To be a successful Airbnb host, you need decent reviews. Few travellers would be willing to risk all or part of their holiday on accommodation that previous guests have found lacking in amenities, cleanliness or comfort. Every guest needs to find your accommodation clean, uncluttered and inviting when they arrive - and if they do so, they will no doubt leave you a positive review, thereby boosting your future income.
To prepare for your guests’ arrival, you need to strike a balance between being a hotel and a home: the average Airbnb guest will be looking for somewhere comfortable and homely, but not ‘lived-in’. They may appreciate little, personal touches (such as unopened toiletries for their use, or basic breakfast provisions such as milk and bread), but will definitely not appreciate other reminders that their holiday accommodation is someone else’s house.
To this end, we would suggest that there are five things you really need to stash out of sight (and out of reach) before your guests arrive.
guests will (quite reasonably) expect empty wardrobes and drawers in their bedrooms. Whether you’re renting out a single room or your entire property, your guests will need somewhere to store their own clothes and luggage and may feel uncomfortable if your clothing is still in evidence. If you have a room that is out-of-bounds (such as a locked office or garage), then you can store your clothing in there; if not, consider renting a self storage unit
. Removing clothing from the rooms used by your guests may be a bit of a nuisance, but if it will help you to make money from your spare room then it’s worth doing. It will also deter curious guests from trying on your clothes if the mood takes them.
Personal photos can add charm and character to your home and make your guests feel comfortable, but too many can create a feeling of intrusion, as though your guests are crashing at someone else's house rather than renting holiday accommodation. Place photo albums or framed photos into a lockable storage box, or into any room that is inaccessible to guests, to keep them safe and to make your property look less cluttered.
Don’t assume that your guests will not look at private correspondence, bills or other paperwork. That stuff is like a magnet for some people, they just can’t help themselves. Aside from the idea of someone else reading your private paperwork being rather unnerving, always remember that your guests are strangers and identity theft is a real possibility. Keep your paperwork in a locked drawer (you can use cable ties at a push, to deter casual snoopers at least) or in a self-storage unit designed for archive storage. For documents that have sentimental value or are otherwise irreplaceable, consider investing in a fireproof safe that you could stash under a bed or at the back of a cupboard where it will not be disturbed.
Much like photos, ornaments can add a personal touch that guests would not get from a chain hotel, but too many can create a sense of chaos or clutter. Keep ornaments tasteful and minimal, and store any extra items in self storage or in an area of your home where your guests can’t access. If you have any ornaments that you would be upset to lose, through theft or damage, these are best kept wherever you are living or in a lockable storage box hidden somewhere unobtrusive in your Airbnb accommodation.
5. Personal effects
Toiletries, cosmetics and jewellery don’t have any place in an Airbnb. You may choose to provide travel-sized, unopened bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and handwash for your guests to boost your review ratings, but anything else should be put in a box and stored out of the way - again, hide them in a locked room or cupboard where guests are not permitted, if such is available, or stash them in a self storage unit.
A small self storage unit
can be really useful when renting out your home or rooms via Airbnb, especially if space is at a premium in the property itself. You can access your belongings to return them to their normal places at any time you choose, and in the meantime they’ll be kept clean, safe and dry - and you’ll be the only key holder to your unit, so your privacy will remain intact!