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    Inspiration, Enthusiasm, Energy, Creativity

    For this Airbnb hostess, the arrival of spring signals time to roll up my sleeves and get to work. With Airbnb taking the lead as the budget conscious traveler’s answer to quality, comfortable, temporary housing, the number of local hosts is on the rise. This means to stay competitive I need to really be on my game.

    Where do I start?

    My annual Airbnb prep serves dual purpose. Not only am I getting prepared to offer my guests 5-star accommodations, I am checking off all of the spring/summer chores that I need to do anyway — but with just a little more enthusiasm because I know I am getting paid for my efforts!

    Prioritization is KEY to not getting overwhelmed. I live and die by “The List” and prefer to start with the bigger chores, making everything else seem easy. Keep in mind that I am hosting all summer, so my major prep items are getting a lot of mileage and setting me up for my return to a beautiful and clean home with no chores!

    The Majors

    1. Power wash the house and outdoor furniture

    2. Freshen up paint

    3. Total yard clean up — including gutters

    4. Have the windows washed – My house has a lot of glass so this is a must. With two Great Danes I have to do the interiors myself (read: daily) but need a pro for the exteriors

    5. Steam clean carpets – critical in a house with pets or children

    6. Organize the garage – I use my garage code in lieu of keys, so I like this area to be neat and clean.

    7. Organize closets and drawers – People peek. I truly don’t care if you wear my clothes, but I do care if you leave thinking I’m a disaster behind closed doors — and this is a great time to make those donations you’ve been putting off.

    8. Do any needed repairs – You don’t want your guest calling on a Sunday night because the shower is leaking or the washing machine is out of order.

    The Minors

    1. Organize the kitchen and bathroom cabinets – Toss out-of-date products and wash the shelves

    2. Pare down personal items – I keep things pretty sparse, leaving just a few travel photos and artifacts. No one wants to see your beau’s photo on the bedside table or your collection of baby photos. Keep it simple.

    3. Wash and iron curtains, slip covers, throw blankets, shower curtains, etc. – Nothing smells like home more than a Downy-fresh blanket!

    4. Clean ceiling fans and light fixtures – Pay attention to those items we neglected all winter.

    5. Small touch, but replace any cracked or yellowed switch plate covers – Fresh, white, will make you happy and look bright and clean. I added USB outlets in each room recently (and my quality of life has improved exponentially).

    6. Plants – They purify the air and give an airy fresh feel. Add palms for greens that don’t need to be watered daily.

    The Details

    This is the fun part!

    → Think hotel/spa. Travelers are weary. Easy bathroom updates can include fresh candles, matching towels, and bathrobes. Add a bathroom tray and supply hotel toiletries. These small touches go a long way.

    → Fresh flowers on the counter, baked cookies, a bottle of wine/beer/bubbles.

    → Provide the basics: paper products, laundry soap, coffee/cream

    → Supply local guide books, maps, suggestions on what to do/see/eat/drink

    → Contact your local gym — mine created a private class guest package perfect for group getaways!

    Pro Tips

    1. Fix any hazards – A broken step, loose handrail; anything that can potentially cause an injury.

    2. Safeguard your valuables – Lock up any documents or items of value.

    3. Leave detailed instructions and house rules – I framed mine and hung them so they are easy for all guests to access.

    4. Frame a list of “Local Bests” – Best margarita/martini, sunset cruise, spin class, massage, dinner with kids, beach — share the best of what your town has to offer.

    5. Be available – Leave your cell for texts and answer questions promptly.

    6. Do reach out to guests prior to arrival in case they have questions or need suggestions. There’s an organizer in each group and the assist is always appreciated!


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