Holiday time is coming up and company will be once again staying with us!  Make sure you put these things in CHECK so that you don’t have HORRIFIED HOUSEGUESTS!

Clutter & Dust – Nothing can make a home feel more uncomfortable than clutter everywhere.  If you have to clear a space for people to eat, walk or sit, then you need to put stuff up now, before they come to stay.  Also, no matter how clean the rest of your house is, if you have layers of dust visible to anyone in the room, then, it will FEEL dirty everywhere.  Dust comes back quickly, so do this task close to when the guests will arrive!  (Clutter can creep back in too, so do a once over right before arrival as well.)  

Pet Pests & Pet Mess – If you have pets, this is the time to make sure they are clean, their toys are put up out of the way and that their food and/or litter areas are not front and center.  They may drag toys back out, so just be sure to pick them up daily.  Also, when it is dinner time, even though Fido might be used to getting table scraps under the table, put your animals up so that guests won’t be pestered as they eat.  You can always give your fur babies treats after they have been released!

Outrageous Odor – Whether its a good or bad smell, either way, a strong smell can make some guests literally ill, so be careful with the odors in your home.  Go outside for a bit, then walk back in and take a deep breath.  Is there anything that smells really strong? Air out your home, unplug that scent thing from the wall and clean up pots and pans right away so that food smells won’t over take as well.  

Practically Perfect – Guests may find it hard to relax if your home is picture perfect all the time, so make sure they will feel like they can sit on the furniture and relax.  Allow places for drinks or snacks if possible, and give them access to things that they can help themselves with.  If you are comfortable, they will be too.  

Lounging Laundry – Don’t keep dirty laundry out in the open anywhere.  Even if you have a laundry room, if it’s a room that people will walk through all the time, don’t leave it lying around.  Get the laundry done before the guests arrive and keep up with it while they are staying with you.  You will be much happier not having a mountain of laundry when they leave, and they will appreciate you taking care of things as well.  

Beastly Bathrooms – One of the main things you need to do before guest arrive is clean the bathrooms.  ALL OF THEM.  Sometimes, if there are a lot of people, your master bath might get used when the others are full and having to go into someone’s dirty bathroom can be awful.  Crisp, clean bathrooms with extra towels for guests is a must. 

Dirty Dishes – Not only have the dishes done when they arrive, but keep up with them while they are visiting.  If it gets to be a lot, use some disposable dishes so that you won’t spend all your time doing dishes.  Piles in the sink can start to smell and just don’t make it too appetizing to eat for guests going in and out of the kitchen.  

Treacherous Trash – Take out the trash and keep taking out the trash!  Make sure bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and any other rooms that have trash cans are emptied before the guests arrive and continue to empty them while they are visiting.  People can be messy and overflowing trash cans make the home feel dirty and messy.

Unmade Bed – Make sure you have clean bedding for your guests and don’t wait until they arrive to provide it.  Have the bed ready and waiting for them.  Think of how you would feel walking into a hotel room where the bed is stripped, and just a pile of clean sheets are waiting to be put on.  Yick.  Have the bed ready for the guests to jump right in and also provide an extra blanket and maybe a pillow or two.

I hope some of these tips will help keep your guests HAPPY instead of HORRIFIED!

This blog was inspired by this article on
Photo Credit: Atul Choudhary

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.