How to: Prepare for a House Guest

From January through March, my fiancé and I will host a large number of east coast friends and family who are looking to escape the winter. Happens every year. These are my tips so loved ones have an enjoyable stay (to be followed by another list about how to be a good house guest).
  1. 1.
    Clean up
    Dust and vacuum your place, but pay close attention to the room or area in which they are staying.
  2. 2.
    Change sheets
    Wash them and make the bed, air mattress, or couch.
  3. 3.
    Swap out towels
    Replace old ones with fresh ones.
  4. 4.
    Stock the bathroom
    It's never fun to be the guest stuck in the shower without soap or shampoo. Hotel size toiletries work very well for this!
  5. 5.
    Have the essentials
    Have wifi password, a plunger, tampons, Kleenex, etc. all available to your guest. I also have makeup remover wipes in my guest room because mascara stains clean pillowcases, and I keep a container of toothbrushes because people often forget them. Show them how blinds open and close, where the lights are, and how to turn the shower on.
  6. 6.
    Eating and Drinking
    Show your guest where they can get water and also how your coffeemaker works so they can help themselves. I don't buy plastic water bottles, but if I have guests I do get a few glass ones so they can take one to their room. As for food, I always stock the fridge with easy breakfast foods that don't require a ton of cleaning up (croissants, berries, yogurt) so we can eat and have coffee together in the AM. I also offer cheese and crackers in between lunch and dinner so people aren't starving.
  7. 7.
    Pets
    If you have a pet, make sure they do not harass your guest. Our cat would sleep in bed with our friends if I would let her, but I realize that some people don't want a snoring fur pile on their head all night, so I make sure she's in our bedroom before we go to sleep.
  8. 8.
    Spare keys
    We always give house guests our spare keys so they can come and go as they please and don't feel beholden to us.
  9. 9.
    Get what you need out of the place they're staying before they arrive
    Our guest room also functions as a home office for my fiancé and I and the guest bathroom and closet are normally his bathroom and closet. Before guests arrive, we are sure to get laptops, toiletries, and clothes from that room so we aren't barging in on people the whole weekend.
  10. 10.
    Something special
    I try to always have a little something, like a card or a jar-sized flower arrangement, to show them I'm glad they're here.
  11. 11.
    Happy hosting!