8 simple ways to get your bathroom ready for Thanksgiving guests

Ensure your guests have the perfect stay with everything they might need on hand with this checklist for getting a bathroom guest-ready

How to get bathroom ready for Thanksgiving guests
(Image credit: Roper Rhodes / Melanie Brown / Future / Roper Rhodes)

It's the season for hosting, and the bathroom is one of the most important spaces to prepare for guests in the run-up to Thanksgiving. To get the bathroom ready for hosting Thanksgiving guests, it is a matter of anticipating their needs as well as going the extra mile to provide comforts and luxuries to make their stay enjoyable.

From cleaning and decluttering to creating a space that is personalized to your guests and adding some Thanksgiving flair, these tips can ensure you don't miss any essential hosting steps.

Below, our experts have explained everything you need to consider to get a guest bathroom ready for Thanksgiving visitors.

How to get bathroom ready for Thanksgiving guests

'I honestly think that prepping your bathroom for Thanksgiving is just as important as having the kitchen or dining room ready. Sure, it's not as glamorous and won't get as much air time as these rooms, but every single one of your guests will likely see it,' says Hebe Hatton, head of interiors at Homes & Gardens. 'I think just small touches make a difference.'

1. Deep clean and declutter

Bathroom tiles

(Image credit: Roper Rhodes)

To begin preparing for Thanksgiving guests, give the bathroom a thorough cleaning

Scrub the surfaces, showers, baths, and sinks, clean the mirrors, and pay attention to often overlooked areas like faucets, vanity drawers, and light fixtures. You should also ensure that if you have a shower curtain that it is clean

You can check out our guide for the dirtiest places in a bathroom and how to clean them.

Declutter any items from the bathroom that are not necessary for your guests' visit. 'Ensure any personal items tucked away so that it feels like a neutral space,' advises Millie Hurst, Solved section editor at Homes & Gardens. Clear countertops, shelves, drawers, and bath or shower caddies to create a fresh and organized space.

millie hurst news writer
Millie Hurst

Millie Hurst is Section Editor at Homes & Gardens, overseeing the Solved section, which provides readers with practical advice for their homes. Millie has written about and tried out countless cleaning and DIY hacks in the six years since she became a journalist, and has worked in both London and New York. 

2. Stock up on essentials

Cabin bathroom with green tiles

(Image credit: Kesington Leverne)

'Anticipate your guests' needs by ensuring the bathroom is well-stocked with essentials,' advises Angela Rubin, cleaning expert at Hellamaid. 'Provide an ample supply of toilet paper, hand soap, and fresh towels. 

'Consider placing a basket with travel-sized toiletries, such as toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner for guests who may have forgotten them, for a thoughtful and convenient touch.'

3. Invest in fresh linens

Bathroom tiles

(Image credit: Roper Rhodes)

Ensure you have enough fresh, clean linens for the bathroom. This includes towels, washcloths, and bath mats.

Either guarantee your existing ones are clean and soft, or if your bath linens are outdated and shredding, then it may be time to invest in some new ones, making sure your guests' stay feels like a spa trip. 

The best bath towels can be in warm, inviting colors that complement the overall aesthetic of your bathroom and are on theme for Thanksgiving.

Hebe Hatton recommends, 'If you are hosting guests for a few days I would pop in and change towels over after a few hours.'

4. Incorporate festive decorative touches


(Image credit: Roper Rhodes)

Add a touch of Thanksgiving spirit to your bathroom with simple and tasteful decorations. 'I am not one for full on Thanksgiving decor in a bathroom, but I do think a vase of seasonal foliage gives it a festive enough feel and can soften the space too,' says Hebe Hatton. 'Light a candle or add a diffuser.'

Scented candles with Thanksgiving motifs, like pumpkins, or pinecones can be a fun yet elegant touch.

You might also want to decorate with coordinating hand towels or seasonal-themed soap dispensers can also contribute to the holiday spirit. 

5. Create a vanity station

alcove in bathroom with large mirror

(Image credit: Clay Grier)

'Set up a small vanity station with a mirror and extra lighting if possible,' suggests Angela Rubin. 'This allows guests to freshen up comfortably and helps avoid congestion in other areas of the house.'

You can add a tray of essentials to make guests feel fully accommodated for, creating a hotel-like stay. These personal touches can make a world of difference.

Also, check that all light bulbs are working in this area and ensure you have suitable task bathroom lighting options to ensure they have a convenient space to shave, put makeup on, or wash.

6. Provide extra storage

Green bathroom designer by Barlow & Barlow

(Image credit: Jonathan Bond)

'Create some empty space on bathroom surfaces so anyone staying overnight has somewhere to put their toothbrush, contact lenses, and any essential toiletries,' recommends Millie Hurst. 'If bathroom countertop space is limited, could you clear some space in your vanity unit or on shelves?' 

Adding extra storage space for you guest including clearing surfaces can ensure they are comfortable and can settle in with all their accessories instead of feeling they must be crammed into a corner.

Clear out some space in your bathroom drawers, cabinets and shelves. This will help them keep their belongings organized and easily accessible. Alternatively, you can add some temporary storage such as baskets and trays.

7. Privacy and comfort considerations


(Image credit: Melanie Brown / Future)

'Ensure that the bathroom offers privacy and comfort,' says Angela Rubin. 'Check that locks are functioning properly, and consider providing a discreet place for guests to hang their towels or belongings. 

'If space allows, a small chair or bench can provide a comfortable spot for guests to place clothing or personal items.'

You should also consider the bathroom's temperature, checking it is comfortable. If your bathroom is prone to being cold during the fall and winter months, consider adding rugs and bath mats and draft-proof the bathroom to ensure it stays cozy for Thanksgiving

8. Check plumbing and fixtures

bathroom with statement tiles

(Image credit: Future)

Make sure that all plumbing is in good working to avoid troubles when your guests are staying, because what could be more stressful than bathroom malfunctions during the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving hosting?

'Start by checking all faucets for drips or leaks. Test faucets and ensure that both hot and cold water are flowing smoothly.

'Check your toilets for any running issues or leaks,' advises Josh Mitchell, plumbing expert and owner of Plumbing Lab.

'Test your shower and sink for proper water pressure. Test your shower and sink for proper water pressure. Remove any mineral buildup from showerheads to ensure a pleasant shower experience for your guests. Soaking the showerhead in vinegar overnight can effectively remove buildup.

'Ensure all drains are clear and water flows freely. Avoid chemical cleaners as they can damage your pipes over time.'

If there are any issues, consider hiring a professional plumber to address them before your guests arrive.

Josh Mitchell
Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell is a plumbing technician and the owner of plumbinglab.com. Having worked with numerous homeowners on their irrigation systems, he understands the importance of adequately preparing for the cold months.


How do you make a bathroom smell nice for guests?

When hosting throughout Thanksgiving, periodically check the bathroom to ensure it remains clean and well-stocked. Empty the trash regularly and wipe down surfaces as needed.

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past six years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including practical household advice, recipe articles, and product reviews, working closely with experts in their fields to cover everything from heating to home organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.