Hotels know a thing or two about providing temporary guests with gracious stays, so when in doubt, take your cues from the professionals! It's something that you may not have thought about before, but in every type of lodging, from luxury chains to roadside motels, there's rarely a room without a luggage rack—a much-appreciated practical consideration for travelers away from home. Look for a lightweight model, ideally one like this classic option that folds flat for easy storage in the closet (or under the bed) when not in use. Available on Amazon; $29.99.
Especially if your guest room lacks a closet—and the space for an armoire or even a dresser—don't think twice about providing clothes storage by other means. The quickest and easiest solution? Requiring none of the measuring, drilling, and leveling that'd be involved in mounting a rack to the wall, an over-the-door option provides a virtually instant, totally hassle-free solution. Plus, if you normally use the space as something other than a guest room, you can easily remove the rack and stow it away until the next time you play host again. Available on Amazon; $13.63.
Bedside Reading Made Simple
By day, overhead bedroom lighting provides precisely the right amount of illumination needed for dressing, reading, and puttering around the room. Come bedtime, that same bright glow feels harsh and contrary to a restful nighttime routine. Allow guests to unwind in the evening with a soft-glowing task light, like the Simple Designs Mini Basic 10.5" Table Lamp. The functional fixture, which has a metal base and fabric shade, is perfect for guests who like to crack open a good book before bedtime—and also for those who tend to trip while walking to the bathroom at night. Available at Wayfair; $17.99.
One of the best amenities you can provide to guests won't cost you a penny extra: Wi-Fi. Since you've already planned that into your monthly utility budget, "splurge" instead on an under-$10 means of sharing it with dinner guests and overnight visitors alike. This cheeky printable is customizable with your network and password. Set it up in a dollar-store frame, and your company will certainly appreciate not having to bug you for the password. Available on Etsy; $6.50.
etsy.com via BlissPaperBoutique
Set your house guests up with the freedom to come and go as they like—and now, without going hours out of your way to find a locksmith or hardware store. Key.Me kiosks make it possible to scan and copy your house key in minutes while on your usual errands at retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond, Rite Aid, 7-Eleven, Kmart and more across 20 states. Or, if you have more than a week's notice, you can mail-order a key copy via its free mobile app and save yourself a trip altogether! Available from Key.Me; starting at $2.50 for a brass house key.
Travelers often face a conundrum when preparing to crawl into the guest bed: Where to put the little things like rings, watches, earrings, and more. One solution is to employ a plate made for the purpose. Set one on the nightstand or vanity to give your guests a spot to stash their valuables while they sleep. Bonus: Giving your guests a dedicated drop zone will reduce the chance of sending out a search party for lost items on the day of their departure. Available at Cost Plus World Market; $4.99.
It seems like these days every hotel room comes locked and loaded with a trusty iron and fold-away ironing board. With the addition of a garment steamer to your guest suite, you can best the boarding houses at their own game. This model from Deneve eliminates wrinkles and creases to help your guests look their best for all those selfies you'll no doubt want to snap. Available on Amazon; $24.95.
Smart Phone Sanctuary
To make your tech-loving guests feel truly at home, nothing beats the convenience of a bedside charging station. This high-performing iPhone dock provides Apple users with a stylish spot to power up, and a USB connection plugs in to laptops computers, allowing guests to back up their files, even while lounging in the guest suite. Available on Amazon; $19.90.
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!