How to Prep Your Place for Airbnb

I’m sure you’ve booked an Airbnb before while traveling, but have you ever wondered what it would be like to use Airbnb to make a little extra cash while you’re traveling for work, on vacation, or crashing at your best friend’s because you’re watching her dog while she’s out of town? If you’re able to, why not? I’ll be honest, you’re going to want a pretty minimalistic, tidy space to make this work, but if you’ve ever considered listing your place, here are some tips to get ready for guests.

Leave Clear Instructions

Anticipate any questions your guests may have. What’s the WiFi password? How does the TV and music set up work? Have all of that information readily available for them. Also consider how you want your home left. Be clear in that ask. If you want all the beds stripped, dirty laundry in the tub, dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and the thermostat set at 74, set that expectation.

Remove Personal Items

Maybe this is just the Criminal Minds binge watcher in me, but if a stranger’s staying in my house, I  don’t want them to have access to anything personal of mine. Put away any mail, paperwork, photos, tech, and clothing.

Lock Up Your Valuables

This may mean that you end up listing your two bedroom apartment as a one bedroom. When I helped a friend prep her apartment to list on Airbnb, we bought a knob with a keyed lock for her walk-in closet. We put all of her valuables and personal items in the closet so they were safe and out of sight. If you eliminate use of the closet by using it to stow away your belongings, you might consider purchasing a clothing rack and setting out a few hangers for your guest to have some hanging space.

Clean Everything

This is just good manners. Everyone wants to be welcomed by a clean home. So make sure you dust, vacuum the floors, wipe down the countertops and bathroom mirror, and clean the toilets and shower. Do this before each guest comes to stay. Maybe this is something you’ll do, or maybe you’ll end up hiring someone to take care of this for you, so, consider whether you want to charge for this in your listing.

Purchase Multiples

This is just for the purpose of making things easier on you. Ideally, I’d say have two sets of sheets, bath towels, hand towels, and washclothes for when you rent your place out. That way you’ll always have a clean set ready for whoever will be staying there next. Put clean sheets on, set out fresh towels, throw everything else in the wash, fold and put away — it’s such a time saver not having to wait on that laundry!

Provide Toiletries

Be mindful of the things you might forget while on a trip. Provide toiletries for your guest. Some travel sized toiletries may include: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, and a disposable razor. Consider leaving full-size toiletries for things like shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, lotion, and shaving cream, and replace as needed. Always leave tampons and liners under the sink, just in case.

Lock Up Smart

I am a huge fan of coded deadbolt locks. If you own your home or your landlord will allow this, do it. Having a coded lock allows you to change the code or assign different codes for different people. So you can set a code to only work for the duration of your guest’s stay. That way you don’t have to worry about the logistics of your guests checking in and out, or handing your keys over to a stranger.

Give a Little

If you want to leave a bottle of wine for your guests, you’re welcome to it, but I’m guessing you’re listing your place because you could use the extra cash. Any little extra thing you can do for your guests makes a difference. It could be as simple as typing up a little city guide of your favorite places and recommendations close by for your guest to check out. It’s fun to see what kind of feedback you get from people after introducing them to new places, and you’re enriching their experience of your city!

Ever listed your place on Airbnb? I’d love to hear any tips or stories you have!


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