Chip recommends considering his new furniture collaboration with Xtraroom. Both the Orion collection and Virgo collection offer space-saving sleep solutions for guests. The Orion console with bed and desk transitions a sleek desk into a fold-out guest bed in under one minute. And the Virgo murphy bed goes from hidden to ultimate comfort in seconds.

Once the bed is set, turn your attention to the bathroom. A clean bathroom with towels, washcloths, and soaps neatly displayed feels like a welcome escape for any guest. Real Simple offers a great article to get a sparkling clean bathroom, Deep Clean Your Bathroom in 7 Steps.  

Step #2: Stock the Fridge

Even if you have Open Table dinner reservations and UberEats on speed dial, it’s inevitable that your guests will get hungry or thirsty during their stay. It’s best to plan ahead by stocking up on drinks, snacks, and simple breakfast foods in advance.

To be a considerate host or hostess, ask your guests in advance about any favorite drinks or dietary concerns. Pretty much everyone is gluten-free, Paleo, or something unique– and considering the preferences of your guests makes for the best experience for everyone.

To start off a simple grocery store list, Chip recommends a few bottles of water, a few bottles of wine, and making at least one welcome appetizer, such as this easy Cheese Board. Even if a weekend brunch out is planned, have coffee, orange juice, and this Gluten Free Breakfast Casserole on hand for a seamless morning.

To really impress your guests, consider making a small snack basket for your guest space, including items like nuts, crackers, and granola bars for easy grab-and-go snacks.

Step #3: Come on In Y’all

The bed linens are fresh, the bathroom is sparkling, and your fridge is full. Now, it’s time to relax and enjoy your house guests.

It’s important to give your guests a fun, stress-free experience during their visit. Start by giving your guests a warm greeting and offer to carry their bags inside. After you’ve exchanged hellos and given the official house tour, carry drinks and appetizers into the living room before sitting down to go over the agenda. Be sure to share your Wifi password, too!

When guests are visiting, your house is messy and you will be outside of your normal routine. Just remember they will leave soon enough, so try to savor the chaos with a smile.