Preparing the home for guests

Here are simple things you can do to make each room of the house more comfy and inviting when guests are on their way:


  • Ask your guests ahead of time if there are any particular activities they’d like to do while in town. Then make arrangements in advance (purchase tickets, make reservations, etc).
  • Make a copy of your house key for their convenience.

Clean and well-stocked bathrooms

  • Start with clean counters, toilets, floors, tubs and shower walls.
  • Add a stack of extra clean bath towels, and hang a hand towel near the sink.
  • Fill a basket with extra toiletries that guests will appreciate (e.g., cotton swabs, hand lotion, tissues, air freshener).
  • Wash your shower curtain and liner.
  • Arrange magazines in a basket near the commode.
  • Add a vase of fresh flowers near the sink.


  • Clean out the cupboards. Make sure the cupboard where you store your glasses is free of dust and crumbs. Invest in a rubbery liner for this cupboard; it makes a big difference! Do the same for the drawer where you store your eating utensils.
  • Stock up on snacks. Fresh fruit and granola bars are nice to have as quick snacks to offer your guests, as are pitchers of juice and iced tea.
  • Make sure you have cooking staples. If you have plans to cook dinner for your guests, stock up on cooking staples (e.g., olive oil, garlic, onions, lemons).
  • Procure coffee and tea supplies. Coffee and tea drinkers in the house? Assorted tea bags, fresh coffee grounds and a clean coffeemaker are essential. If they take cream and sugar, add these things to your grocery list too.

Guest room

  • Clear the clutter by moving junk to the garage, attic or basement.
  • Empty out a drawer or two for guests to use, and move clothes out of the closet so they have room to hang up their items.
  • Make up the bed with fresh sheets, and provide an extra blanket and an assortment of pillows with silk pillowcases.
  • Stack interesting books and magazines near the bed.
  • Add a lamp. Make sure they have a light near the bed for nighttime reading.
  • Place earplugs and a sleeping mask in the bedside table.
  • Plug in a nightlight in the hallway so guests can find their way around.

Lawn and entryway

First impressions are important! Consider doing the following:

  • Mowing the lawn
  • Trimming the unruly parts of your front yard hedges
  • Sweeping the front porch and front steps
  • Oiling the squeaky screen door on your front porch
  • Purchasing a welcome mat for the front door
  • Ensuring that the entryway/foyer is clean and tidy

Other ideas

  • Front door organization. Consider installing an attractive set of hooks next to the front door, as well as a dry erase board for messages. Use the hooks for dog leash, keys, hats, coats, umbrellas etc.
  • Sweep the debris off the back deck. Arrange outdoor seating around a table, to include a pot of flowers and an outdoor candle. This will make a cozy conversation area to share with guests or to relax in when you need a break from family!

Have additional thoughts or ideas to share? Leave a comment, or write to Crystal and let her know.