How to get your bathroom ready for Thanksgiving guests |

It’s hosting season and the bathroom is one of the most important rooms to prepare for guests in the lead-up to Thanksgiving. To prepare the bathroom for entertaining Thanksgiving guests, it is important to anticipate their needs and go the extra mile to provide comfort and luxury to make their stay enjoyable.

From decluttering and decluttering to designing a space tailored to your guests to adding Thanksgiving flair, these tips can help you make sure you don’t miss any important hosting steps.

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

How to Prepare the Bathroom for Thanksgiving Guests

“I honestly believe that preparing your bathroom for Thanksgiving is just as important as preparing the kitchen or dining room.” Sure, it’s not as glamorous and doesn’t get as much airplay as those rooms, but every single one of your guests does will probably see it,” says Hebe Hatton, interior designer at Homes & Gardens. “I think just small touches make a difference.”

1. Thoroughly clean and tidy up

bathroom tiles

(Image credit: Roper Rhodes)

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

Scrub the surfaces, showers, bathtubs and sinks, clean the mirrors and pay attention to often overlooked areas such as faucets, vanity drawers and light fixtures. If you have a shower curtain, you should also make sure that it is clean.

Check out our guide to the dirtiest spots in the bathroom and how to clean them.

Clear the bathroom of all items that you don’t need when your guests visit. “Make sure all personal items are stored in a way that feels like a neutral space,” advises Millie Hurst, Homes & Gardens’ Solved Editor. Clear countertops, shelves, drawers, and bath or shower shelves to create a fresh and organized space.

Millie Hurst

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Section editor

Millie Hurst is Section Editor at Homes & Gardens and oversees the Solved section, which gives readers practical advice for their homes. Millie has written about and tried countless cleaning and DIY tricks in the six years since she became a journalist, working 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 making sure the bathroom is well-stocked with essentials,” advises Angela Rubin, cleaning expert at Hellamaid. “Provide plenty of toilet paper, hand soap and fresh towels.

“Consider setting out a basket of travel-sized toiletries such as toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner for guests that may have forgotten to add a thoughtful and practical touch.”

3. Invest in fresh linens

bathroom tiles

(Image credit: Roper Rhodes)

Make sure you have plenty of fresh, clean linens for the bathroom. This includes towels, washcloths and bath mats.

Either make sure your existing linens are clean and soft, or if your bath linens are outdated and tattered, then it may be time to invest in new ones to ensure your guests’ stay feels like a spa getaway feels.

The best bath towels can come in warm, inviting colors that complement your bathroom’s overall aesthetic and fit the Thanksgiving theme.

Hebe Hatton recommends: “If you’re hosting guests for a few days, I would stop by after a few hours and change the towels.”

Leighton Bath Towel Collection

Leighton Bath Towel Collection

4. Incorporate festive decor elements


(Image credit: Roper Rhodes)

Add a touch of Thanksgiving cheer to your bathroom with simple and tasteful decorations. “I’m not a fan of Thanksgiving decor in a bathroom, but I think a vase of seasonal foliage gives it a festive feel and can also soften the room,” says Hebe Hatton. “Light a candle or add a diffuser.”

Scented candles with Thanksgiving themes like pumpkins or pine cones can be a fun yet elegant touch.

You may also want to decorate with matching towels or seasonal soap dispensers, which can also add to the holiday spirit.

Black crow candle holder


This crow candle holder is the ideal fun Thanksgiving decoration for your bathroom.

Pottery Barn flowers


With the gentle beauty of mimosa and reed flowers, just a bunch of these botanical blooms can make a beautiful statement for your guest bathroom this Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin candle

Vanilla Gourmand Pumpkin Glass Candle


Use this candle with the pumpkin lid attached as decoration or add some vanilla aroma to a bathroom by lighting this gold jar candle.

5. Create a vanity

Niche in the bathroom with a large mirror

(Image credit: Clay Grier)

“If possible, set up a small dressing table with a mirror and additional lighting,” suggests Angela Rubin. “This allows guests to refresh themselves comfortably and avoids congestion in other areas of the house.”

You can add a tray with essentials to make guests feel comfortable, creating a hotel-like stay. These personal details can make a big difference.

Also, check that all light bulbs in the area are working, and make sure you have appropriate lighting options for the work bathroom to ensure there is a comfortable space for shaving, applying makeup, or washing.

6. Provide additional storage space

Green bathroom designer from Barlow & Barlow

(Image credit: Jonathan Bond)

“Create some free space on bathroom surfaces so anyone staying overnight has room for their toothbrush, contact lenses and any essential toiletries,” recommends Millie Hurst. “If bathroom countertop space is limited, could you free up some space in your vanity or on the shelves?”

By adding additional storage space for your guests, including cubbies, you can make your guests feel comfortable and able to settle in with all their accessories instead of feeling like they’re crammed into a corner.

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

7. Privacy and comfort considerations


(Image credit: Melanie Brown / Future)

“Make sure the bathroom offers privacy and comfort,” says Angela Rubin. “Check that locks are working properly and consider providing guests with a discreet place to hang their towels or belongings.”

“If space permits, a small chair or bench can provide guests with a comfortable place to place clothing or personal items.”

You should also consider the temperature in the bathroom and make sure it is comfortable. If your bathroom is prone to cold during the fall and winter months, consider adding rugs and bath mats and protecting the bathroom from drafts to keep it cozy on Thanksgiving.

8. Check the lines and fittings

Bathroom with statement tiles

(Image credit: Future)

Make sure all plumbing fixtures are in good condition to avoid problems during your guests’ stay, because what could be more stressful than bathroom malfunctions during the Thanksgiving hosting rush?

“First, check all faucets for drips or leaks. Test the faucets and make sure both hot and cold water flows smoothly.

“Check your toilets for operational 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 deposits from showerheads to ensure your guests have a comfortable showering experience. Soaking the shower head in vinegar overnight can effectively remove deposits.

“Make sure all drains are clear and water can flow freely.” Avoid chemical cleaners as these can damage your pipes over time.”

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

Josh MitchellJosh Mitchell

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Plumbing expert

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


How do you keep a bathroom smelling pleasant for guests?

If you want the bathroom to smell pleasant for guests, use home fragrances such as essential oil diffusers, potpourri, or scented candles.

Additionally, people with great-smelling bathrooms make sure the trash can and laundry basket in their guest bathroom have lids to reduce odors. They also purify the air with the best bathroom plants with air-freshening properties.

If you’re hosting during Thanksgiving, check the bathroom regularly to make sure it stays clean and well-stocked. Empty trash regularly and wipe down surfaces as needed.

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