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Hospitality for the Rest of Us: Guest Room


Can we talk about your guest room? If you don't have one, that's okay, you offer a couch or floor, people know exactly what they're getting into. But you get offered a guest room, there's no telling what you will end up with.

First of all, would you sleep there? Maybe I should say can you sleep there? People often have junk rooms with beds in them with the grand idea that it could be a guest room. If you can't go in and put sheets on the bed with 24 hours notice, it's probably a junk room. I like junk rooms, they're great! But don't put the stress on yourself of saying it's a guest room. Because then you're not just adding the work of hosting someone over night in your house, an entire room of stuff is displaced in your home and there's more pre-work that has to be done. Just tell folks you have a bed in the junk room you can clear off, it's honest and they understand or stay at a hotel instead.

Okay, you can sleep in there. Do you use the room on a daily basis for some other purpose? Is it your home office? I seen that so often on home improvement shows, they take a home office and add a futon and call it a guest room. Would you take your guest to your regular office and let them sleep there? Probably not. And then there's the whole tidying. If your home office is like any of the ones I've had, it's a paper pile the size of Montana. Takes fifteen boxes just to hold it all. You don't need that kind of stress in your life. Either you're going to be throwing papers in random boxes and looking for them for months to come or you're going to go through Facebook and solitaire withdrawals, both are ugly. Tell folks you have a bed in your office they can use. Once again it's honest and sets up realistic expectations.

You can sleep there, there's no other day to day purpose for it. Who has these rooms? Honestly, give me some of your extra cash, I have some junk I want to buy and put in my junk room office. We do have a junk room office, but it's contained to a junk closet and a power strip to charge devices at night, which find other plugs when guests arrive. We have a few things in our guest room that make them cozy for us, so I'm going to assume they're cozy for others. The room is small, barely holding a full size bed, but it's the comfiest bed we could afford for the space. We have two sets of sheets, cotton for summer and flannel for winter. There is a plethora of pillows, including a husband pillow (the ones from the 70's so you could sit on the floor and read AND has armerests). There is a chair, just one of our dining room chairs, but a place to sit. There is an old child size table, I would prefer a different piece of furniture, but it's excellent for holding towels and large pieces of luggage. We have a clothes hamper in there. It's a generic mesh hamper but does the job of holding clothes for people. It has its own television, hooked up to a Roku and HD antenna. People love the ion channel :-) It's where our library is housed so, tons of books. I keep a little collection of shampoos and soaps in the room. And last of all, a clock. It's loud, but it has an alarm function and can glow in the dark.

Those are creature comforts I like, so I supply them. At the end of the day, it's just a place to lay your head. But it has also become a space to heal, giggle, cry and find rest. Not just physical rest, but soul rest. If you provide the ability to do one, the other will occur naturally.

So, go take a look at your junk room office and decide what it's purpose could be. Really think about what would bring you the most joy. I found for us, rest was better than stuff.



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