How to Accommodate Last Minute Guests

A sign says be our guest.

We’ve all dealt with last minute guests at some point in our lives. While it is great to see a friendly face drop in to spend a few days, entertaining them can be tricky. If you frequently experience last minute guests or just want to be prepared when the day comes, here is a quick guide on how to accommodate guests on short notice.

Quick Cleanup

Nobody wants to introduce a last minute guest to a dirty house. If you have the time, do a quick walk-through of the house and tidy things up. Put items where they are supposed to go and avoid cramming things into closets (your guests might use these for storage). Do a deeper clean in areas where your guest will frequent most, such as the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms and living room. Dust all pieces of furniture and vacuum the floors to make things look presentable.

If last minute guests become a normal occurrence, you might consider buying a bin where you can quickly put things in on short notice. You can also use a spare bedroom as a quick dump and keep it closed off when guests are around.

Stock up on Supplies

A pantry with coffee, tea, and sugar in it.

You should always keep certain items stocked for whenever you get an unexpected guest. This includes coffee and tea (creamer and sugar as well). You should also be well stocked on toiletries and have enough food on hand for the first night of hosting. You can always go shopping the next day for more supplies. For food, frozen pizzas and appetizers are great because you can store them and forget about them until a guest arrives. It is also a good idea to have some sort of breakfast food on hand for the following morning. That should hold your guests over until you can make a proper run to the store.

Where to Keep Your Guest

Finding room for an unexpected guest can be challenging, especially if you already have a full house. The first step is finding them somewhere to sleep. This could be on the sofa in your living room, the bed in a spare bedroom, or an old fold-out mattress. Once you get the sleeping arrangements figured out, you need to find a place to store their luggage. If you are short on closet space, you can always stick their belongings behind couches or in a spare room.


The best way to entertain a last minute guest is to get them out of the house. Before they arrive, check online and see what kind of events are happening in your area. Some good options include taking a tour of your city’s historic district, going out to eat, or visiting a local hotspot. Consult with your guest before you decide on doing anything to make sure they are on board with the idea.

Make a Welcome Basket

A basket that says

If you have a little extra time, greeting your last minute guest with a pre-made welcome basket will make their stay all the more enjoyable. You can stuff the package with basic toiletries, like soap and shampoo, slippers, and some sweet snacks. Placing a little welcome card in the package with their name on it is a nice touch.

Staying In

You should probably stay home at least one night during your guest’s stay. The night in should include a tasty dinner followed by some light entertainment. This could be in the form of board games, video games, or another in-house activity. Avoid defaulting to a movie as your guest will probably want to interact with you instead.

Preparing for a Guest

The best way to accommodate for a last minute guest is to be prepared. Do your best to keep the house clean throughout the week and keep your shelves stocked with the bare essentials. Remember, you do not have to make your guest’s stay perfect, but you want them to feel at ease whenever they drop in.