With the volume of guests coming through your property every week, its painfully obvious that there’s a lot of maintenance required to keep things looking its best and functioning property. If it’s not maintained properly, it will surely show up in your reviews and nobody wants bad reviews!
So to help reduce maintenance and wear and tear on your property, here are 3 things you can do.
• Don’t ask guests to start a load of towels.
Is it really the timesaver that we want to believe? Here’s what I have observed. Guests will overload washers which is hard on the washer. They will throw in sandy towels which clogs the drain. The dryer also takes a beating with residual sand even after the towels are washed. Guests generally will not spot treat towels. And believe it or not, guests are washing towels in cold water.
Your best bet is to send out towels and sheets. When they come back they have been washed in hot water with bleach, if needed, and they are uniformly folded.
• Move the beds away from the walls.
I see this all the time where the beds are pushed into a corner leaving only one side and one end with easy access. In order to make the beds they have to be pulled away from the wall which causes stress on the bed frame and scratches on the floor.
The walls also take a beating from the cleaner rubbing up against the wall while making the bed. Moving the bed out is unavoidable in order to make a bed. Guests also bump into the wall in their sleep which leaves marks on the walls. Moving the bed away from the wall also allows for easier access by the guest.
Moving the bed out 18 inches from the walls allows for easier cleaning and is more accommodating for the guests getting into and out of bed.
• No big secret here. Provide doors mats for all exterior doors, both inside and out. It’s amazing the amount of grit and dirt that gets tracked into a house. Now imagine that you’ve got 8 people coming and going multiple times per day and the amount of dirt being tracked in. The door mats will catch a lot of dirt so it’s not coming into the house. Not only is the sand rough on the floors it also collects under sofa/chair cushions and in the bathtub causing slow drains and clogs. Be sure to provide a broom and dustpan and a stick vacuum so the guests can clean up. No everyone likes walking around on dirty floors.
Something else to try is a landing space where guests can drop their dirty shoes and hang up wet, sandy beach towels. Whether its on the front porch or by the back door doesn’t really matter as long as it’s easy for them to kick off their shoes, rinse their feet and hang towels. If there’s room for a small bench, even better. More likely than not, a hose or outdoor shower will be at the back door. Just make sure wherever the landing pad is, they have direct access to the house since they are now shoeless.
There are any number of ways to make your bed and there are plenty of options and different looks to consider. You can weigh the pros and cons to see what works best for your house.
These four things are the “basic foundation” for every bed. Let’s start with the mattress and work our way up.
• Every mattress should have a waterproof mattress cover that covers the entire mattress, top, bottom and sides. These are not padded, just a sturdy plastic that zips at the bottom.
• Next a waterproof mattress pad for added comfort. Not just a plastic cover. This can have a little padding or a lot. Be mindful that it will need to be laundered from time to time so make sure it will fit in your washer or be prepared to send it to the laundry. You also want to make sure it fits properly. It should have elastic all the way around, fits snugly and doesn’t shift around.
• The fitted sheet goes on next followed by the flat sheet.
• Choose quality pillows and use pillow protectors to extend their life expectancy.
A note about sheets They should be good quality and can withstand the sanitizing process of hot water and heat. Sheets should FIT your mattress. Don’t try to pass off a queen set for a full size bed. If the mattresses are extra deep, make sure your sheets and mattress covers are specifically for deep mattresses. Of course the sheets are white!
How you choose to finish the bed is up to you. Let’s call it “dressing the bed”. There are bed spreads, comforters, duvets, blankets, throw blankets, quilts, coverlets, bed skirts, box spring covers, shams, bed scarves and pillows to work with.
A bed spread goes all the way down to the floor on all sides and is extra long which allows it to be tucked under and over the bed pillows. They are big and heavy and expensive to launder and bulky to store. They are passe and I don’t think I’ve seen an actual bed spread in a short term rental.
Duvet vs Comforter
A comforter acts as one piece. It’s got fabric on both the top and bottom and a stuffing, if you will, sandwiched in between and it’s all sewn together. A comforter of just about any size will not fit into a standard washer and dryer and will need to be sent to the cleaners which can be quite costly. With repeated washings the stuffing can become lumpy and lose its puffiness. They are very bulky and take up a lot of storage space. This really isn’t the best option for STRs.
A duvet is essentially the inside puffy part. It can be made of down or manmade fibers or a blend of the two. The duvet is placed into the duvet cover, much like a pillow in a pillow case, and has either buttons or zips at the bottom. Traditionally when using a duvet cover, you can skip the top sheet. The upside is that the duvet cover is easily laundered. The downside is that putting the whole sha-bang together again can be time consuming and it takes patience to get it nice and smooth. It can add an additional 10-15 minutes to making the bed. This is important to keep in mind when you have same day turnovers. If you have 4 beds that’s almost an extra hour spent just changing out the duvets. That’s a lot of time that could be better spent cleaning. I know owners who had duvets and changed them out to light weight quilts. You can use the duvet cover without the duvet either on the bed or at the foot of the bed. By the way, I have yet to meet a housekeeper who likes duvets.
Quilt vs Coverlet
A quilt is constructed of 2 pieces of fabric with a layer of batting for extra warmth. A coverlet is similar to a quilt but without the extra batting in the middle so it is a little lighter and ideal for warmer weather. Both of these can be thrown into a washer and depending on your laundry service there is no upcharge.
Blanket vs Throw Blanket
These can be interchangeable and they are sized to fit a bed. A throw blanket is a more casual feel and can give you a lot of color and design options if you are looking for more personality than a typical blanket can offer. Throw blankets look great folded across the bottom of the bed. The blanket is usually used as an extra layer of warmth but depending on the style can be used as the top layer of the bed.
Throw Blanket vs Throw
A throw blanket is sized to fit a bed, be it a king, queen, full or twin. A throw is typically about 50”x36” and is great for one person to snuggle under and typically seen over the back of a chair or sofa or foot of the bed as an accept piece.
What is a Bed Scarf?
A bed scarf is a length of fabric placed at the foot of the bed. I think the original intention was to protect the bedcovers from suitcases that are frequently placed on the bed by travelers. Now it’s more frequently used as a decorative element.
Bed Skirt vs Box Spring Cover
A bed skirt is intended to cover the box springs and to hide the bed frame. It is placed between the box springs and the mattress. I don’t especially care for bed skirts as they get all tangled up when you are making the bed and they are hard to keep looking neat and straight. Yes, they will have to be laundered from time to time and it’s time consuming as the mattress will have to be taken off the bed. I have yet to see one on a bed that is straight and even. Not a fan.
The box spring cover or wrap is just that, it basically covers the box spring and can be put on without removing the mattress. Some platform beds are high enough that a box spring isn’t needed. I have found that a box springs cover has a nice clean look. I prefer this to a sloppy bed skirt any day.
Shams vs Accent Pillow
A sham is pretty much a decorative pillow cover. Sometimes they are reversible. You can typically get shams that match guilts, coverlets, and duvet covers. Even though they are decorative, they will be slept on. If you opt for shams know that they need to stand up to a lot of washing. A more decorative pillow case with an embroidered edge makes a nice substitute for a sham.
A single accent pillow will make a statement. Just remember the cover on the accent pillow should be removable for easy laundering because it does get dirty. They usually end up on the floor when the guests go to bed.