5 Unexpected Essentials to Prep for Houseguests

Why is it that every time we’re having company, even when we know weeks (even months!) in advance, the hours and minutes before they arrive are more chaotic than the birth of our first child? This year, our goal is to be the happy-go-lucky hostess by getting things ready in advance—and then letting go of everything else. That starts with stocking up on the essentials.

Sure, you know you need clean sheets, an extra toothbrush and your WiFi password handy (preferably written on a notecard and left in plain sight). But—as evidenced by our stay at the Gallery Beach House this summer—situations are certain to come up that call for things you’ve forgotten. Think: Bug spray for that last-minute decision to use the firepit or storage bags when your guest offers to make his signature marinated chicken recipe. Here, five of those unexpected items that may come in handy when you’re prepping for company (or frankly, just nice to have any time of year).

Raid® Essentials Flying Insect Light Trap

OK, this thing is genius. Manage pesky insects without ever having to touch them. Continuous light technology attracts bugs and the dual-sided adhesive cartridge traps ‘em. It’s free of chemical insecticides, making it people- and pet-friendly (when used as directed). Take our word for it and buy one for every room in the house.

Glade® Aromatherapy Cool Mist Diffuser

We used to think a diffuser was just a nice-to-have. That is, until we discovered this surprisingly affordable option from Glade. Available in two scents, Choose Calm and Uplift Your Day, it’s a nice touch to leave on the bedside table or in your guest bathroom.

FamilyGuard® Brand Disinfectant Cleaner

We’re no strangers to making a mess of our home (especially in the kitchen). Add multiple guests and things are bound to get... germy. We love this disinfectant cleaner because it kills 99.9% of germs and viruses (when used as directed), and cuts through dirt, dust, grease and grime.

Ziploc® Brand Storage Bags

Fairly self-explanatory, but these storage bags (available in quart and gallon sizes) are a must for meal prep. Featuring a new Stay Open Design, these bags have a patented stand-up bottom and a cuffed opening that allows them to stay upright and open while you’re filling them—it’s like having a second pair of hands in the kitchen. Oh, and did you know that they’re microwave safe and BPA-free?

OFF!® Clean Feel Insect Repellent

Backyard barbecues and outdoor evenings call for some extra protection, but no one likes to go to bed feeling sticky and smelly. Non-sticky, lightweight and fragrance-free, OFF® Clean Feel feels more like a skincare product than a bug spray. It’s formulated with 20 percent picaridin, a highly effective active ingredient that provides up to 8 hours of protection against mosquitoes, but won’t damage clothing. The aerosol twist and lock cap makes it easy to apply and carry with you, so you can repel mosquitoes, ticks and biting flies all day long.

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