Preparing your home for your home exchange partner is akin to having guests coming over. The exception is that they are going to stay in your house for the next week or two, and not just for dinner.
What should be the things to prepare? Where does one start? Which things can be left as they are?
From experienced home exchangers, some practical tips have been collated through the years for use by first-time home exchangers. Some of them are quite simple. Some are just practical things one needs to do even in ordinary situations. Others, of course, are important requirements.
This is one of the first requirements in preparing for your house guests. Check out all the clothes in your closet and get rid of all those that you have not worn for the past year (you don’t like them anymore), those that are in need of repair (you don’t care for them), and those that you hoped would fit you again (they won’t).
Put them all in bags to give away to friends, family or charity. Do these in all the closets in your house. Traditionally, it is expected that you leave considerable space (and plenty of hangers, too!) in these closets for use by your guests.
The overall plan is to make enough room for your guests, and your personal items have to be moved and stored elsewhere.
Assign one room or perhaps a closet to be off-limits to your guests. This is where you store your personal items you leave behind: jewelry, your papers and private correspondences, very personal toiletries, delicate items, treasured art pieces, personal knick-knack items, etc. You will discover there is now plenty of space in the house for use by your guests.
Basic toiletry items such as toilet paper, soaps, and other cleaning items should be available and ready. Store your personal items (toothbrushes, shavers, etc.) in some nearby drawer. A fresh supply of clean bath and hand towels (as well as bed sheets, pillow case and other related items) should be available, too.
A supply of hand soaps, bath salts, or body lotion would spice up your bathroom. This is just an idea. You may have your own pleasant surprises for your guests.