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How to Prepare the Home for Guests: Simple Tips for Easy Hospitality

Prepare for Guests

As I prepare to move into our new rental apartment, I can but help think of all the entertaining and hosting that I will be doing. In about a few days, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law with her two adorable kids will be with us, spending a few fun-filled days. As the year progresses and the weather improves, I am sure there will be many more opportunities for us to extend our hospitality to friends and family. So, it is with this excitement in my mind, that I share some simple ways to make a home welcoming to guests –overnight and everyday.

Pick Up the Night Before

In the midst of a busy life, it usually isn’t possible to do a thorough clean everyday. At least, not in our home. So, we do an evening or nightly pick up. Nothing complicated or exhausting. Just picking up things that have found their way to places other than where they belong. Think toddler toys in the kitchen, pots and pans in the toy chest and so on.

Shower and Dress as Soon as You Wake Up

Preparing the home for guests does include preparing yourself for company. So, once you’re up, after you’ve finished your morning meditation or prayer routine, hop into the shower and get ready. Being presentable if you have unexpected guests is always a plus. You aren’t too embarrassed about your faded, torn( but comfy) PJs and they aren’t feeling bad about arriving unexpectedly.

Have Hostess Essentials in Place

I have a hostess essentials kit always stocked and ready – supplies for coffee or tea, one sweet snack and one salty snack.  I also have juices and milk in the fridge for the kiddie guests. Having these simple essentials in place ensures that I’m never wondering “what to serve the guests?” While they have their tea or coffee, I can easily whip up a meal for them to enjoy with us.

Keep an Overnight Guest Kit Ready

Like the hostess essentials, I also have an overnight guest kit ready. A basket with toiletries, a pair of bedroom slippers, some good books to read, a clean pair of PJs –men and women. So, should someone decide to stay over, all I do is change the bed linen, put out the basket and the guest can take whatever he or she needs, easily.

Have a 10-Minute Clean Up Plan

Although we do a nightly pick up, I also have a 10-minute clean up plan for the house. I go through every room with a large box or a reusable shopping bag and dump everything that doesn’t belong to a room into it. The bag goes into the closet to be pulled out later.

Next, I wear old, clean socks on my hands and spray my vinegar-water solution on them and damp wipe surfaces clean. No scrubbing or dusting behind corners, simply wiping visible surfaces.

Then, I pop into the bathrooms to make sure that they’re clean, no unsightly objects in view, light an incense stick or candle to freshen the air, change the towels and wipe the floor dry, in case it’s still wet from my toddler’s splash fest.

How do you prepare your home for guests?

Photo Credit: Roberto Ferito


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  1. What a sweet post. :-) In addition to the above, I also have a shelf in our “extras” cupboard with assorted gifts – and this is useful for unexpected happy surprises and for those last minute birthday invitations. I read about the old-socks-damp-wipe 4-5 years ago – and thought it a great way to get the then-little Vidur to help with the cleaning – and love the earnest way he goes about it.

    God bless you and your family in your new home, Prerna. I wish you good health and joy.

    • The Mom Writes says:

      What a lovely idea, Vidya. I must have a stash of gifts too for last-minute invitations. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Nice, Prerna – simple and to the point. I can do all this! I think I’ll put together my hostess essentials and overnight guest kits today:)

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Thank you Crystal. Glad you liked it! These two little “kits” are real sanity-savers at our home!

  3. So, what are some examples of a sweet or salty snack that lasts? Also, how do you store these?

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Hi Martha, thanks for stopping by. The sweet snacks include either a plain cake, some cookies or muffins. I bake regularly with my toddler and always have some at hand. Salty snacks include Mathris which are basically Indian savories made with wholewheat flour, oil and deep fried. They last easily for about 15-20 days in airtight containers.

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