How to Make a Guest Feel at Home + $100 JCPenney Gift Card Giveaway

I have been selected by BlogHer and JCPenney to be an ambassador for JCPenney. While I have been compensated for my time, my opinions are my own.

How to Make a Guest Feel at Home + $100 @JCPenney Gift Card Giveaway - summer #lifehack

Memorial Day is around the corner the official start to summer and it can be a hectic time of year.  Summer time means kids home from school, vacations, barbecues and visitors. The guest room’s peak season is around the holidays and in the summer, be it because you are having visitors or someone is housesitting for you while you take that vacation to the theme park you have always wanted to visit. We are all looking for ways to simplify life, especially during the busy seasons. It’s summer time and don’t you want to spend more time out in the sun than home with chores? A great way to keep summer visitors comfortable and self sufficient is by setting up the guest room with a few well placed and easy to find essentials.

How to Make a Guest Feel at Home + $100 @JCPenney Gift Card Giveaway - summer #lifehack

I wanted to keep guest essentials organized in a practical, yet stylish way and JCPenney had everything I was looking for and at the right price. The prices will be even sweeter during the Memorial Day Sale and sweeter still if you’re the lucky winner of a $100 gift card! Keep reading to learn more! My supply list:

How to Make a Guest Feel at Home + $100 @JCPenney Gift Card Giveaway - summer #lifehack

Frame an information card that lists important items such as the wifi password, contact info, the nearest coffee shop and the nearest shopping center and movie theater. Provide a tray stocked with some essentials like a note pad, extra key, universal charger, earbuds (cleaned of course), a small manicure kit and some gum for fresh breath.

How to Make a Guest Feel at Home + $100 @JCPenney Gift Card Giveaway - summer #lifehack

It’s also handy to have a luggage rack or bench at the foot of the bed for guests to place their suitcase. Fill a basket with fresh towels and maybe a treat, everyone enjoys finding a surprise treat. It’s also handy to provide your guest with a hamper for dirty clothes and make sure they know they are welcome to launder their clothes before they head back home.

How to Make a Guest Feel at Home + $100 @JCPenney Gift Card Giveaway - summer #lifehack

On the nightstand you could provide facial tissues, a lamp, alarm clock and a tray to hold small items like jewelry or change.

How to Make a Guest Feel at Home + $100 @JCPenney Gift Card Giveaway - summer #lifehack

Finally my favorite find was this acrylic box from the Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler collection. It’s a simple and stylish box that hides a plethora of must have essentials.

How to Make a Guest Feel at Home + $100 @JCPenney Gift Card Giveaway - summer #lifehack

Hiding away in this stylish box is everything a guest may need such as hair products, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, cotton balls, cotton swabs and band aids. This way your guest can find what they need instead of digging through your bathroom cabinets. The dimensions are perfect for our guest bathroom.  It’s a small bathroom and this box fits perfectly on top of the toilet tank and stays in place with rubber feet.

How to Make a Guest Feel at Home + $100 @JCPenney Gift Card Giveaway - summer #lifehack

Organizing your guest room with key supplies is part making your guest feel at home and part keeping the summer craziness at bay. Once your guest leaves, give the room a quick look through, restock, change the sheets and the room is ready for the next guest.

To help you get ready for your guests I’ve provided four versions of my “information center” check list and a chance to win a $100 JCPenney gift card. Tell me your favorite summer #LifeHack in the comments for a chance to win a $100 JCPenney gift card!

Welcome Card Yellow.jpg Welcome Card Teal.jpg.jpg

Welcome Card Melon.jpg.jpg Welcome Card Gray.jpg



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  1. MARIA simon says

    I keep a pad in my purse for notes..reminders..chores…things that I think of that need to get done :)

    • teresa sulyok says

      really useful suggestions. thanks for so many good additions to fresh flowers and favorite beverages and snacks.

  2. MARIA simon says

    I started making a list for for chores and I carry a list with me to jot down things I think of or to check helps me to not forget things :)

  3. SAnd says

    My favorite summer #LifeHack is to carry around sunblock in my purse so that I always have it available.

  4. Susan Robbins says

    My favorite #LifeHack is to keep a large ice chest filled with drinks of all types by the front door. It keeps my refrigerator door shut, easy to offer a guest their drink of choice and my mail lady, UPS and Fed EX delivery people know it is there and they are free to take a cool drink. I like in the desert with over 110 days in row over 100 degrees in the summer.

  5. Seyma Shabbir says

    One of my favorite lifehacks is prepping food the day before or organizing a potluck party!

  6. Christian Alejandro says

    My favorite one is having a potluck pool party! It’s so much fun trying different foods and I save some time and effort not having to provide all the food.

  7. thischickwins says

    my fav summer lifehack involves keeping a small cooler with drinks or snacks in more than one spot in the house and office.

  8. susan smoaks says

    i like to get caught up on my tv shows while i work, it’s my favorite #lifehack

  9. Richard Hicks says

    My favorite summer #LifeHack is making a big cookout a sort of a potluck. So much food for everyone to choose from and everyone is happy.

  10. says

    I like to keep chilled bottled water for delivery people, mail carriers, unexpected guests and repair people. It has been so appreciated. :) If we know they are doing road construction and we’ll be passing, we try to take a cooler full when we’ll be out and about.

  11. Derk Thomas says

    Putting out containers to collect the rain to use to water flowers and garden

  12. Carolyn Daley says

    My favorite summer #LifeHack is putting buckets outside to collect rain water for the plants.

  13. kathy pease says

    My favorite summer #LifeHack would be family barbeques where everyone brings a dish of food and all the cooking isn’t on just me

  14. Karen Drake says

    When I cook I make enough for two nights and freeze one meal to use for another night, it really cuts down on the time I spend cooking.

  15. Stephanie Galbraith says

    My favorite Summer #Lifehack is the chore lists for the kids. It teaches them responsibility as well as helps keep the house clean.

  16. Mallory W says

    When my mom stays in town with me from Arkansas, I always have our old family quilt ready on her bed. She loves it, and it makes it cozy and comfortable.

  17. April V. says

    My favorite summer life hack is to mix a couple of drops of lavender oil with water in a spray bottle and use it as a natural mosquito repellent. Won’t stain, non toxic, inexpensive and smells good!

  18. Madeline says

    My favorite summer #LifeHack is to plant lots of veggies in our garden because then I can’t help but plan meals around them and I eat a lot more healthfully!

  19. Ceinwyn R says

    I wish I had something as impressive as previous posters! My only life hack is to let the kid water the plants because he thinks it’s so much fun.

  20. Tammy says

    My favorite lifehack is now that summer is here I use a muffin tin for condiments when BBQ’ing. You can put pickles, ketchup, mustard, olives, onion slices all in the cups and clean up becomes so much easier!

  21. talliana says

    I keep a large pitcher (the kind with a spigot on the bottom) of lemonade or fruit punch in the fridge for the kids so they don’t have to keep asking me for something to drink. #LifeHack

  22. amanda whiltey says

    my favorite summer #LifeHack is to make ice cubs out of whatever drink you are making that way they wont water down your drink.

  23. Erica C. says

    I cut-up fruit and veggies and separate into servings so they are easy to grab throughout the week.

  24. michelle jacobsen says

    my summer life hack is to keep a tote of beach/park toys in the car so we can go on a moments notice

  25. S. carter says

    My summer hack is clothes pins to keep my towel from blowing off my chair when I am in the ocean or walking the beach

  26. s riches says

    During the summer I jump in the shower with the cleaning supplies and kill two birds with one stone.

  27. Kerry says

    My best lifehack is keeping my kids busy with chores. It helps me a lot and it also helps them learn responsibility.

  28. Tabathia B says

    I use small storage totes for small toys and stuffed animals to keep down the toy clutter

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  29. Jessica says

    My life hack is always keep snacks, sun screen and swim suit in the car in the summer !

  30. donald light says

    I learned a tip somewhere that helps with my procrastination. If you can do it in 5minutes just do it i know its not really a life hack more of a tip.

  31. joni says

    I always keep a first aid kit near the pool. Band-Aids and Benydryl spray are a must.

  32. Lauren Olivia Wood says

    I do a little laundry at a time instead of letting it pile up and overwhelm me!

  33. debbie says

    I have a basket with sunscreen and bugspray handy to pull out and take wherever we may be heading.

  34. Sarah Hirsch says

    wow, it would be so nice to stay at your house! :)
    my favorite #lifehack is that when cleaning a room, I use a laundry basket to throw everything that doesn’t belong in the room into the basket. Then I make my kids put away everything in the basket, because it is always their stuff!

  35. Stephanie V. says

    Having the kids organize their toys in priority boxes – highest, middle, lowest – then donate the lowest box to keep toys tidy
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  36. mickeyfan says

    I keep a bag in the trunk full of summer essentials. A towel, hats, sunscreen, bug spray, boxes of juice, etc. Everywhere I go, it goes too.

  37. Kimarie Stebbins says

    Not sure if it’s considered a life hack, but I use essential peppermint oil that I diluted with water in a water bottle to keep the bugs away. Seems to be working for me. I don’t like the chemicals and the way my skin feels from normal bug sprays.

  38. paige chandler says

    I cook a big family dinner on Sunday night with lots of leftovers I turn onto new meals. for the week.

  39. Cynthia C says

    One of my favorite lifehacks is to keep a pitcher of filtered water in the fridge so I’m not tempted by high calorie drinks in the hot summer days.

  40. Crystal F says

    I like to use a used dryer sheet to dust with. It works great and there’s no waste. Thank you!

  41. Anastasia says

    A favorite lifehack of mine to use in the summer is to freeze grapes for a snack! Nice, chill and sweet :)

  42. Thomas Gibson says

    One of my #lifehacks is something I learned in boot camp. I polish my shoes with feminine pads. They do a great shine.

  43. Wanda McHenry says

    My favorite summer life hack is to freeze the local fruits that we have picked for use in the winter months.

  44. valerie says

    favorite summer life hack is getting errands done before everyone else is awake so you are free to hang out with friends/family all day long.

  45. says

    My favorite summertime life hack is using a muffin pan (i.e. pickles, onions, ketchup, etc.) to serve condiments at a cookout. :)

  46. amanda says

    A nice gift basket with travel size products and snacks would make a guest very happy.

  47. Linda G. says

    I save my soaps , lotions and shampoos when traveling and put them out in my guest bedroom

  48. Denise S says

    My favorite is making my own frozen popcicles with fruit juice instead of buying more expensive ones full of sugar.

  49. Elizabeth Drake says

    My favorite #LifeHack is buying cheap fruit at the farmer’s market, freezing it and using it during winter for smoothies!

  50. susan wiener says

    I use those cleaned-out TV dinner trays and gie them to our young niece and nephew for their painting. Works great!

  51. Janet Woodling says

    In summer weather I cook outdoors keeping the heat out of my house. I cook several meals at once freeing myself up on busy days.

  52. Cyndie says

    My summer #Lifehack is to always pack an extra bathing suit for those times when you need a dry suit

  53. Julie says

    My #lifehack is signing up for bath and body works coupons. They send out monthly coupons for free travel size shower gel. No purchase necessary. Perfect for guest room!

  54. Michelle C says

    My favorite summer #lifehack is to freeze coffee into ice cubes for use in iced coffee. It cools the coffee without watering it down and saves me from going to the coffee shop. Thanks for the chance to win!

  55. Mary Keeney says

    Love JCP! Love the ideas for hospitality. Love the little bird welcome signs, but wish they used correct grammar: “So happy your here” should be “So happy you’re here”. Sorry to mention it, but thought you’d want to know. Anyway, my favorite summer #lifehack is keeping cold coffee concentrate in the fridge so we can have iced coffee whenever we want.

  56. Martha Franks says

    Great ideas! I would love to win this gift certificate to replace the coverlet/spread in my guest room. It is old, but clean and I’d love to replace it!

  57. Meena R says

    I use baking soda to clean the sinks in the kitchen and bathroom. It leaves my sinks looking like new and there are no noxious chemicals involved!

  58. Kathy says

    JCPenney has some stylish stuff. Perfect for a summertime makeover. My summer #LifeHack though is to always cut up fruits as soon as I get home from the store. Makes it easier to throw together a fruit tray, or if we’re grilling, a fruit salad

  59. ambient says

    My favorite summer trick is making matching ice cubes to avoid watering down my special summer drinks.

  60. iamalighthouse says

    I always keep a pair of flip flops in the car when I’m wearing sandals! :)

  61. says

    I think our family’s most important summer “lifehack” would be to remember it’s okay to break plans and stop chores to enjoy the sunshine and outdoors on a pretty day.


  62. Deb moretti says

    My fave life hack is to make a bunch of crock pot meals for the summer and freeze them. Saves time for more fun I the sun and we don’t heat up the house at night to cook.

  63. Jessie C. says

    My favorite summer #LifeHack is to make fruit ice cubes as snack and dessert for kids.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  64. Bryn says

    Favorite #lifehack is to use dryer sheets that have been used instead of cotton balls to take off nail polish. Random solution one day when I couldn’t get off glitter nail polish. Works soooo well.

  65. D Schmidt says

    My summer #LifeHack is more outdoor playtime meaning less mess and cleaning inside! One great activity my children love to do is to attach bubble wrap to their feet and then jump in kid friendly paint and create amazing works of art.

  66. Krista M. says

    My favorite lifehack for summer is having bottles of sunscreen… everywhere!! Then there is no excuse not to use it…

  67. Sharron Ogomori says

    My summertime #LifeHack was shopping for bikini tops and bottoms at JC Penney. I bought
    colorful patterned tops in different colors, but purchased solid bottoms. This way they can be
    interchanged and my teen feels like she has many swimsuits to choose from.

  68. susie king says

    My #LifeHack is to keep a single serve coffee maker in guest room. I had it in a hotel once and it was a nice treat. If the guest is an early riser they don’t wake everyone early.

  69. Leigh Anne Borders says

    I use dryer sheets to help freshen up rooms. I even have my on my vents to help spread the scent.

  70. laurie steiner says

    I keep a bowl of trial sized items and a small sewing kit in my bathroom for guests.

  71. Dandi D says

    I always keep trail mix or granola bars in the car for a snack for my always-hungry-on-the-road family.

  72. Norma says

    With so many channels on cable, I keep a cheat sheet of favorites taped to the remote.

  73. LAMusing says

    Dryer sheets in the trunk to keep wet bathing things or sports equipment from getting smelly.

  74. Lisa Brown says

    My summer #LifeHack is to attach many of my plants and summer garden to a drip system so i don’t have to run out and water constantly.

  75. Lauren E. says

    My fave summer #LifeHack is to make coffee ice cubes, ready for all the time for iced coffee.

  76. Cristina says

    Gorgeous and smart guest room ideas! I want to stay in your guest room! LOL

  77. Jennifer Rodrigues says

    My favorite #LifeHack is bring fresh wipes after running or hiking to cool off and smell fresh.

  78. Jennifer Rodrigues says

    This whole room is gorgeous. I would love to do something similar to my room. Thanks for sharing.

  79. says

    I want to come stay at your house! What a spectacular guest room.

    My summer lifehack is to keep bags of frozen fruits ready for smoothies in the freezer. Just dump the bag into the blender and add liquid. Easy as can be and it keeps us cool for breakfast, lunch or snacktimes.

  80. says

    My favorite #LifeHack is to add fruits that’ll of bad to the ice cubes. Makes stylish and delicious flavored water!!

  81. Whitney says

    My most important #lifehack is having a travel bag of toiletries at the ready at all times so that I can pack up and go with less stress!

  82. Zachary Goshert says

    My favorite #LifeHack is putting fresh cotton air fresheners directly into the air carrier unit of the house. Keeps fresh scents circulating through the house every time the fans turn on.

  83. Carla S says

    My lifehack tip is I keep things separated in the refrigerator by using pullout plastic bins with handles. I keep bags of cheese together, yogurt together,etc. All I have to do is pull the bin out to get something.

  84. heather says

    My favorite Summer #Life Hack tip that makes my life easier is that I keep a spray bottle full of water and white vinegar to clean the kitchen counters.

  85. courtney b says

    my #life hack is my organizing my makeup drawer which is all my lipsticks coordinated by color and shadows by color and so on so on.. but i also organize it on how often i use it. So everything i use everyday goes in the front.. lol sounds kind of crazy but it works for me!

  86. Natalie Yarbrough says

    My favorite #lifehack is preparing meals for the week, including work lunches on Sunday and then putting them in the freezer/fridge. It saves so much time! Also, I clean the shower during and right after I take a hot shower. It loosens up the dirt and makes it easier to clean.

  87. Judith M. says

    My favorite #LifeHack for guests is a basket of snacks that include fresh baked cookies, mints, bottled water and fresh fruit.

  88. Susan says

    My favorite summer life hack is putting a thick curtain between my kitchen (and the hot appliances) and the rest of my house. Keeps the rest of the non-air conditioned house cooler.

  89. Mary Withrow says

    I have alot of favorties, lol – first aid kits would be my most favorite. I have them in all the cars, garage and bathrooms. I moved from the beach which there I had hurricane box but here I just have power out boxes for small storm with candles, games and such. #LifeHack

  90. Julie says

    I love the turquoise tray on the nightstand, what a cool find! I would love to be welcomed like this as a guest.

  91. Kelly g says

    Great suggestions! We just moved far away from my fam, so I can incorporate some of these ideas.

  92. Leslie says

    We live far away from our family, so we have lots of overnight company. Your ideas are really helpful. Thank you.

  93. Lynda Del says

    My favorite life hack is using an over-the-door shoe organizer to hold baggies of various snacks to pack for those daily school lunches.

  94. nicole dz says

    My favorite #LifeHack is having an emergency kit in the car. I even added items to it. I keep it in the trunk and love it.

  95. Mami2jcn says

    My #lifehack is getting my 11 year old to do the vacuuming! We just started him on this new chore and it’s been a great help to me.

  96. livivua says

    My favorite summer #LifeHack is buying all the summer beach essentials every previous year in the fall so we are all ready and set for the next year and can begin going to the beach without worrying of buying something really expensive on site

  97. Elena says

    My summer #lifehack is to have an ice chest with some dry ice and a few bottles of water in the car

  98. Cricket says

    I keep a ‘Walking Pharmacy’ type bag, ready for any circumstance or emergency!

  99. Jessica Rodriguez says

    All these ideas are so great! I also like to include channel listings for the TV since the channels are different depending on the area! Thanks for the giveaway, Meseidy. :)

  100. Ashley C says

    I love the guest room frame idea with wifi password on it – I think this should be posted on everyone’s hme as soon as you come in the house :)


  101. Amanda M says

    These ideas are perfect when my mother-in-law from Puerto Rico comes to visit. She has always been extremely nice and helpful and truly deserves to be pampered like this. I never know what to do for her to feel welcome besides having a nice hot box of KK doughnuts ready?! I can’t wait to prep for her next visit now.

  102. Martha Carrillo says

    I Keep my mommy kit in my truck at all time. I keep sunscreen, bug repelent, small emergency kit, H2O and light jackets.
    When we ahppened to be in daddy’s truck it’s a nightmare.

  103. says

    I love the picture frame idea! My favorite summer #lifehack is an emergency supply kit filled with mini items that fits inside my purse. It has sunscreen, chafing ointment, band aids, neosporin spray, stain removing stick, q-tips, wet wipes, and aleve. Actually, I keep it in there year-round! Refilling from the “travel” section of the pharmacy as needed.

  104. says

    I love all of these tips! I think the framed info card is my favorite – I mean why WOULDN’T guests need that stuff? It’s always what I ask about when we go anywhere!

    Summer #lifehack…hmmmm…in my stage of life it definitely means keeping an extra pair of toddler clothes and swim diapers in a gallon-size plastic bag in our car. You never know when he’ll get filthy and/or want to swim!

    (OK that’s a lie, I do know – all the time!)

  105. Chelai says

    I like to have potpourri that is subtle yet strong enough to relax you and kind of take you away.

  106. says

    I love the snack idea! Sometimes guests don’t feel comfortable going in the kitchen for a little snack. It’s perfect. I would add a couple of water bottles. Thank you for this awesome post.

  107. NAN POSTEL says

    Great ideas!!! Thank You! My favorite? Wifi code in picture frame?? brilliant! :-)

  108. Carolyn says

    I love your idea of leaving the wifi code and other info in a picture frame! Will definitely beusing that idea this summer, thank you!
    I like leaving light throws in handy areas because I like the house cold in the summer and I normally freeze my family and guests!

  109. libby says

    I put a cute basket in the guest bathroom, with little items they may need, such as band aids, OTC pain medications, q tips, etc.

  110. Dona Haggerty says

    I like to leave a little basket of snackie items for our guests and, also, a water carafe and glass in the guest room :) And a few of my favorite magazines!

  111. sydney85 says

    I like to keep a light jacket for everyone in the car for those times when we go to places to watch a movie, do some shopping or enjoy a meal at a restaurant and the air conditioning is really cold. So many places have the air conditioning way too cold during the summer.

  112. Kelly D says

    My favorite summer #LifeHack is to keep a bag of essentials always packed for our summer travels of items we typically forget. This way, we don’t forget anything on our trips. I pack sunblock, bug spry, sunglasses for the kids and a few other items.