Prepping the house for short-term renters

When we tell people that we rent our house on Airbnb and VRBO, we get a lot of questions. “How do you keep your house clean?” “Where do you put your things?” “Wait, you live there during the week with all of those kids… how does that work?”

During the school year we rent our house only on the weekends and we live there during the week. My children attend a Montessori school and it’s become a big part of who they are. My kids have such a joy of learning and exploring, and that spills over into our weekend adventures. They have a level of confidence that I could have only dreamt of having as a kid. I believe their Montessori experience is preparing them to go anywhere and be anything they want to be. I sometimes dream of traveling with them full-time but we aren’t ready for that just yet!

Living in our house during the week definitely makes things a little more difficult. It’s amazing how quickly our family (my boys,) can make a perfectly neat house a complete mess. For the most part, when renters check out, they leave the house just as clean and it was when we turned it over to them…with the exception of glitter! Nashville has become a hot destination for bachelorette parties and that’s mainly who we rent to. It’s funny how many of those involve glitter and confetti.

We start our week by unloading our van and the mess ensues from there. By the time the weekend rolls around again, I have a long list of things to do to prepare for our next renters. It isn’t an easy process, but we’ve been doing it long enough to have a routine– it has gotten easier!

  • Put away all of the toys and random items that have been strewn about the house throughout the week. (We lock two bedrooms and one closet when we rent, so behind those doors is everything we don’t want our renters to see!)
  • Wash all of the sheets and place on beds for the cleaner.
  • Wash and fold towels and roll into baskets for each bathroom.
  • Check fridge and throw out or remove any food
  • Clean microwave
  • Wash all dishes and put them away
  • Make sure all trash is emptied and replace bags
  • Refill and restock toilet paper, soap, paper towels and shampoos
  • Make sure all areas that are off limits to guests are locked
  • The house cleaner comes to do the rest of the cleaning. I have tried to do this myself, and it is SO worth it to pay a professional! (We charge the guest the cleaning fee.) By the time we are both done, you wouldn’t know anyone lived there at all! 

Once we turn the house over to the cleaner, Elliott and I usually crash at my parent’s house for the day. We wait until the boys get out of school and Daniel gets off work, and then we head out on a weekend adventure. If we have an event in Nashville that we want to be around for, we just stay with my parents for the weekend. We are so fortunate that my parents live on the same street as us! My mom is so helpful and supportive and it’s great to have an extra set of eyes watching over our house while we are gone.

It’s now the end of May and we only have a few days of school left! We will soon be hitting the road for 8 weeks. While I am thankful for our weekend travels and love sharing our home with guests on the weekends, I am looking forward to easier turnovers and spending the days with my kids!

2 Comment

  1. This sounds so amazing. I would love to do this!! I’m trying to convince Oliver… Life is too short! I can’t wait to read about your adventure!

    1. shorttermjourney_qehkxu says: Reply

      You should totally do it! Life is short and the kids grow up so fast!

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