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How to Prepare Your Home for Guests and Keep It Company-Ready

Philosophical writer and YouTube creator covering the topics of simplicity, homemaking, and the romantic vintage lifestyle.

How to Prepare Your Home for Guests

How to Prepare Your Home for Guests

Quick Checklist to Prepare Your Home for Guests

  • Declutter (ongoing process and journey)
  • Clean and freshen (deep cleaning ongoing process)
  • Add homey touches to guest bedroom
  • Add amenities to bathroom
  • Stock fridge

Keep Your Home Company-Ready for Stress-Free Hospitality

Do you feel uneasy at the thought of guests staying in your home for a few days? Perhaps they will judge your housekeeping. If you work toward decluttering, cleaning, and adding welcoming touches to your home a little each day, you will be ready for anything.

If you research the topic, you will discover there are many different ways to prepare for guests. The range of differences is broad. From simple company-ready preparedness all the way to the Martha Stewart five-star hotel standard. Try not to place high expectations on creating a stellar experience. Instead, take joy in the process of creating a relaxing haven.

Stock your refrigerator with food for your guests.

Stock your refrigerator with food for your guests.

The Spirit of Hospitality Is Not About Perfection

Your main goal should be to keep your home well enough for a last-minute guest. Not perfect. You are working toward creating a haven of peace, where a guest can stay for a few days and visit you. Your hospitable attitude is more important than an immaculate magazine-style home. There is a bonus to keeping your home clutter-free and tidy. You get to enjoy it now! Make the process a fun game and create your very own bed and breakfast-style getaway which you can also share with loved ones.

De-Clutter Your Home Before Guests Arrive

Create the daily decluttering habit. There is no single task that will beautify your home more than decluttering. Remove all but the essentials from your home décor. The principle of "less is more" also works when decorating. Set your timer for a few minutes and tackle a section of your choice.

Remember, decluttering is the first step toward preparation. The more time in advance you can prepare the better. Here are a few tips to help you clear up your spaces for gatherings:

  • Free up your family room, living room, and any other common rooms where people might gather, by taking out any furniture that you won't use.
  • Any old newspapers, magazines, mail, and other assorted items should be sorted and recycled, or thrown away.
  • You can also get some storage bins or extra shelving if necessary to help you declutter.

Quick Tips for Preparing Your Home for Guests

Real Simple gives tips for preparing your home for a house guest which include:

  • Have a suitcase stand (a table could also work for this)
  • Make room in your closet for their clothing
  • Test your air mattress if you use one, so you're not scrambling for a plan B if it fails to inflate
  • Make a spare key so they can come and go as they please
  • Set out extra toiletries
  • Have basic breakfast essentials and snacks
  • Set out books and magazines in the guestroom
  • Take a few minutes to find out what kind of activities your guests may want to do while staying with you
Prepare the entryway for guests.

Prepare the entryway for guests.

If You Want to Go Overboard You Can Follow Martha Stewart's Tips

"With the addition of a few niceties, your spare bedroom will be as inviting to visitors as a fine hotel room. Set out essentials such as towels and an alarm clock, then provide little luxuries as well: bottles of water, foil-wrapped chocolates, and a few cut blooms in a vase." (

Some ways the website offers ways to pamper your guest include:

  • Place chilled bottled water in a container
  • Set out store bought chocolate
  • Wrap guest towels in a ribbon
  • Set up a relaxing chair with throw, magazines, books and a portable music player (including music)
  • Having extra closet and drawer space to accommodate their belongings
  • Desk and writing paper
  • Extra pillows and blankets
  • Be sensitive to your guests dietary needs, and encourage them to help themselves to the pantry

A Quick Way to Freshen Up the Scent of Your Home

There is no need to spray chemical-laden air freshens in your home. You'll achieve a fresher scent by doing the following:

  • Remove trash
  • Open several windows
  • Burn 100% essential oils in an oil burner

Additional steps to remove house odors:

  • Scrub the bathrooms
  • Mop
  • Sweep
  • Vacuum

Quick Tips for the Bedroom

You can create a warm welcome atmosphere by lighting a candle, setting out some bottled waters, a bowl of fruit, granola bars, and perhaps some chocolate. Have a variety of soft light lamps available for reading. Stack magazines and books by the bedside.

Emergency Last Minute Cleaning

If you are in a time crunch and you learn that a guest will be staying with little notice, there are practical measures you can take. Most importantly stay calm! Tell yourself that anything you do from this point on will bless your house guest- your home does not need to be immaculate. Set your timer and spend a small amount of time in each room of your house straightening. Next, revisit each room with a laundry basket and place odds and ends in the basket which you will stash out of sight, to deal with once the guest has left. This should only be done in emergency cleaning situations.

More Ways to Prepare for Your Guests

Add Relaxing Ambiance to Your Home

Once your home is reasonably decluttered and clean, set up an inviting ambiance soon before your guests arrival. Take out the trash then open up the windows throughout the home to naturally freshen the air. In the living room, or the nearest room to the entrance burn incense or essential oils. In the guest room place cut flowers in a vase and burn a candle.

Tip: Keep the TV Out of the Guest Room

To create a truly relaxing guest room, avoid setting up a television. The tranquility of the room will be disrupted. Guests can relax with a book or write down their thoughts on paper.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2014 Rain San Martin


Rain San Martin (author) from Fort Wayne on August 19, 2014:

Dbro, I can't tell you how much I agree with your comment here! Preparing for guests is honestly more about giving the host a sense of peace before the visit.

Dbro from Texas, USA on July 01, 2014:

Great hub, Rainsanmartin! I am victim of the panic reaction when company comes. It is important to remember your guests have come to see YOU and not to critique your house and housekeeping skill (or lack thereof). The tips you present are very practical and doable for anyone anticipating company. I will bear them in mind the next time we have visitors.