How to prepare your home for guests

How to prepare your home for guests.

We’ve all been there, it’s the week before the Holidays and all of a sudden that Aunt calls and announces she plans to stay at your house for those few days of celebrations. Ummm, And you tell me now??? 

After making sure she can’t stay anywhere else, you go into panic mode. Nothing is even close to guest-ready, and you don’t want to go close to that guest bedroom, sorry, storage room of a disaster!

Let’s get ready shall we?
Get a piece of paper and a cup of coffee and let’s get started with “How to prepare your home for guests”


The Clutter

Don’t have any time to go through anything and it’s definitely too cold for a yard sale? Grab some paper shopping bags, totes or even laundry baskets and start filling them up! Sort the stuff by category. Papers in one bag, kids toys in another and those empty wine bottles for that one craft you wanted to do 3 years ago? Yeah, those can go in the trash. Kids toys? In their rooms or toy bins, and make sure they help! 

Basically, make sure to eliminate it for the time being. Be it shoved in a closet or in a corner in the garage. At least it is out of the way for the guests and festivities. 

Divide and Conquer
Have the family help! You won’t believe what moving around some furniture with some help can do to lighten up and change your home! Switch up the couch with the entertainment center and see the difference! Maybe move that rug from the office to the TV room.
For other, larger projects, “hire” your husband. He should already know by now that you wanted that one wall painted before the New Year, what better time than to do it now. Like right now! We both know you secretly bought the paint and stashed it in the closet! No better time than the present! No better time than to prepare now!
Buy or Borrow
We all know, only Martha Steward or Bree Van de Kamp has enough pretty dishes to entertain the whole neighborhood. 
So get buying or borrowing those extra dishes or even decor from that Grandma with a basement full for those special occasions. Check the local Goodwill or Thrift Store, they usually have something for the Holidays, especially decor!
Don’t forget to plan in pets and little, little ones when decorating!
Get out the Decor in the first place!
Before you shove all those clutter filled bags in the garage, make sure you’re not covering up any of that Holiday decor you will need!
Take a weekend, or evening if it’s super short notice, and go through it. Get it all opened, unpacked and unwrapped. Take a look at what you have and get a plan together of where to put it. And like I said above, make sure you plan extra when you have very little ones or even pets. Maybe not hang those cinnamon-ornaments on the tree that year because I can guarantee the cat will be very interested!
Grooming and a Nail Trim
PLEASE, if you are a pet owner, get your pets groomed and have their nails trimmed before you have guests! As the owner of 3 dogs and 2 cats ( Plus reptiles and inverts, but that’s not important here) I can tell you that your guests will feel more comfortable when the dog doesn’t shed a lot and smells fresh as well as not scratching up their luggage because it’s claws are razor blades..
Set out the Diffusers and load’em up

In our house, we do not use scented candles. It gives me a headache, not to mention I am actually allergic to most things that are scented. 

So Diffusers it is in our household. Literally, you can’t turn a corner without running into one. They run pretty much 24/7/365 everywhere in the house. Be it citrus-y scents during the day or Lavender and Calming Oils at night, they’re always on.

When guests come over, I like to diffuse a blend of Wild Orange and Balance from doTERRA. Or simple Lemon and Peppermint for a nicely refreshing scent!


The Guest Bedroom

More for “How to prepare your home for guests” and probably the most important!

This is a big one! When you prepare your home for guests, the guest bedroom is the most important room to get ready. That is, if they are actually staying the night at your house.

But let’s assume they do, here is my list of things to get ready in the guest room:

bedside night
Closet and Dresser Space

Let’s be honest, nobody likes to live out of a suitcase or in my husbands case, backpack. 

So let’s be nice and give them some space in our dressers or closet.

Sheets, towels and laundry detergent
When getting out the neutral colored sheets, towels and washcloths, be sure to run them through the washer using a fragrance free detergent, as well as not using dryer sheets. As one with a son who’s allergic to those extra scented laundry detergents, and a baby with sensitive skin, I’d be super thankful if you had taken this step if we stayed at your house
The Wifi Password
Though this is mainly my husbands department, having a cute frame with the Wifi password displayed is a must in our home when we have guests over. Nothing like the kids wanting to watch some Spongebob to go to sleep, everyone already being asleep and you have to wake somebody up to let your kids or yourself watch some Youtube or TV on the phone.
Blackout Curtains
This might be another project for hubby or the older kids to do, but hanging up blackout curtains is a must in my opinion. We don’t want the Little ones to wake up at 4 am because the sun was shining in their faces. We all know what happens next. They want to get up, wake everybody up so they have someone to play with.
Toiletries and Snacks
The last thing anyone likes to do is having to ask the host where a million things are, that you forgot your toothbrush or you need some Ibuprofen at 3 in the morning because that headache is keeping you from sleeping.
What I like to do when we have guests, is to set out a little basket by the bathroom filled with travel sized Shampoo, Conditoner, Toothpaste and a couple brushes, as well as some healthy snacks, a few bottles of water, Chapstick and Bodywash. Feel free to add what else you think they could need.
Blankets, Fan and a Heating Pad
These are ultimate must haves for someone like me. I am always freezing and hubby can’t sleep without the fan on. So I resort to sleeping with an extra blanket and a heating pad. Not to mention the heating pad is good for that week of the month…

Maybe your guests are the same or they think the bedroom is extra cold at night. I like to just drape the extra blanket at the foot of the bed and have the extra blanket by the towels with maybe even a couple more pillows to add. 

A Laundry basket
If they are staying longer than a day or two, I like to give them a laundry basket and offer to wash their clothes. I would use the Fragrance free detergent for them. If they insist on doing it for themselves, let them! I always felt weird when my Mother in Law folded my panties for me after she washed them.

The Day has arrived

Now that you spent the days before preparing, it’s time for the final touches on the day of arrival. If they are arriving early in the morning, you can take care of most the night before, if it’s further towards noon or even evening, I’d suggest doing it the day of arrival.


Main Entryway
Get rid of those single shoes the kids dropped on their way in from the park, those few toys in the hallway and don’t forget to shake out the door mat and put the kids back packs in the closet to make room for the guests luggage.

The night before, if you lie in an apartment complex or something similar, if possible, block an extra parking spot for your guests so they don’t have to carry the luggage very far. Or if you live in the county like we do, simply move one of the cars to the secondary driveway to make room closer to the front door or main entrance to the home.

Cookies and yummy smells
Around the time guests arrive, throw a few cookies in the oven to make the house smell ll nice and cozy. Yes, those pre-made dough ones from the store will do. I even warmed up actual store bought and already baked cookies before! Smelled good and no one knew any better. 
Brush the dogs!
That’s even something the kids could do to help out! Or hubby, since they have a tendency to get in the way those last hours before guests arrive and we all go bananas…. I know I do that
Coffee or Tea?
That’s something I always ask beforehand, so I can have it ready. Set out the creamer and sugar, cups and spoons and load up and turn on the coffeemaker around time of arrival, so everything is ready to go after the usual long trips they just had.
Last Minute dishwasher run
This is something I usually do, or at least get ready before guests arrive. Until recently, our dishwasher was super loud, which we didn’t know was not normal and needed to be fixed. Now? Sooo quiet, you can barely hear it! If there’s no time to run it, the least I’ll do is stuff all the dirty dishes in it so my sinks are clear and empty. I’ll give them a quick scrub and wipe down and they’re ready for the soon to come coffee dishes.
Vacuum or run the Roomba
Another little chore for hubby. Quick runaround with the vacuum to catch those last few dog hairs that came overnight and I’ll even run our .Roomba, named Rosie, on the hardwood floors if I don’t have time to sweep everything again.
Ready, Set, Diffuse
Cookies or not, we always have the diffusers on. When guests pull in the driveway, I hit the start button on all the diffusers, at the latest, around so the house smells nice and cozy when they walk in.
Last minute bathroom check up
Another last minute task is a bathroom check up. Is the trashcan still empty? Did any random toys or towels find their way to the floor? What about the shower curtain, is it closed? Switch out the hand towel to a fresh one, add a couple drops of lemon or lavender essential oil on the cardboard toilet paper insert and you’re good to go!
Clear the dining room and coffee tables

No brainer, can’t have a nice chit chat with coffee if the whole table is filled with the kids art projects, homework or the newest science kit that just exploded everywhere. 

Clear it off and give it a quick wipe down! And don’t forget to hang those new art work pieces on display on the side of the fridge!

Guest room check up
At last, give the guest room a look. Have the kids lot some toys in there? Has anyone helped themselves to the snacks? What about the heating blanket? Did you need that again last evening on the sofa? Make sure it’s in the guest room now! Check that no dog made themselves comfortable on the freshly made bed and clean sheet and therefore check for dog hair!

And there you have it! My “How to prepare your home for guests” Checklist. Are you having family or friends over for the Holidays this year? How do you like to prepare for those visits? Are you going as bananas as me about them or are you taking it easy and just go with the flow? Leave your answer below! I’m really interested to know I can’t be the only one! 

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