Once you have found your home exchange partner, there are many things you will want to do as a host that will make the home swap experience an enjoyable and memorable one for both parties. The primary goal of preparing for the home exchange is to get your house in order for the arrival of your guests.
For items like televisions, the VCR, appliances, alarm systems, air conditioners, heating units and the washer and dryer, leave written directions and owner’s manuals in a convenient location so your house swap guests know how to use them and fix them in case of problems. You should also leave a list of the people you use for your home repairs in case something more major happens to the house. If you have pets and plants and they are not a part of the home swap, leave instructions that are clearly written as to their care.
You should put on hold the delivery of your mail if you are involved in a house swap and temporarily discontinue the delivery of your newspaper.
When doing a house swap, you should also provide space in dresser drawers and in the closets for your guests’ clothes and leave them plenty of hangers as well. You should also leave them clean towels and linens and let them know where they can find more if they run out. Stock up on items like toilet paper, bath soap and cleaning supplies so your guests will not need to purchase them in order to keep up the maintenance of your house. Your own valuable items should be stored away or locked up in a closet or safe.
Other preparations for a home exchange involve paying your bills ahead of time and getting the lawn mowed or bushes trimmed so your house swap guests do not need to be concerned about the maintenance of the property. If a car is part of the exchange, the guests will need to have copies of your auto insurance and registration; you might also want to get your car serviced so it is in working order. You should also leave emergency numbers for the police, the fire department, your doctor and a nearby hospital and the name and number of a friend or relative in case of emergencies. Also leave your cell phone number, any other numbers where you can be reached and your itinerary in case your guests need to reach you. Finally, make sure your home is clean and in order for your home exchange guests.