Hot Tips: Key Steps For Decluttering Airbnb and Short Term Rentals for Property Managers

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Airbnb has four million listings around the world with 650,000 in the United States alone. Property owners are taking full advantage of the high turnover and easy income from these types of short-term rental platforms. The best advice for depersonalizing your home for sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, FlipKey, and others is to think like a hotel owner. Clean and simple. Even though guests know they are staying in someone’s home, they don’t want it to feel that way.

The concept behind decluttering for a vacation rental is to take away all of the things that may make guests feel uncomfortable or feel like they are intruding in your personal space. The process is more straightforward if you are renting out a place that is not your primary residence, however, it is not impossible to do if you still live there as well. Below you will find tips for a few key rooms in any home and how you can make your rentals as comfortable as they can be!

#1. PICK A THEME

Pick a style that will allow photos of your home to stand out among the other hundreds of listings. Choosing and sticking with a particular theme will also make it very easy to coordinate accessories, décor and utility items.

  • Nautical
  • Farmhouse
  • Beach Inspired
  • Urban Modern
  • Bohemian
  • Industrial
  • Shabby Chic

stack of towels with a soap dispenser in a bathroom closeup

#2. MAKE THE BATHROOM(S) ON POINT

Whether it’s ever been publicly admitted or not, the facility in a home is a room that’s guaranteed to have most, if not all guests staying in your rental, visit. With that being said, you’ll want to make this room and the next few items listed are up to par in comfort and presence.

TOWELS

Remove faded and stained towels.

No one wants to see or use old stained towels. You want your guests to feel clean and refreshed after bathing. Choose a nice set of towels in 1 or 2 colors that match your chosen theme. Layer hand, face, and body towels neatly on the rack, so it always looks like the maid just left.

TOILETRIES

Remove mismatched and half empty soap products.

Choose a shampoo, conditioner, body wash and hand soap that are all by the same brand. Coordinating these supplies will make it easy to restock and bring a very “put together” look to the bathroom. Do not purchase bar soap of any kind for any reason; it’s just a gross mess waiting to happen.

Bonus bathroom items: hairdryer, a small jar of cotton balls or q-tips

White Kitchen Interior with Island, Sink, Cabinets, and Hardwood Floors

#3. THE KITCHEN SHOULD BE A FOCAL POINT

Who’s hungry? Your guests! When staying in a rental, it’s not always a #1 option to go out every night to eat. Be sure to accommodate your short-term rental property with all proper equipment to feed the number of people that is the max allowed to stay on the property while renting.

COUNTERS

Remove almost everything from the countertops.

Kitty cat cookie jars, vintage Tupperware filled with raisin bran and the ceramic plaque your daughter made at fourth-grade summer camp have all got to go. Clear off the counters entirely, except for the absolute necessities. The only things that should be visible on the kitchen counter is a coffee machine, toaster, paper towels and possibly a dish drying rack.  

CABINETS

Remove all previously opened food containers.

Assume that guests will look through every one of your kitchen cabinets. Half-eaten bags of potato chips and random unrecognizable foods inside of ziplock bags will be a turnoff. The only acceptable food your guests should have access to are (not expired) spices like salt, pepper, sugar, honey, etc. Neatly arrange plates, cups, and bowls and remove anything you don’t want anyone to use.

REFRIGERATOR

Remove everything from the fridge.

If you can’t remove everything from your fridge because you still live in the home, take everything out and scrub the fridge down until it looks brand new. Rinse all bottles and condiment containers to remove sticky drip marks. Move your things to one side and create an empty shelf that guests can use for things like milk or restaurant leftovers.

Bonus kitchen items: coffee, tea bags, water, soda.

#4. CREATE COMFORTABLE BEDROOM(S)

Check out our previous post on Decluttering Your Spare Bedroom for Holiday Guests.

modern living room design with sofa and wooden lamp

#5. THE COZY LIVING ROOM

This needs no explanation. Whether it’s family game night, a sports event is on or it’s time to wind down from the day packed with fun, always ensure the comfort and amenities to provide that comfort is provided in the living room of any rental home.

KITSCH

Remove heirloom and handmade items.

Even though I’m sure you have a beautiful family, no one wants to look at family photos of grandma and the kids at Disneyland when they’re trying to unwind. Yellowing crocheted pillows and hand knitted throws on the couch are not appealing unless you are going for the Farmhouse, French Country or Shabby Chic theme. A few tchotchkes are acceptable but try not to overwhelm guests with your collection of porcelain cat figurines.

DECORATIVE

Remove fragile or irreplaceable items.

The vintage glass vase you bought at the traveling antique show is gorgeous but do you want to leave its safety up to chance? It is best to remove fragile or one of a kind items that could get broken or trigger guests who may be recovering kleptomaniacs.

Bonus living room items: stereo, coffee table books, houseplant

STASH Storage boxes loading into truck

Are you thinking of renting out your home for a short-term rental? Let STASH help you clear away the clutter to ensure your guests have a memorable experience and leave great reviews!

Simply schedule a pick up a few days before your next guest arrives to make your place a haven of hospitality. Once your guests leave, STASH can return whatever you need to make your place like home again in no time.

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