Hosting Overnight Guests in a Small Home or Apartment

source: Chris-r31
source: Chris-r31

Last week, I shared several tips for hosting overnight guests and making their stay more enjoyable. Several readers asked if I could share tips for hosting guests in smaller spaces such as apartments or homes without extra bedrooms.

As long as your guests know that you live in a small home or apartment ahead of time,  it’s important to remember that they’re probably not expecting you to build an addition for their visit! Don’t feel like you have to provide them with more space, more privacy or more storage than you’re able to. Let them know what to expect ahead of and then relax and enjoy the time together.

That said, here are a few practical tips to help you prepare:

Consider Your Lifestyles

When deciding where your guests will sleep, start by considering your lifestyle. Are you an early bird, or do you have young children who wake up with more energy than Tigger early in the morning? If so, you might consider having your guests sleep in your room while you take the couch or sofa bed. On the other hand, if your guests are the early birds, or if they like to sleep with the TV on and the only TV is in the main living area, then they may actually prefer the couch, sofa bed or air mattress.

Be Creative

One of the tips in my first post was to provide a place for your guests to unpack their stuff. If you don’t have an extra room, this may not be easy to do, but think creatively about possible options. Could you clear space in your coat closet during their visit so they can hang up their shirts and pants? If you clear the bottom of the closet as well, they could use their bag as a drawer of sorts to organize the rest of their clothes.

Whether you’re able to clear space or not, provide them with a laundry bag to sort their dirty laundry from their clean clothes during their visit. You can pick up laundry bags inexpensively at the dollar store so that they can just take it home with them at the end of their visit rather than emptying it out.

Basket for Toiletries

Likewise, if you’re all sharing a small bathroom, there may not be space for your guests toiletries to be put away in the bathroom. Provide them with a basket to hold everything they need so that they can carry that with them each morning rather than having to juggle several things.

Find Time to Be Alone

Finally, make sure that any introverts in you home — including your guests — still have time to be alone during the day. While extroverts are energized by being around other people, introverts find it exhausting if they don’t have time to recharge with alone time. It’s especially important to carve out time for those people to have some time by themselves during longer visits.

If you live in a smaller house or apartment — or have been a guest in a smaller space — what tips would you add to the list?