Q: How do you present a house for home exchange? With the silver, clothes carpets, oil pictures, personal photos? Or empty of valuables and personal items like computer, documents, clothes etc... Thank you for directing me! - Muriel
A: Generally home exchange members just clear enough space in wardrobes and cupboards to enable their exchange guests to unpack and store their clothes and belongings. Leave your home clean and tidy but, as your home doesn’t need to be ‘de-personalised’, there is no need to store anything except personal items or items of value or sentimental value that you would be concerned about. If you have the space, you might want to store such items in an out of bounds, locked room or cupboard, or ask a friend to store smaller items. If not, make it clear in the notes you leave for your exchange guests if there is anything you don’t want them to use.
It can help to exchange with people similar to yourself, e.g. if you don’t have young children, and may be concerned about damage to carpets or furniture, it’s best to exchange with adults only. As you will be corresponding regularly before the exchange takes place, you will be getting to know each other and should feel comfortable about leaving most of your belongings in your home by the time the exchange takes place (your exchange partners will be trusting you to take care of their home and contents too!). What you decide to store before their stay is up to you – it’s best to store anything you would feel anxious about. For additional information read the Home Base Holidays guidelines on organising home swaps.