I love having guests in my home. Whether it’s for a gathering over dinner or a week-long stay, I’m all for it! After all, what’s the point of decorating your home and creating that intentional cozy and welcoming vibe if no one ever comes over to enjoy it?
But one thing you might not know about me is that I also get a bit of anxiety around having people over. Now it’s not social anxiety… it’s clutter and chaos anxiety.
I’m a very organized and clean person, and so is everyone else in my home (except for the baby… she’s here to keep us all on our toes!). But even my toddler likes things put away and clean.
So naturally, when guests arrive (especially for longer stays), our anxiety can get a little high thinking about how we can keep things in order without being those crazy hosts who are constantly picking up after their guests.
What I really mean is that I want to seem relaxed and at ease with the clutter and the messes without letting any of my guests know how much it bothers me… feel me?
But meanwhile, back at I love having guests… I really do!
So over time, I’ve found some super simple ways to prepare my home in advance so that my guests feel welcomed and at ease and I can sit and enjoy their company without worrying about the house (as much)!
Some of these will sound obvious, but I promise if you do them all ahead of time, your guest anxiety (is that a thing?) will be at an all-time low!
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR GUESTS SO THEY FEEL WELCOME AND YOU’RE AT EASE (PLUS A CHECKLIST!)
I like to break my checklist down into three areas – the guest bedroom, the guest bathroom, and around the house.
GUEST BEDROOM PREP
Starting in the guest bedroom, my main goal is that my guests feel cozy and welcomed into my home. This starts in the space they can retreat to and call their own while they’re staying with us!
I try to make it so they have no questions or needs while they’re staying with us. That everything they need is easily accessible and they feel like they can easily make themselves at home instead of tip-toeing around or searching for things.
I start with the obvious – wash the sheets, place extra blankets and pillows in the room, and make sure the space is clean and the bed is made.
I then clear out space in the closet for suitcases and add hangers for clothing. You could also add a suitcase rack to the room or closet if you’d like — just make sure to create a space where your guests can unpack and tuck their items away without it creating extra clutter (for you or them!).
You can also add an empty laundry basket for your guests so they have somewhere to throw their dirty clothes and they don’t end up in piles on the floors.
By providing simple solutions for the anticipated messes, you can easily make sure that the clutter stays at an all-time low!
Additionally, to make your guests feel welcome in your home, you can provide extra phone chargers and bottled water next to the bed so they have some necessities on hand!
GUEST BATHROOM PREP
Another obvious space to prepare is the bathroom your guests will be using!
Start by cleaning the bathroom and empty the trash. Wash all the towels so they’re fresh, and set them out or make them easily accessible so your guests don’t have to ask which towels they can use!
Restock the toilet paper, and make sure to add a towel rack or hooks so wet towels have somewhere to go and don’t end up on the floor.
And don’t forget to stock the bathroom with all the necessities your guests might need! I like to include…
- Makeup wipes or remover
- Body wash or soap
- Extra hand soap
- Air freshener
- Paper towels
- Feminine products
And anything else that comes to mind! Think about the things you use, and make sure to add them to your guest’s bathroom, too. The goal is to make it so they don’t have to feel uncomfortable asking to borrow anything they might have forgotten or not prepared for!
Think through situations, and add solutions. It’s as simple as that! Your guests will feel much more at ease, and you don’t be running around searching for those solutions — instead you an simply enjoy your company.
AROUND THE HOUSE PREP
Yes, ‘around the house’ is one of my areas! But hear me out…
This one is for you! Think of things you can do around the house to prepare for your guests and put your mind at ease ahead of time so you aren’t constantly thinking of those piles of laundry, overflowing trash cans, and sink full of dishes.
I like to clean or have a service come clean BEFORE guests arrive. Now, this really isn’t for them, it’s for me. When my house is cleaner than it normally is ahead of time, I’m less anxious about the little messes that pop up with guests around (because it’s just closer to our baseline clean!).
Focus on the kitchen and bathrooms, and run the vacuum throughout the house. These are the areas that will take the biggest hit with guests. The more you do ahead of time, the less you’ll feel the need to do while your guests are around!
Make sure you run the dishwasher (and empty it) before your guests arrive. That way you have spaces for dishes and aren’t worrying about things piling up in your sink when you forget to run the dishwasher for the 3rd day in a row.
Take out all the trash in the house the day before your guests arrive. Again, that way you aren’t worrying about stuffing down the trash again because you keep forgetting to empty it!
Do a grocery run for easy snacks, breakfasts, lunches, and any dinners you want to make with your guests around.
My favorite dinner to make is take-out — I simply don’t like cooking for a lot of people! But to each their own!
If I know my guests well, I make sure to purchase all their favorite snacks and drinks ahead of time. If I don’t, I ask!
I always want to make sure they have something they can grab and aren’t going hungry just because they don’t like any of the food we have!
My favorite thing to do here is place a grocery delivery order for the day my guests are arriving (yay for modern technology!). That way I don’t have to waste time running to the store and can instead focus on preparing my home!
I also like to make sure I bake or purchase a pastry or baked good to have out for my guests to grab as an easy breakfast or snack! I set it out with plates nearby so there are no questions and guests feel perfectly comfortable helping themselves!
To help with clutter, designate a space in your home for shoes, bags, and jackets to go once your guests arrive. We always prefer to have our guests take their shoes off when they enter our home – mainly because we have a little lady crawling around and don’t need any extra germs on the floor for her to pick up!
By showing your guests to this spot as soon as they arrive, they’ll get in the habit of always placing their things there so you don’t have to ask!
Lastly, about 30 minutes to an hour before your guests arrive, run an essential oils diffuser or burn a candle (diffusers are my go-to these days!) so your home smells nice and inviting as soon as that door opens!
DOWNLOAD YOUR CHECKLIST!
To make it easy, I put all these tips together for you in an easy to follow checklist!
I’m positive that if you follow all these steps, you and your guests will feel calm and at ease for the entire stay, and you won’t feel the need to run around cleaning and de-cluttering the whole time!
What’s your favorite thing to do to prepare for guests? Share it with me in the comments!