Guest Room Essentials

Today I am sharing some things that you may want to consider having available for guests when they visit your home. These items show thoughtfulness for your guests’ needs and comforts to make their stay with you enjoyable.

This post includes commissionable links to my to make finding these exact items easier for you. You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

The first group of items I’ve included are ones that help your guests keep their belongings neat and organized so that everything is accessible and nothing gets lost.

  1. A luggage rack. This one that I am featuring has a place for a suitcase on top and a shelf beneath for either a smaller bag or shoes.
You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

2. A robe hook. Placing this hook on the wall near the door will allow guests to hang their robe, a towel, a purse, or a set of keys. The hook keeps items off of the floor and easily reached as guests come or go from the room.

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

3. A valet tray with jewelry space. This valet tray gives your guests a designated spot to place their wallet, keys, or jewelry at the end of the day. No more digging in the bottom of their suitcase; here is a spot for their smaller items.

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

4. These baskets (the ones linked come as a set of two) can be used in a couple of different ways. First, you could leave them empty to let your guests have a place to store things. Alternatively, you could anticipate items that your guests might need like extra washcloths, slippers, magazines, books, reading glasses, etc.

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

The next group of items are for your guests’ convenience.

5. A wireless charger that can accommodate all phone and device types. One of the most forgotten items while traveling are chargers for devices. Your guests will appreciate that you have one available, even if it just means that they can leave their own in their suitcase to avoid forgetting it in your home.

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

6. Providing your guests with your home WiFi password will be greatly appreciated. Posting it on this cute sign means that they don’t have to even bother to ask for it. This lets them know they’re welcome to use it!

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

7. Providing an alarm clock is a nice convenience for guests. This one is especially helpful because guests are able set two separate alarms times, dim the brightness, and more!

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

8. A sound machine can make your guests more comfortable while sleeping away from home. Often nighttime noises are different than guests are used to, and providing white noise can help them sleep. Perhaps the guest bedroom is next to a common bathroom; this sound machine can block unwanted noises outside of the room.

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

9. Even if the ambient temperature of the guest room is comfortable, guests sometimes prefer to sleep with a fan for many reasons. Providing your guests with a fan will show great consideration for their comfort!

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

A few more things you may want to consider for your guests’ stay are:

10. Bedside lamps allow your guests to have light without getting out of bed to turn on or off overhead lighting. A small bedside lamp provides convenient lighting at night or early in the morning. As an added feature, these particular lamps have USB outlets should additional devices need charging. (Set of two linked HERE.)

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

11. The next best thing to having an actual iron in the room is to provide your guests with a travel sized bottle of wrinkle releaser. If you haven’t tried this yet on your own clothes, it’s highly recommended. Wrinkle release spray allows clothes to be smoothed straight in just a few seconds.

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

12. Another commonly forgotten item for guests would be toiletries. These travel sized bottles of bathroom necessities are often appreciated when shampoo and soap have been accidentally left at home.

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

13. This container labeled toiletries is nice to keep the travel sized items in. It let’s your guests know that these items are intended for them to help themselves to if they need them.

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

14. A full length mirror in the room allows your guests to get ready, check their clothing before leaving the room, and fix their hair or makeup. In addition, a mirror will provide light to the room since guest spaces are often smaller ones.

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

15. A waste basket gives your guests a designated space to place trash. It keeps trash off of the floor and out of their suitcases.

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

16. Sheets may perhaps be the most important thing to consider for your guests. Most of their time in the guest room will be spent sleeping. Quality sheets make a lasting impression, give your guests a good night’s sleep, and will often last for decades.

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

You may want to also consider:

17. Small bottles of water. A smaller 8 oz size bottle of purified water will provide an adequate amount of drinking water without leaving a lot of wasted unfinished water bottles. Leave enough water bottles for guests to have one per day. (Be sure to let them know that you’re happy to provide more if they need them!) The baskets shown above are a perfect container for holding water bottles for your guests.

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

18. Some guests enjoy using an essential oil diffuser. This one may be appreciated by your friends and family.

You can click on any picture in this post to find the exact item pictured.

Even if you are only able to add a few of these touches the next time you have guests, your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness for their comfort and convenience. If you have items that you would add to this list, join the conversation in the comments to let me know what they are!

Until next time,

Abby | Belle Antiquarian

20/20 Vision for 2020

2020! Just the number of the year is inspirational. The saying may be that “Hindsight is 20/20”, but I’m saying that this year I am going to have 20/20 vision to see my 2020 goals clearly through to the end. That brings me to the word I have chosen to encompass everything that I want to do in the year 2020, and the word I have chosen for 2020 is…


Why did I chose the word “committed?” A commitment seems permanent. I’m not flirting with these goals. I am not dating them. I am COMMITTED to achieving them. I want to see my goals clearly through to the end. In 2020 I am committed to my goals, my family, and to God. Everything that I am hoping to accomplish this year falls into those 3 categories.

20/20 Vision

Some of the most common goals that people have are related to health (fitness, diet, weight), finances (debt or savings), relationships, and careers or education. But simply saying to yourself that you have a goal isn’t going to get you any closer to achieving it. I’ve put together a list of things people can do to have 20/20 vision on their goals this year. Taking these steps puts you on the road to success for the things you want to accomplish!

What is influencing you?

As a society we are greatly influenced by social media. My doctor’s office stopped subscribing to magazines because no one reads them anymore while they’re in the waiting room. Everyone looks at their phone instead. So what are you looking at? If you are on Instagram take a look at what accounts you are following that may be counterproductive to your goals. For example, are you trying to save money, but you follow a slew of fashion and travel accounts? (Swipe up usually means spending money!) Are you trying to lose weight, but you follow cooking accounts? (Even healthy cooking accounts will make you hungry looking at them!) Sometimes there are even accounts that appear to be “savings” accounts that actually get you to spend money. (Hello, I know that magazine subscription was only $5, but I wouldn’t have bought it if I wasn’t following that “savings” account.)

Here is what I recommend: 1. Go through your “Following” tab and unfollow any account that can derail your goals. 2. Seek out new accounts to follow that will be motivating and encouraging. Then do the same thing for your other social media accounts. Now every time you get on social media you are going to be encouraged instead of tempted.

Learn everything you can!

No matter what your goals are for this year, there is always knowledge that can help you get closer to them. I recommend finding some podcasts and books that are related to your goals. I love using Google Podcasts. I turn them on in the car or I run them through my Bluetooth speaker in my house. Whether I am driving, cooking, or cleaning, I am listening to podcasts that are related to my goals.

I am a self-diagnosed Bibliophile. I adore books. But I have a really, really hard time with non-fiction books. I don’t love them like I do fiction. My solution to this is listening to audio books. You can get them for free from your library or listen to them on an app. If your goals are to travel more, to get in shape, to garden, to save money….ANYTHING….there is a book out there that can help you. Podcasts and books are a huge recommendation from me.

Who is supporting you?

I am going to go out on a limb here and say something crazy. “You don’t need a tribe.” What?! I know, not a popular thing to say these days. Not with all that “find your tribe” stuff going around. Don’t get me wrong, a support group is phenomenal. A club or group of people with similar goals is a gift like no other. But you don’t NEED a squad or a tribe. What you need is one person that will help you stay positive and focused. Maybe that person is a spouse, a parent, a friend, or a coach. But don’t feel like you can’t accomplish your goals because you don’t have 20 people cheering you on. Remember, people tend to belittle things they don’t understand. And most people aren’t going to understand YOUR goals.

Do you have a plan?

Okay, so you have a goal. You know what you want to do. Now what? The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. The only way to achieve your goals is one step at a time. You need to figure out what those steps are. Are you switching jobs? What are the steps that need to happen in order to do so? Do you want to lose weight? What are the things you need to do each day or each week in order to make that happen? Traveling to Europe for the first time…what do you need to do first, second, third?

Instead of just writing a list of goals, I encourage you to make plans. Not only will this help you see what you need to do, in the end it will help you to see how far you’ve come. Cross those steps off as you accomplish them!

Be gentle with yourself.

One step forward, two steps back? Not really. Sometimes we’re taking giant steps and sometimes we are taking baby steps. As long as you are moving forward you are going to accomplish your goals. Celebrate those baby steps!

You can do this! If you have more tips that would be helpful to others, feel free to comment below so I can add them here.

How to Find Good Stuff When You Thrift Shop

It’s National Thrift Shop Day! Sometimes I feel like everyday is National Thrift Shop Day, but whatever. LOL I started shopping at thrift stores when I was in high school. At that time I was mainly looking for vintage clothes. Now, I rarely look for clothing. Instead I am searching for vintage and antique home decor, dishes, and vinyl records.

No matter what you’re looking for when you shop in thrift stores, sometimes it feels like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack. It can be overwhelming and frustrating, which is never fun. And thrift shopping is supposed to be FUN.

I’ve put together a few tips for finding good stuff when you thrift shop. But keep in mind, even with these tips, thrift shopping is a lot like treasure hunting. Sometimes you hit the jackpot, and sometimes you strike out.

Tip #1 Know What You’re Looking For

If you already have in mind what you’re looking for, you’re more likely to find it. For example, if I am looking for jadeite, then I am constantly scanning everywhere my eyes land for that telltale green color. If you go in with a focus, it’s a lot easier to find something than if you don’t.

Tip #2 Take a Thrifting Buddy

I like to take my husband or kids with me when we shop at thrift stores. By now, they know what I like to buy. If they spot something I’m interested in, they’ll either pick it up or tell me about it. If I don’t think that they know what I’m looking for that day, I’ll tell them specifically. For example, “I’m looking for milk glass today. Milk glass looks like _____.” Or maybe I’ll say, “I’m looking for an old radio today, but only one that has a ____.” The more eyes that you have looking for something, the more likely you are to find it. (Just be careful about taking someone who is looking for the same thing as you.)

Tip #3 Consider if Damage Matters

Sometimes you might be looking for something that you’re willing to put some work into. Decide ahead of time what kind of damage you can work with, or if you are looking for something damage-free. Can you fix the dresser drawer? If it’s not what you’re looking for, move on quickly. Don’t waste your time.

Tip #4 Try Again

If you’ve heard that a certain thrift store has good stuff, but you aren’t seeing it, try again on another day. Try a different day of the week or a different time of day. Maybe someone else regularly checks that thrift store on Thursdays during their lunch break. If you switch it up you may find something.

Tip #5 Stains and Smells

Don’t always be intimidated by a stain. There is a lot of advice on the internet about getting rid of hard to treat stains. I have worked wonders on vintage tablecloths with a paste made out of baking soda, dawn dish soap, and hydrogen peroxide. There are a thousand things to try. If the price is low enough, it might be worth trying to get a stain out.

Smells, on the other hand…Did you know there is a “thrift store smell”? Yes, there is. And that smell will certainly come out of whatever you’re buying. But smells like urine, pets, body odor, and cigarettes are very difficult to get rid of. Those are a hard “no” for me.

Tip #6 Can You Change it to Make it Work?

Spray paint and glue are very cheap. If you find something similar to what you need, but it’s the wrong color, consider if a can of spray paint will make it work for you. Is something cracked or broken in two? Glue + Spray Paint are your best friends.

Tip #7 Don’t Get Sidetracked

Know your aesthetic. Imagine you see a stunning Blue Willow plate, but you don’t collect Blue Willow. You know you came in looking for a macrame plant hanger, so while you appreciate the Blue Willow plate, it’s not your style. Stick to your style.

Tip #8 Shop After Holidays

A lot of people like to shop after Christmas, because everyone is donating for the tax write offs. But many people purge after any holiday or in the spring. (“spring cleaning”) I think good stuff can be found after any holiday. People get started by gathering unwanted, old decorations to donate, and they’ll start adding to their donate pile since they’re making a trip there anyway.

Tip #9 There is more to thrift shopping than a Goodwill

Don’t stick with one kind of thrift store. There are some very well-known thrift store chains, but there are just as many small independently run thrift stores. Some chains may ask their employees to hold certain items back to sell in online auctions or private sales. Others may put everything out to earn money for charity. Try different kinds of thrift stores.

Tip #10 The Rich Thrift Stores

Some people like to shop in thrift stores in affluent parts of town because they feel like there will be higher quality items to choose from. I personally feel like that depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for clothing, that theory may work out for you.

Do you have any other tips? Was this type of post helpful for you? Please share in the comments!

Laundry Tips for College Students

Printable  Laundry Instruction Tags for College Students

Our son, Jackson, goes off to college in just a few short weeks. Oh, the emotions! He’s very independent, and he’s been washing his work uniform for about 18 months now. But he hasn’t been washing much more than that, so I wanted to send him with some basic laundry help in case he needs it.

I created these tags that I zip-tied right to his laundry hamper. The instructions on them are pretty straight forward. Since he’s been washing his uniform, I don’t think he’ll have any problems.

First, you’ll need to print the tags on a piece of card stock. You’ll need 2 pieces of Scotch single-sided laminating sheets, a zip-tie or a cable tie, something to cut with, and a hole-punch. I intentionally used card stock and 2 of the laminating sheets because I wanted to make this as thick and durable as possible. I probably could’ve waited to use the laminator at work, but the lamination isn’t as thick as this.

First, I cut out the tags. Then, I punched out the holes. Next, you will use the first sheet of laminating to lay down the tags with space in between them. Carefully line up the other sheet of laminating and place it on top so that you stick them together. Before you cut out the tags, make sure you press down along all of the edges. You’ll want to cut out the holes again with the hole-punch.

Put the tags in order, and zip-tie them to the handle of your laundry hamper.

I’ll put the printable below in case anyone would like to use it. Honestly, this would work well at home, too, if you are trying to teach kids how to do laundry.

I’ll be posting soon on some tips I have for getting towels free or inexpensively to send with your college student. Move-in day is about 5 weeks away. Lots to do!

Please comment and let me know if you found this helpful or if you have any suggestions.