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

Updated on November 13, 2017
rainsanmartin profile image

I'm a YouTuber, composer, photographer, writer, and homemaker. Living in Fort Wayne, IN with my husband, Sage, and two children.

How to Prepare Your Home for Guests
How to Prepare Your Home for Guests | Source

Quick Checklist to Prepare Your Home for Guests

  • Declutter (ongoing process and journey)
  • Clean and freshen (deep cleaning ongoing process)
  • Add homey touches to 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 difference is broad. From simple company-ready preparedness all the way to the Martha Stewart 5-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. | Source

The Spirit of Hospitality Is Not About Perfection

Your main goal should be to have your home good 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 with 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 however, 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 Holiday Guests Arrive

Create the daily decluttering habit. There is no single task that will beautify your home more than decluttering. Remove all but the essential 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. In the article 10 Things you should do before holiday houseguests arrive, decluttering is the first step toward preparation. The more time in advance you can prepare the better.

"With a few extra people in your home, you are going to need some additional room. It's time to declutter and create some much needed space. Your living room, family room, and other common rooms used for entertaining should be free of any furniture that you won't use. Old magazines, newspapers, mail, and other items should be sorted and recycled or discarded. Get several storage bins or extra shelving if necessary to declutter your home."

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 your 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. | Source

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." (-MarthaStewart.com)

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 a 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

Tidy the Kitchen for 15 minutes-Video by Rain San Martin

Enjoy Stress-Free Housekeeping to Keep Your Home Company-Ready

Working a little each day on your tasks will bring you closer toward having a company ready home. Preparing your home for guests is a journey. In the article Keeping a Stress-Free, Clean House, Zen Habits author recommends:

  • Clean as you go

"Pick up as I go. There are little things the kids leave around the house. I’ll just pick them up throughout the day, or keep a basket for their stuff and just dump them in there, for them to put away later."

  • Never leave dishes in the sink, clean up after each meal, and wipe down the counters
  • Do a quick daily cleaning routine in the bathroom

"Tidy the bathroom as I go. After I use the bathroom, clean the sink, the toilet, spray down the shower, real quick. It only takes a couple of minutes, and the joy of a clean bathroom is unmatched."

  • Put clothes away immediately
  • Tidy up the home before bed or leaving the house
  • Take out the trash daily
  • Make bed each morning
  • Don't allow paperwork to pill up, put away mail daily
  • Train children to put away there things

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 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, instead they can relax with a book or write down their thoughts on paper. However you may want add a radio so your guest can check in to see if a happy hurricane is heading their way or if World War III has started. Ahh... relaxation in the mid 2010s...

© 2014 Rain San Martin

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    • rainsanmartin profile image
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      Rain San Martin 3 years ago from Fort Wayne

      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 profile image

      Dbro 3 years ago from Texas, USA

      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.