Hosting Your First Home Swap: How to Prepare Your Home

At Kindred, we specialize in transforming the home swapping journey into a seamless and memorable experience. Our comprehensive guide, crafted specifically for first-time hosts, will navigate you through the nuances of preparing your home for a successful home swap.

Spacious and sunny living room in a Truckee home with modern décor, featuring a stone fireplace, large windows.
Kindred member home: Truckee

Thinking about hosting your first guest through a home exchange? Don't worry! At Kindred, we've thought of everything. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make your home ready for an unforgettable home swapping experience.

New to home swapping? Here are some of the most common questions folks have when they begin their home swap journey.

Some things to keep in mind:

Don't be stressed!

Kindred members know this is a home, not a vacation rental - so don't worry about having clothes in your closets, pictures on your walls, or stuff in your drawers.

Get started the day before

Your first time will always take a bit longer as you decide what to leave out and what to put away. Give yourself ample time to do this comfortably without feeling rushed. Once you get the hang of it, it should take less than 45 minutes to get your home prepped, depending on the size.

Focus on de-cluttering, not cleaning!

It's tempting to start wiping down surfaces or start cleaning as you prep, but resist the urge! Focus on tucking away any unnecessary clutter and personal items. Our cleaners will clean your home thoroughly before your guest's arrival and after their departure.

Every Kindred member receives complimentary host essentials including guest sheets, towels, toiletries, and a comprehensive hosting guide.

Room-by-room prep guide:


Clear the bathroom counter of any personal items, including toothbrushes, floss, medications, and mouthwash. Leave out hand soap or hand lotion.

  • Remove items from the shower (shampoo, conditioner, loofahs, razors, etc.) - we provide guest toiletries!
  • Store your towels and bathmat - we've provided guest sets!
  • Please check to make sure there's a full roll of toilet paper, and a back-up roll easily available.
Beautiful Bathroom in Kindred Member's Home
Kindred member home: San Francisco


  • Put away clothes and shoes in dressers or closets.
  • It's okay to keep decorative items or photos on your dressers or tabletops.
  • For trips longer than a week, we recommend clearing a drawer or some hanging space in your closet for your guests.
Kindred Member Home in Nashville
Kindred member home: Nashville


  • Remove perishable food from the refrigerator that is likely to spoil while you're away.
  • Put our "Privacy Please" stickers on select cabinets containing items you don't want your guests to use (e.g. liquor cabinet).
  • Feel free to use the Kindred sticker notes to share any non-obvious instructions on cleaning or appliances (e.g. "Please hand wash these glasses" or "Garbage disposal is broken").
Kindred Member's Home in Nashville
Kindred member home: Nashville

Living Spaces

  • Put any personal items away in closets or drawers (e.g. computer chargers, papers, packages, children's toys). It's okay to leave out décor items!
  • Use the Kindred sticker notes to share any non-obvious instructions (e.g. "Gas key for fireplace is in top drawer")
Comfortable Living Room in Kindred Member's Home in Denver
Kindred member home: Denver

It's normal to have lots of questions when embarking on your first home exchange. We're here for you every step of the way! Every Kindred member is assigned a dedicated concierge to help answer any and all questions on your home exchange journey. We're committed to ensuring your home exchange experience is magical.

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