Preparing your home for exchange

Spring CleaningAs the main summer season for exchanging approaches, some members - particularly new members - ask what they need to do to prepare their home for guests.  A good starting point is to think "clean and comfortable", so there's rarely a need to redecorate, but a good old fashioned Spring Clean will never go amiss along with sorting out any odd jobs that you've been putting off.


Obviously the amount of work will depend on your home, but here's a checklist of things to consider.


  • ​Clean windows inside and out

  • Hoover under beds and sofas
  • Declutter and tidy throughout
  • Remove any cobwebs and dust throughout
  • Ensure there is drawer and hanging space in every bedroom where guests will be staying
  • Leave all beds with clean linen and explain where clean linen and towels are kept
  • Clean the fridge and leave at least one shelf for your guests
  • Defrost the freezer and leave at least one shelf for your guests
  • Clean the oven and hob (professional oven cleaners are available and do a great job!)
  • Thoroughly clean the kitchen and bathroom ensuring both are grease and mould free


  • It's a HomeLink tradition to leave a welcome note and gift such as a bottle of wine
  • Leave the makings of a first meal along with bread, milk and other staples if possible
  • Leave a comprehensive House Book of useful information
  • Leave all relevant keys clearly marked


  • Mow the lawn
  • Clean the barbeque
  • Check that garden furniture is in good condition
  • Jet-wash patio and paths
  • Leave instructions for any garden and plant care required, but agree this in advance
  • If leaving bicycles, sort out helmets and bike locks


  • Check that your house insurance offers adequate protection while your guests are staying
  • If applicable, add your exchange guests to your car insurance policy and agree in advance any restrictions and liabilities such as excess payments. Read more about car swap.
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