Many of us feel rushed to make our homes look perfect before a house guest arrives, myself included. But, because we all have lives (read: work, family, friends), that's usually pretty unrealistic. Instead of aiming for 'perfect,' try to aim for 'reasonably clean and organized.' It will not only make you less stressed before your guest arrives, but it allows your guest to feel a little more at home, and less at a museum. Here are a few ways to do so:
1) Don't clean the whole house from top to bottom, if you don't have time. Instead, do wipe down counter tops, clean toilet bowls or showers that are in need of a cleaning, and sweep the floor. It should be clean without taking the time to scrub and sweat.
2) Do have clean linens available for your guest - sheets and towels. If you're short on time, don't make the bed or set up the bathroom area. Leaving a freshly folded set of linens in the bathroom or bedroom the guest will use can suffice.
3) Don't feel the need to have a major spread of snacks and refreshments available at all times. Do take the time to have a couple things on hand though. Store bought will do the trick!
4) Don't make the guest room/space immaculate, if you're pressed for time. Do make sure the space has a cleared floor to move around the room, ample lighting and ventilation. Your guest will want space to move around the bed, dress and possibly unpack a bit for longer stays.
5) Keep in mind that your guest understands that people live in this home! You have your normal routines that will likely still be somewhat intact while your guest stays with you. If it seems something your guest is unfamiliar with or curious about, explain as much as you are comfortable sharing, and even invite them to join in. For example, everyday, come rain or shin, you walk a mile before breakfast. Let your house guest know about this routine. He/She may like the fresh air, too!