Test Drive Your Spare Room

Test Drive Your Spare Room

If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room, it’s well worth making sure it isn’t a junk room and it is ready for guests at the drop of a hat. Having guests to stay shouldn’t be a hassle, it shouldn’t mean spending 2 days finding the spare duvet or decluttering a room – having guests to stay should be easy and about seeing your friends (or going to the pub in our case.) Our spare room also happens to be my study and the place Mr Thrifty and his friends tend to play video games. So there is a fair bit of day to day rubbish floating about but nothing that can’t be swept up into a folder or drawer in under 5 minutes when we have a guest descend upon us. I love having people to stay and we tend to have friends or family over most weekends, so I think it is important that the space they’re sleeping in is comfortable and not too much of a bombsite. Every now and then (usually when Mr Thrifty has to be up super early for a hockey match in the arse-end of nowhere) I’ll spend a night in our spare room just to make sure it is comfortable and not an awkward place to spend a night. I don’t want it to be like a hotel but I do want our guests to feel at ease. We’ve all stayed somewhere where the pillows are so flat they give you neck ache in the morning, it puts a downer on your whole stay – I want to make sure our guest room isn’t like that. Test driving the spare room really is the only way to see if the room works and secretly I like setting myself up in there with a DVD and a WHOLE bed to spread out in.

After a night in the room, I’ll know if the duvet is warm enough, if there are enough pillows and generally if any of the furniture needs moving around to prevent my drunken friends from smashing their faces into a chest of drawers at. We tend to leave our spare bed unmade but with a fresh set of clean linen piled up on top. I think it is important to let the mattress breathe and air out, plus it only takes 5 minutes to sling on a fitted sheet and duvet cover. We have a double bed in that room, so I’ve put 4 pillow on the bed plus a king sized duvet (I always like to go one size larger in duvets). Then I also add throw pillows (handy for reading before sleep) and an extra blanket or two. I know my mother in law gets super cold and really appreciates the extra blankets, I always offer her a hot water bottle should the temperature drop.

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I’m always getting free samples of shampoo and cosmetics in magazines or at make up counters so I include them in a little basket, in case anyone has forgotten something. We don’t always have a mirror in the spare room so I remember to move one into the room shortly before someone arrives but I really must keep my beady eye out for a new one at the bootsale. As the room is also my study there are lots of books on hand for a guest to read but I also tend to put a pile of magazines and journals on the side. A pen and paper are always handy and I also tend to make a note of our internet password to leave in the room because I can never, ever remember it off the top of my head. A few hours before guests arrive I open the windows to air out the room, give everything a quick wipe and quickly run the vacuum cleaner round before lighting a candle. If you include your spare room in your regular cleaning routine it won’t be too much of a hassle when people come over.

Guest Room Checklist

Spare pillow/cushion or two
Extra blanket or throw
Box of tissues
A few magazines or books
Pen and paper
A small basket of toiletries
A bath towel, hand towel and face cloth per guest
Alarm clock
Bottle of water and a glass

I know this all sounds a bit anal and one person (not someone staying with us I hasten to add) once called me ‘over the top’ for having a basket of soaps in our spare room but honestly, if it makes a guest feel comfortable and in the mood to come again then I honestly don’t give a stuff.