hlw0008@auburn.edu/ January 2, 2014/ LIFE

Living away from home has its ups and downs for me. Even though it means I can’t see my family whenever I want, nothing compares to the feeling I get when I walk into the cozy bedroom my mother has set up. In the bathroom, she places overflowing baskets of soaps, makeup and lotions from the places she’s visited recently. On the same note, when my husband and I visit his family, we also have a welcome space to kick our feet up. His mother always has a bathroom basket set up, too, filled to the brim with showering supplies.

These two women have inspired my first blog post. I believe in having an inviting space for loved ones to relax in…with their needs already supplied so no one feels out of place. Preparing a guest room is a great opportunity to let your style shine! There are a few things I like to do to the guest bed and bath before my family and friends arrive. Here are MY TOP 10 preparations:

  1. De-clutter and open up space for friends and family to place their belongings. Adding a bench in the bedroom or clearing out a little closet space is one way to do this.
  2. Wash linens and add fabric softener to the laundry. Downy (with the blue cap) is my favorite. 942505_10102018551234215_736580109_n
  3. Provide extra blankets. Nothing makes a room more inviting.
  4. Place a small fan in the room. I can’t sleep without one and I know I’m not alone in this.
  5. Adorn bedside tables with water glasses, a clock, and a place to put watches, jewelry and loose change. Very convenient for travel-worn visitors. 1505039_10101985144466645_1430863383_n
  6. Have water at hand. It’s a thoughtful way to keep guests from having to rummage the kitchen during late-night thirst fests. d
  7. Provide stationary, something that’s commonly needed when traveling (to make lists or leave notes). Books and magazines that celebrate the local area are also a nice touch.  1528686_10101985144651275_179024287_n
  8. Fill containers (in my case, apothecary jars) with soaps, Q-tips, cotton balls and other toiletry items. 1455109_10101862153586355_182962142_n
  9. Place a container for dirty towels and rags in the bathroom so no one needs to ask where to place used linens.
  10. Most of all, try not to get caught up “entertaining” and striving to be the perfect hostess. Slow down and enjoy spending time with these precious people…even if that means leaving a messy kitchen after dinner. After all, they are more likely to remember the way you made them feel, rather than the way your kitchen sink looks.