I had a guest complain that a glass-topped table on our porch was "dirty." We are in the middle of winter and though I wipe off the surfaces on the porch between every guest (or every other depending) snow, rain, and dirt can blow onto them. It is an outdoor space after all. Likewise we have a deck and a patio near a fire pit that both have seating. We keep the cushions for the chairs inside, but the outdoor rug can get grimy and sometimes the surfaces may need to be wiped down before sitting. We have a landscaper who comes twice a month in the summer and as needed in spring/fall but we do not do a "deep clean" of outdoor spaces between every guest. I was wondering if we should start or what other hosts do? As a guest myself I never expect anything outdoors to be immaculate, especially on a wooded lot in the middle of winter, but maybe that is not the norm? I know that some guests are not used to things like leaves falling, insect life, etc. Should we expand our cleaning routine to give outdoor space some extra attention?
@Laura2592 I don't keep outdoor areas immaculate, by any means. There could be leaves, cat hair on the cushions, whatever. I rake up the small yard where the trees are and tidy things up and clean that cat hair before a guest arrives, if I have time, but I certainly don't keep cleaning it during a guest stay. I home-share, so I think guests are more accepting in that situation, and I've never had a guest complain.
I wouldn't concern myself with your guest's complaint at all. If outside insect life and fallen leaves is an issue for guests, what in the world are they doing booking a countryside place?
Maybe just provide a small wisk broom and some rags near the outdoor seating area and point it out to guests when they arrive, to deal with the "inevitable daily leaf and dust accumulation" on outside furniture.
I sweep between guests, the garden gets unbelievably messy with dust, leaves, cobwebs. I scrub decks etc a few times a year. I leave a broom and handbroom outside, in case anyone wants to remove the nights leaves. But it's outside, hard to control!
Winter here, @Laura2592 , and I still clean the outdoor spaces as far as possible -- as far as snowbanks/ice allow. I think most people coming to a camping listing in winter would cut me some slack, but there is always that one...
So I would say it is reasonable not to scrub the outdoor spaces out of season, but we are not always dealing with reason.
You would think that guest would understand we don't control the different outside elements like wind or rain, which cause some dirt and dust to get on surfaces haha. I don't think your cleaning procedures for outside areas are lacking. Most reasonable people would expect some dirt or dust, especially during certain seasons.
I live in the Central Valley area of CA, and all the farms here cause a huge amount of dust. I do a light cleaning of the patio stuff between guest, but nothing extensive. I do leave some wipes out on the patio though, so if guests feel they need to clean something a little more before using, it is easy to do so.
@Jennifer1897 we get a lot of guests from either DC or Baltimore who come to the "countryside " for a break. I don't think they have outdoor space of their own so they are honestly not familiar with how dirty it can get.
@Laura2592 I only have a little rooftop terrace connected to the living room, but it will never be used in winter. I do leave the table outside, but the chairs are stacked and roped to the railing and the flower urn is also strapped to the railing so as not to fall over in strong winds and make a terrible mess. If the guests are lucky enough to stay through a storm, I believe they will understand. Wiping off the table if it looks dirty is easy enough, it is much more of a challenge to keep the windows clean, especially if changeover day brings horizontal rain or ditto sleet.
It is really hard to keep outdoor spaces neat in climates that bring all sorts of poor weather. Just try and keep it as neat as possible and ignore one off nit-picky guests.