Hosts, I know that you want to make your rentals as cosy as possible. And I realise that you want to make your guests feel right at home. But that doesn’t always mean that you’re making life easy for yourself.
An important maxim to remember when you’re furnishing your rental is this – every item you add to the place is something that you have to clean.
‘Ha’ you might say, ‘I’m more organised than that. I employ a cleaner’. Ah yes but if you have back-to-back bookings, and I sincerely hope you have, then you or your cleaner has the job of getting your place into great shape for your next guest in between check out (11 am?) and check-in (3 pm?) so the question is, do you (or your cleaner) really have the time to dust that elaborate dried flower arrangement every single time?
If the answer is yes, then what other cleaning job is being sacrificed?
You might be lucky enough to be furnishing your rental from scratch. If so, have CLEANING, in all caps, at the forefront of your mind when you’re buying.
Here’s are a few items that have no place in a rental.
- Velvet anything. It’s waning in popularity, thank goodness, but a few years ago the height of fashion in interiors was a velvet sofa. And they are a pig to clean. A pig. Hairs, crumbs, fluff, you name it, you’ll spend ages messing with your hand-held and you’ll still need to go over it with your lint roller
- Those glass shower screens. (See below). At one time, I had one rental with and one without. Needless to say, the one with took much longer to clean. Shower curtains are easier – just throw them in the washer with the rest of the laundry
- The aforementioned dried flower arrangement et al. Everything decorative has to be cleaned, remember. And today we are judged on cleanliness publicly. With most services we use, guests are encouraged to leave reviews. Even if they don’t we are still at the mercy of reviews thanks to Trip Advisor, Google, Yelp and so on.
- Complex light fittings, such as fancy chandeliers, can take ages to clean properly. They also quickly get dusty
- Depending on the climate, avoid fitted carpets which can be a nightmare. Imagine a guest spilling a bottle of red wine onto a fitted carpet … now imagine that you don’t know about it until a week later when they check out. You’d more than likely have to replace the entire carpet
- Rooms invariably look better without knickknacks. Every ornament you put onto that bare surface needs dusting and cleaning
- Too much kitchen stuff can take ages to clean. When people are on a trip, it’s natural that doing the dishes isn’t a priority. So some will use every cup, glass, fork, etc. in the place. Even if they are great at doing the dishes, you or your cleaner will have to check them for stray blobs of egg or dried on cornflakes. Provide only as much as the guests reasonably need
- Any furniture that is heavily carved and curlicued. (Also those fancy picture frames). They are hard to clean, especially when your goal is to get the place turned over quickly
There are many more items, of course, and will vary depending on your personal taste.
It’s a good idea though to review your policy, if indeed it is your policy, to add things to your rental to make it homely. The place might look totally fabulous when it’s ready but have you been into your rental when guests are staying? A suitcase or two here and a few coats thrown onto the sofa there.
There’ll be a lot of your guests’ belongings scattered about the place and just as guests don’t want to do the dishes when they’re on a trip, neither do they have much enthusiasm for being neat and tidy.
I’ve looked at our rentals proudly when checking them just prior to the guests’ arrival. They look so tidy and spotless. I’m sure you’ve done the same. But believe me, if you’ve never seen your rental during the guests’ tenure then just try to imagine it. No, it’s worse than that, honest.
Although hosts often say that they are looking for somewhere ‘with character’ or a place where they can ‘see personality’, they don’t mean cluttered and fussy. Most guests want a blank canvas.
So another point to remember is that the chances are that your guests will want to leave your rental in a clean and tidy condition when they check out. Just like you, they don’t have the time or the inclination to dust and polish and lint roll and swab and sweep and …
By cutting down on the clutter, you’ll be doing your guests a favour as well as yourself.
For some years now landlords, Airbnb hosts, hotel designers and the like have been warned that glass shower doors in rental apartments or rooms can cause trouble both minor and major. The chances are that you'll recall that this began with a well documented legal case when a guest had an injury due to a glass shower door.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.