How to Prep Your Guest Room in 30 Minutes

'Tis the season for last-minute prep.

Let me guess — you’ve been rushing around all week buying last-minute gifts for a seemingly never-ending list of people. You’ve been staying up late wrapping said gifts. You’ve been to the grocery store once, and then again because you forgot you signed up to bring cookies to your kid’s kindergarten class. And then again because you ran out of cheese when making mac and cheese for your office potluck. And somehow, you actually have no idea how your overnight holiday guests are coming today. In fact, they’ll be at your door in 30 minutes. Deep breaths, my friend. With this handy little guide, your guest room will be warm and welcoming in 30 minutes flat — and your guests will have no idea it only took you 30 minutes.

Make or Freshen the Bed

White Comes In Lots of Flavors

White Comes In Lots of Flavors

The bed-scape of this guest bedroom combines whites in many different ways; the bed pillows are ultra-white cotton, the Euro shams are made of a casual, washed beige-white linen, the accent pillow features rouged silk, the ultra-white duvet has a faint waffle pattern, and the woven throw blanket is made from yellow-white cotton.

First things first, make the bed look fresh and tidy. If it’s already dressed in clean sheets, fluff the pillows, and smooth out any obvious wrinkles in the bedding. If it’s not dressed in clean sheets, well, c’mon, you know what to do. Put the finishing touch by placing your coziest blanket on the end of the bed to ensure the room feels warm and inviting.

Set Out Fresh Towels

Bathroom Soap Bar and Towel

Bathroom Soap Bar and Towel

Turkish-style towels and soap sit on the marble sink of Genevieve Gorder's remodeled bathroom, as seen on HGTV's "Genevieve's Renovation."

From: Genevieve Gorder

Photo by: Chris Amaral

Chris Amaral

Set out a stack of neatly folded bath towels in the guest room. Placing the towels in the bedroom will make guests feel like you took special care to prepare for them. (A pretty, new bar of soap doesn’t hurt, either.)

Wipe It Down

Rosemary-Lemon Cleaning Spray

Rosemary-Lemon Cleaning Spray

Non-toxic and easy-to-make, this disinfectant cleaning spray uses vinegar, citrus and garden herbs.

Photo by: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo by Mick Telkamp

Wipe down surfaces in the room with an aromatic cleaner that leaves a pleasant scent. You know, the scent that says, “I deep-cleaned this room for your visit!”

Quickly Clean the Floors

vacuum cleaner

vacuum cleaner

the floor clean with a vacuum cleaner

Photo by: Enrico Mantegazza

Enrico Mantegazza

This is obviously going to depend on the type of floors in your bedroom, but whatever the case, use the quickest cleaning method you know. This isn’t the time for vacuuming under the bed or trying your mom’s triple-mopping method. I’m talking five minutes on the floors, folks.

Light a Candle

A close-up of the side table in the master bedroom of the newly renovated Eggers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo by: Rachel Whyte

Rachel Whyte

So many warm, welcoming vibes all from lighting a wick. Just be sure to choose a subtle scent that doesn't clash with the smell of your cleaner.

Set Out a Hydration Station

The bedroom on the second story of the Magnolia House bed and breakfast is spacious after it was converted from a common room, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo by: Rachel Whyte

Rachel Whyte

Leave a carafe of water (or a water bottle) on the nightstand or on a tray — super-easy but definitely appreciated by thirsty travelers.

Add Thoughtful Touches

Guest Room Items

Guest Room Items

We’re down to the last seconds, so make your final touches count. For the techie cousin who’s always glued to his phone, leave out an extra phone charger. For the grandma who misses her rose garden back home, set out a vase of fresh blooms from your garden. For the pop culture-loving BFF, leave out your latest impulsive magazine purchase. Oh, and everyone appreciates a slip of paper with the Wi-Fi password and comfy slippers. OK, now go get the door!

Breakfast Ideas for Holiday Guests

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Are you an early riser? Head to the kitchen, and get started on breakfast before your guests wake up. They'll appreciate the delicious aromas wafting into their room.

Danish Doughnuts

These jam-filled doughnuts get their extra sweetness from powdered sugar. Tower them into a Christmas tree shape for a festive look. Get the full recipe here>>

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Kale Brunch Salad

Add vegetables and two poached eggs to kale to make a delicious brunch salad for health-conscious holiday guests. Get the full recipe here>>

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Cold Brew Coffee Cocktail

Give your morning coffee a twist with this recipe that includes amaretto. Get the full recipe here>>

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Cheese and Herb Wreath Pastry

Show guests your holiday spirit with a savory pastry. Fill pastry dough with cheese and herbs, and form it into a circlular shape to create a wreath-shaped breakfast your guests won't forget. Get the full recipe here>>

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Gold-Embossed Place Card

Serving breakfast is one of the most important aspects of hosting overnight holiday guests, which includes setting the perfect table. Make your guests feel at home with gold embossed tags at each place setting. Get the step-by-step instructions here>>

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Mixed Berry Cobbler

This mixed berry cobbler's key ingredient, mint, takes this breakfast item from delicious to irresistable. Get the full recipe here>>

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Mock Cheese Souffle

This individual-sized take on cheese souffle only requires a few ingredients and makes the perfect breakfast for holiday guests. Get the full recipe here>>

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Holiday Bellini Bar

A kumquat-flavored bellini makes the perfect morning cocktail for overnight holiday guests. Set up a small bar area with kumquats, your favorite champagne and all the other fixings to make your guests feel welcome. Create your own bellini bar with our helpful tips>>

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Allspice Waffles With Orange-Infused Syrup

Orange-infused syrup makes these fluffy waffles a refreshing, delicious breakfast option. Add a little orange zest to the waffles for added flavor. Get the full recipe here>>

Photo By: Kristin Guy

Cheddar Chive Muffin With Boiled Egg

Hard-boiled eggs add complementary flavor to these savory cheddar chive muffins. Even though this recipe looks complex, it's easy to make and will impress your guests. Get the full recipe here>>

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Christmas Tree-Shaped Frittatas

Give spinach frittatas a festive touch by shaping them to resemble Christmas trees for a breakfast item that both adults and kids will savor. Get the full the recipe here>>

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Rosemary Wreath Place Setting

Place wreath-shaped rosemary on each guest's plate or use as a festive napkin ring. Make extras, and hang them on your tree to add an organic element and a little fragrance to your home. Get the step-by-step instructions here>> 

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Tea-Infused Champagne Cocktail

Add a flavorful twist to brunch with a tea-infused champagne cocktail. The longer you let the tea infuse the champagne, the more bitter the cocktail becomes. Get the full recipe here>>

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Swedish Pancakes With Lavender Honey

Give your pancakes a flavorful twist with sweet pears and lavender-infused honey. The combination of fruity and floral flavors will satisfy even the most sophisticated palate. Get the full recipe here>>

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Honeycomb Christmas Tree Centerpiece

Decorate your breakfast table with festive tableware, menu items and this easy-to-make honeycomb tree centerpiece. Make smaller versions, and give them to guests to hang on their tree next holiday season. Get the step-by-step instructions here>>

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