Regardless of who is coming and how long they're coming, CLEAN THE BATHROOM. Beyond that, I suggest tidying up, dusting, vacuuming and spot mopping.
for drop-ins or day guests
- have something to eat and drink to offer them, even if it's just a water bottle and some goldfish
- check that you have plenty of TP and a box of tissues
- extra mile: homemade baked good or meal
for overnight guests
- clean the shower, wash the curtain liner if it's grimy
- put out shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrush, a razor and shaving cream. leave the razor and toothbrush in a package, otherwise the guest might think they're yours!
- check that a toilet brush and plunger are somewhere in the bathroom
- make the bed with clean sheets and set out clean towels (if they're using a shared bath, put their towels on their bed so they know which ones to use)
- put an alarm clock and something to read by the bed
- make room in the closet for a few hanging items and stock it with hangers
- place an extra blanket at the foot of the bed or somewhere where the guest can easily locate it
- jot down instructions for the TV, the shower (if it's complicated) and any codes they may need to access- Internet, the garage, etc.
- check that you have tea and coffee supplies
- really mean it if you say "help yourself to anything." hide your favorite snacks if you must!
- extra mile: flowers by the bed
for extended stay guests (in addition to the prep above for an overnight guest)
- ask what kinds of snacks and drinks they like and purchase them
- ask if they have any allergies to pets, feathers, food, etc. and be as accommodating as possible (I got sick on our honeymoon because I slept on feather pillows)
- if they'll be on their own at all, provide them with a map of the area and a list of things to do
- put a hamper in their room and show them how to do the laundry
- extra mile: put together a little basket of potential necessities, such as a toothbrush, a nail file, Advil, etc.
I love the idea of a guest basket so much that I put one together yesterday. I plan on putting it on the guest bed or the nightstand and re-filling it as needed.
magazine, book of crosswords, bag of earplugs, lotion, sleep mask, notebook and pen, q-tips, sewing kit, bath gel, gum, shave gel, razor, sunscreen, chapstick, contact solution, mouth wash, wrinkle spray, toothpaste, brush, toothbrushes and tweezers
still to add: nail file, clippers and Advil
UPDATE: the basket has been a big hit! I also set out two chilled bottles of water and the next morning my friend asked jokingly if he and his wife had to pay for the water.