The holidays may not be here just yet, but they’re certainly coming! Many of us open our homes to friends and family during this time of year, so how can you make them feel welcomed from the moment they arrive? Beyond the basics of putting fresh linens on the bed, here are a few ways to prepare your home for guests so they’ll truly feel like they’re at a “home away from home!”

  1. Tidy up your entryways.

Your home’s first impression will set the mood for your guests’ visit, so take a few minutes to look at your front porch or main entry door. Is there a broken rake you keep meaning to fix that’s been propped by your front door for two months? Stash it in the garage for now. What about all those cobwebs that have overtaken your rocking chairs? Taking five minutes to sweep them off will work wonders for your home’s first impression on guests!

  1. Take care of those small repairs you’ve been putting off.

Things like burnt out light bulbs or a piece of siding hanging from an exterior wall don’t exactly scream, “Welcome!” Take a few hours on a Saturday (before the craziness of your holiday schedule hits!) and knock out those odd jobs around the house. They’ll tidy up your home for guests, sure, but you’ll also feel better having those things finished.

  1. Update the décor in your guest room.

If you have a dedicated guest bedroom in your home, try freshening it up with a few new decorative pieces, such as pillows or a new piece of art on the wall. When you put just a little bit of TLC into the space, it’ll make your guests feel even more special when they arrive.

  1. Think about the “extras” that make you feel welcomed in a hotel or a friend’s home.

What are some simple things that make you feel at home when you travel? Maybe it’s a few fun magazines by the bed, extra supplies and toilet paper easily accessible in the bathroom, or even just a cozy blanket on the bed. Add fresh flowers on a nightstand, put a small basket of snacks on the bed, or even leave a sweet note to tell them you’re glad they’ve come to visit. It’s one thing to have a clean space for your guests, but going the extra mile—even in the smallest of ways—makes them feel extra loved.

  1. Organize and tidy spaces where guests will be.

With the busyness of life, we can often let certain spaces in our home become dumping grounds for shoes, papers, and other clutter. Use this prep time before guests come as an opportunity to reorganize and clear those areas. Don’t forget about any closets or storage cabinets in your guest bedroom or bathroom. You’ll want to make sure there’s plenty of space for your visitors to easily hang their clothes or store their toiletries during their stay. Tidying and some organizing touch-ups will make your home feel much calmer—for your guests AND for you!

It’s a good idea to start preparing your home for guests now—while the calendar is still clear of holiday parties, travel, and last minute shopping trips! Spending just a few minutes here and there will help keep your stress levels low when your guests are coming, which leaves you more time to enjoy their company.



Allie was born and raised in Georgia, and moved to Nashville after graduating from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!). She’s a freelance writer, an old soul, and a chronic DIY-er. Connect with Allie or see more of her work on her website.