What to do with my personal belongings?

Answered!
Danielle50
Level 2
Kirkland, WA

What to do with my personal belongings?

Hi, I have been hosting with AirBNB at our rental apartment for some time. 

 

I have now decided to rent out our home when we go on vacation. I am getting ready for my first guests at our home next month. I rent out my entire home (except one closet and the garage, which are locket).  This is the home where I normally live in with my husband and cat.  I am bringing the cat to a boarding facility and removing the litter box (and putting it in the garage).

I want to make it clear this is a home where I live in most of the year, that the master bedroom is normally lived in and will have a small amount of personal effects.

 

My question is, how much personal stuff/clothes in the closets, dressers, night stand drawers, bathroom drawers, etc should I clear out?  I can empty my dresser drawers into bins and put my clothes in the garage and I can also empty out all of the bathroom drawers and cabinets, but this will take a lot of time every time I have a guest. 

 

Would you remove files from your desk drawers? What is the expectation and what would you do?

The first guests are only staying 5 nights so not sure if this is necessary. I am hoping to get a long term renter in December for 15-30 nights of which I would probably make more room.

 

Any advice? Also photographs, etc, do you remove them?


Thanks!
Danielle

1 Best Answer
Leigh397
Level 2
Farragut, TN

Responding as a guest, we just completed a 6-night stay in a property that was so obviously someone’s residence I felt personally uncomfortable. My husband and I stayed in the master bedroom. When we travel we don’t live out of our suitcases, and when looking for drawer space to unpack our clothing and toiletries I found no empty drawers. I was shocked and even offended to find personal clothing and other items in every drawer including thong panties wadded up in the top dresser drawer and another pair of underwear among other things in my bedside table where I would’ve put my own belongings. 
There was one small empty closet space with upper & lower hanging areas but no tall place to hang a dress. 

Every drawer/cupboard in the bathroom contained the owner’s belongings that were randomly placed, containers that were left open, used, dirty, and so on. It was just gross. I don’t need to see an opened box of hair color, reading glasses and a used toothbrush by the sink, and 7 partial bottles of shampoo in the shower. 

In the kitchen we found bottles of medicine next to the dinner plates and opened food left in the refrigerator. Am I being a snob to let this bother me?
With COVID19 still an issue, as soon as we arrived I cleaned every surface and touch point (door knobs, remote controls, etc) with antibacterial wipes and washed all of the dishes & silverware our family of 8 might use. This was time consuming but I felt necessary as this property did not give me the feeling it was really clean.
I felt like the owners simply packed a few things & went to stay with friends while collecting $3,200 from us to house sit for them for the next 6 nights.
We are not eager to rent an Airbnb again because of this experience. What a shame. 

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21 Replies 21
Melissa1853
Level 2
New York, NY

I only rent my beach condo for about 5 weeks each summer. I put a lock on the walk-in closet and use that to store all my personal belongings as well as extra supplies for my cleaning lady. I have luggage racks, and over the door hanging rods hanging on the outside of the walk-in closet for hanging tall dresses, etc. There are lots of drawers in both bedrooms (bedside and dressers which are all completely emptied for guests). The bathrooms are completely emptied of all personal items and put into the walk-in closet. I provide in shower dispensers with shampoo, conditioner and body soap. There is hand soap provided in dispensers as well. I also keep a storage unit just for the summer where I move some things like my printer, winter clothes, heavy comforters, etc. From a guest perspective they see no personal items. The kitchen is fully stocked with pots, pans, plates but no food is left except spices. We also keep one cabinet locked in the kitchen where my cleaning lady keeps extra coffee pods for the Keurig, cleaning supplies, etc. Hope that helps.

Leigh397
Level 2
Farragut, TN

Responding as a guest, we just completed a 6-night stay in a property that was so obviously someone’s residence I felt personally uncomfortable. My husband and I stayed in the master bedroom. When we travel we don’t live out of our suitcases, and when looking for drawer space to unpack our clothing and toiletries I found no empty drawers. I was shocked and even offended to find personal clothing and other items in every drawer including thong panties wadded up in the top dresser drawer and another pair of underwear among other things in my bedside table where I would’ve put my own belongings. 
There was one small empty closet space with upper & lower hanging areas but no tall place to hang a dress. 

Every drawer/cupboard in the bathroom contained the owner’s belongings that were randomly placed, containers that were left open, used, dirty, and so on. It was just gross. I don’t need to see an opened box of hair color, reading glasses and a used toothbrush by the sink, and 7 partial bottles of shampoo in the shower. 

In the kitchen we found bottles of medicine next to the dinner plates and opened food left in the refrigerator. Am I being a snob to let this bother me?
With COVID19 still an issue, as soon as we arrived I cleaned every surface and touch point (door knobs, remote controls, etc) with antibacterial wipes and washed all of the dishes & silverware our family of 8 might use. This was time consuming but I felt necessary as this property did not give me the feeling it was really clean.
I felt like the owners simply packed a few things & went to stay with friends while collecting $3,200 from us to house sit for them for the next 6 nights.
We are not eager to rent an Airbnb again because of this experience. What a shame. 

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Leigh397  What you describe is unacceptable. There is nothing wrong with a host renting out a place where they normally live, but owner's personal items should be packed away and adequate, empty storage space available to guests. Not seem like the host just walked out the door without making preparations for guests.

 

There are all kinds of different scenarios when it comes to Airbnb, from luxurious private homes that are purely used as short term rentals to a private bedroom in a hosts home, and yes, some hosts will rent out their entire home where they live when they are away on vacation or for work.

 

What is crucial, as a guest, is that you thoroughly read through the listing description to determine what sort of rental this is before booking, and message the host if anything isn't clear to you or you want to double check something. Hosts are supposed to be clear in their listing info as  to what sort of rental it is- do they normally live there and guests will find some of the space contains the owner's belongings?  Are there multiple rooms rented out to unrelated guests with shared common spaces? Is a private room/bath in the host's home where they will also be present? Listings should be accurately and clearly described and if they aren't you have cause for complaint.

 

There is no reason for you to stop using Airbnb just because of the situation you just experienced. You just have to make sure you are clear on what you are booking.  If you arrive to find it was inaccurately described, or not cleaned, you, as a guest, should first contact the host for something like poor or no cleaning, to give them an opportunity to correct the issue, and if it's not dealt with, you should contact Airbnb and cancel if it's not acceptable to you. If you just continue to stay for the entire booking, that indicates that you accepted the conditions- you can't really complain afterwards when you completed the stay. But you can address these things when you write your review.

Dimi667
Level 1
Ormenio, GR

Wow I am really shocked how people are ready for money to give their apartments for rent  where they live to strangers. I would never do this.

I rent a lovely modern home because I was relocated by work.  I have a property manager and a friend who does walk throughs.  I stay there myself every six weeks and keep a few baskets of personal things on a very very high closet shelf.  I have a locked armoire where I keep kitchen things like my olive oil, real syrup, gluten free things.  My place is considered luxury.  I was excited to host, but after a year even with "top" rated guests, I have low regard for human beings at this point.  Let's see, gum in my wool rug, taking anything no locked up even when clearly marked OWNER DO NOT TOUCH.  You name, it they do it or take it.  

 

I not hate hosting because guests do not behave, even the nice ones.  However, it covers my expenses and I don't want to sell my house.  Last week I got an irate text from my neighbor informing me there were 14 cars in front of my house, on my lawn, and blocking the sidewalk! My listing says no parties and not over 6 guests! They were watching the cowboys game on my 2,000 tv set.  Thanks, neighbor almost called the city. They were thrown out but not before leaving a horrible mess.

 

So my advice is that leaving a house unsupervised is risky.  Lock up or hide anything you don't want ruined or taken.  And accept damages will be expensed.  

My question is - Do I need to provide wardrobe space - if so I NEED to move my clothes as I can hardly fit stuff in now as it is! 🙂

Susan151
Level 10
Somerville, MA

@Jacqueline833  Imagine yourself as a traveler. You are spending 5 nights( your minimum ) in what you call a luxury apartment. Do you want to hang your clothes up in a closet? Tuck your underwear into a drawer? Or would you be happy with living out of a suitcase as your summer dresses become wrinkled?

 

To quote your listing, "It's just like a hotel!" If it is just like a hotel, there is somewhere to put my stuff during my stay.

Katy302
Level 1
Sydney, Australia

Great thread. I’m a first time host over this coming Christmas/ NY. We have a three bed house and for months now I’ve been anxious about how to leave the house. I want the guests to feel at home but also with a touch of luxury. I plan on emptying most drawers and cupboards and storing clothing in our lock up detached back room. I will purchase small toiletries/ new sheets towels etc and leave a few small staple items in the fridge.

i feel like it’s a huge amount of work and may come to regret it at the time. 
It seems it may be necessary. 
What are people’s thoughts around Christmas Decorations? 
I am moving in with my parents for Christmas before our camping trip so I was not going to worry about the added stress/ extra space for a tree etc.? 

Nina75
Level 10
LA, CA

Do not leave anything of value...

Valya0
Level 2
Sofia, Bulgaria

From a guest point of view, if that would be valuable - please, don't leave too many personal stuff, especially when you're expecting a longer stay. I had an experience recently where I had nowhere to put my own clothes, not to mention that the bathroom was fully stocked with hosts' stuff there was even used pumice stoned hanging right where the shower was with no 1 inch of space for me to put my travel size shampoo. I know all of this might sound like the host was being helpful - having some toiletries but that's only helpful if you have some small packaged toiletries - "hotel-style" for your guest, otherwise - honestly it's gross. And most definitely I don't want to see stranger's pumice stone nor do I want it under my nose while showering!

Karin399
Level 1
Gothenburg, Sweden

I noticed this is an old thread, but as a new AirBnb host I find the topic very interesting! As an AirBnb guest I have stayed mainly in "investment"-houses where no one actually lived. They were only ment to be rented out. Therefore they were very un-personal and with no personal belongings. Now I have for the first time listed my personal home, filled with personal stuff, since this is the place where we live most of the time. Of course I do understand that leaving expensive jewlery in your bedroom drawer is not the smartest thing, but do I have to accept that books in my library, dvd films in the TV-room, food in one of the top drawers or fridge in the kitchen will be stolen? What are your experiences?  Do I need to clean out EVERYTHING that I don't want to be gone when I come back? And have you taken any action, if you have had things stolen or completely destroyed? How do you proof that it was your latest guest that took it or destroyed it? Would very much appreciate your feedback! Thanks, Karin

 

Jeff754
Level 1
New York, NY

I want to echo this question.. surprised there are not more responses. I don't (yet) own a place but am thinking about doing that, and plan on living there 60-70% of the time, renting it out the other 30-40%, and am wondering how people handle this.

Kenita1
Level 2
Monticello, NY

I'm interested in hearing the answers to her questions as well! I will be hosting my own personal home & don't want to completely remove ALL of my clothing & personal items.

Michael2417
Level 2
Sacramento, CA

I had a home in Davis CA that I never lived in and for a time had on Airbnb so there weren't any personal belongings to worry about.  The bathrooms and kitchens were stocked with the essentials.  But I've just started listing my personal home in Sacramento.  I don't care much whether any of my guests touch my clothes and of course, I would properly store any medications but I'm wondering if it's proper etiquette to leave my clothes in some drawer and in my closet? How about food that would be available to my guests in the refrigerator and kitchen cupboards?   I would leave ample room for guests.  Any feedback is appreciated.

Hosanna0
Level 2
San Jose, CA


As a realtor I would say, leave nothing personal for the guests that you do not like them to have access to...it is tiring and time consuming but better safe than sorry.  leave all the personal effects (photos, any thing that would say something about the hosts, in other words de-personalize your home...

I'd go with this if at all possible. 100 percent. 

Rosemary18
Level 5
Madison, VA

I rent one story of my home. I leave nothing in the chest of drawers in bedroom except paper to line drawers. I do provide one set of linens that are on each bed and a well stocked supply of towels and wash clothes for bathroom. I tend not to over stock products such as paper towels, napkins, and toilet paper because those items are costly and extra tend to be taken by guest. Travel size extras in bathroom for them. I enjoy keeping their living area nice; however, furniture, lighting fixtures, pictures, etc are things that I would not be devastated about if stolen. Utility closets to hot water heater, HVAC are always locked. Cleaning supplies left there for them under bathroom sink.

Penny1
Level 7
Victoria, Australia

I rent out my whole apartment when I am interstate but I predominently do bookings upto 10 days, most are 3-5 and some week bookings.  I have a portable close rack for guests, the bedside drawers, another shelving unit and a suitcase holder. 

 

I like to leave my personal photos in my apartment as it is my home and I feel people respect it more knowing it is someones home rather than a blank investment apartment with ikea furniture and no personality.

 

I am not precious about people going through things, I know a lot do, its having a glimpse into another persons life.  I have a box of luxuries, things picked up on travels or products I don't use that were giveaways or given to me so that means people are less likely to use my things in the bathroom.

 

I provide Shampoo, Conditioner, BodyWash and Body Lotion.  Have a look at my Master bedroom photos, although it is tidier now and no items except pillow on the top of the red shelving unit I still have my shoes out.

 

Anything of value is either locked away or removed to my mothers house or boyfriends house.  Sharing your home you can't be precious but you can be preventative and cautious, its more about the vetting of guests.  I don't host locals that often and I find out their reasons for coming to Melbourne and why they picked my apartment.

 

 

Andrée2
Level 10
Portland, OR

Tricky question because it depends on what the items are; bathroom products will be used so you only want to leave what you don't mind sharing...even your toothpaste  and deodorant : /

Photos: Well, I wouldn't want other people staring at me in their bedroom that I am sleeping in but no problem in the hallways or living room areas.

Clothes: I would consider putting most in a bin and sliding it under the bed or the garage option. Unfortunately I have found that some (not all) guests do enjoy rummaging through items that they have no business in. I have even found boxes opened that were closed before, etc...baffling.

I heard one host had luck using zip ties on some of her cabinets so that might be an option in this case as well to save time.

A locking armoire for your clothes in the bedroom might be a good investment in this case. Otherwise you might want to get some nice totes that you can easily fit onto your shelves and into your closets that can have a lid put on them when they need to go elsewhere quickly.

what about makeup 

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