A Welcome Home Checklist and A Favorite Poem

This is not a list to be done daily, nor is it meant to convey the impression we must be perfect, and live in a perfectly clean, magazine-worthy home.  No!  It is just the "ultimate" list I finally wrote because I was always forgetting something and wanted it all in one place.  My windows will never be spotless.  But it sounds good on the list, doesn't it?  It's a goal - something to shoot for.  But don't worry - your house doesn't need to be perfect to be welcoming.  In fact, perfect homes are not welcoming.  We don't want our homes to be hotel rooms.  My fridge will always be covered in photos, magnets, and drawings.  That gives us pleasure.  I think refrigerators without childish decor looks sterile and unfriendly.  I'll take a lived in, much loved home over a perfect home any day!  This is just for offering tips to help you spruce up your living areas, or for help before throwing a big party.

A Welcome Home
 Curb Appeal

¨    Lawn is mowed and watered regularly
¨    Plants are in good condition; flowers deadheaded; a minimum of plants and garden decor
¨    Property is clear of trash, newspapers, animal droppings, toys and other items
¨    Walkways, porches, masonry, and decks are clean
¨    Door is clean and beautiful porch light is cobweb-free
¨    Windows are spotless
¨    Mailbox, door hardware, railings and address plaque are in like-new condition
¨    Does your porch area make you smile?
¨    The appearance of your front yard declares that you love your home!
Entrance Way

¨    Area is clean and free from overspilling shoes, papers, jackets, sports equipment - items are where they belong in a closet or drawers
¨    Launch pad of keys, phones and other items are neat or in bins
¨    A subtle scent, such as vanilla, but no odors such as pets, stinky cooking, shoes, etc.
¨    Mirror is clean
¨    An electric candle or small decorative lamp on a timer says Welcome Home!
Kitchen and Dining Room

¨    Sinks, faucets, and all reflective items are glistening
¨    All appliances are clean on the outside, and the inside
¨    Cupboards and fridge contents are tidy and not overcrowded
¨    Countertops and tabletops are clear
¨    Pet dishes are clean; pet area is clean
¨    Sink is clean; dirty dishes are in dishwasher; run at night, unload in morning
¨    Trash cans aren't overflowing and aren't odorous; visible small cans are emptied into a larger can and trash is tossed at the end of each evening; small recycle bin is emptied into larger can outside each evening

Living Room

¨    Windows are smudge-free; sills are clean from dirt and bugs
¨    All items are in their proper places - find bins and other hidden storage to make homes for all items
¨    All surfaces are dust-free
¨    Floor is clean - nothing is stored on the floors
¨    Lights are on in the evenings; especially one decorative lamp on a timer; electric candles are placed about on timers; a candle or lamp is in a front window making commuters wish they lived in your welcoming home!

¨    All clean clothes are put away; dirty clothes are in a basket (if possible in a laundry area - if not, basket should have a lid for when company comes)
¨    Bed is dressed in luxurious linens, a bedspread you love, no more than 3 plump decorative pillows, and a bed skirt to hide any storage containers under the bed; bed has a headboard
¨    Dressers and nightstands are clear of clutter
¨    Closet is neat - especially the floor; clothes are hung first by type, and then by color; all hangers face the same direction; no brittle plastic, wire or drycleaner hangers

¨    Toilet seat is down
¨    Mirror, sink, counters and bathing area is spotless and shining
¨    Decorative trash can is empty
¨    Personal items in shower aren't too numerous and are not covered in mildew
¨    Mats and rugs are clean and fluffy
¨    Shower curtain or doors are clean
¨    Plenty of toilet paper readily accessible
¨    Clean towels
¨    Floor is clean of hair and footprints
¨    Cupboards are decluttered and ready for company to view

From a favorite childhood book of mine, Childcraft Vol. 2.  It's fun to say aloud. Gets me back to remembering how much fun it was to play house.  I'd read this poem and wish for my own house to care for.  Well, I have it! Let's keep that spirit and pass it down to our own children!

 This is read at the same tempo as "Custard the Dragon" by Ogden Nash.


  1. Hello, thank you for sharing this. Im OCD and am always looking for different ways to clean..
    Blessings*Your new follower

    1. Thank you! I'll jump over and peruse your blog. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Hey Janine, I just love this post! Like I said in my comment to you on my blog - we are kindred spirits. You have my heart with this post. I live in a little house on the freeway and I've been busy making it a beautiful place to live these days with my fall harvest decor. I just love this and I'm sharing on welcomehomeministry.com's fb page!

    1. Thanks, Tiffiney! That's sweet of you to share my post. I really enjoy your blog!

  3. Hi, Janine...I'm going to echo my girl Tiffiney, whom I have to thank for leading me to you, and say that we are kindred spirits. You had me with this: "I am a Keeper at Home, the one who watches, guards and maintains our home…the vital center of our life. My intent is to have our home be a sanctuary of love, peace, warmth and order." YES! Me, too! Looking forward to following you from now on! :)

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! I sure appreciate your sweet comment!


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