As the owner of a vacation rental, you’ve likely spent plenty of time considering how guests will experience your home. You want to make a good first impression, provide a comfortable stay, and make sure they have everything they need.

While that’s certainly important, there’s another group to keep in mind when furnishing or decorating your rental. Housekeepers spend nearly as much time in your home as guests, and they are the ones ultimately responsible for making it look its best on a regular basis.

Here are some ideas on how to set up a home that is both visually appealing and easy to clean.

Give housekeepers the tools to make your home look beautiful.

A sparkling clean house goes a long way in welcoming guests and creating a lasting first impression. But there’s only so much that a deep clean can do to spruce up furnishings that are deteriorating or not maintained well.

A housekeeper can’t transform flattened pillows, worn out stained carpets, and other items that are worse for wear. Make sure you replace things as they start to show signs of age. It’s easier to keep something in good condition than to restore it after it’s already experienced some wear.

The same goes for the actual tools housekeepers will be using while in your home. Invest in a nicer, bagless vacuum built for heavy usage that’s capable of picking up hair and other junk in addition to dirt and dust.

Choose fabrics and surfaces that are easiest to clean.

One simple rule of thumb for cleaning: flat surfaces are a housekeeper’s best friend. Choose surfaces that can stand up to heavy usage and continue to look beautiful:

  • Linoleum or the new click-in-place vinyl flooring is durable and can be swept or mopped easily. Wood flooring and tile also simplify the cleaning process and are particularly ideal for pet-friendly homes.
  • Granite countertops are flat and look great, but need to be polished regularly. Silestone is a good alternative.
  • A tiled backsplash is easier to wipe down than drywall.
  • While tile is beautiful, grout can attract dirt and be difficult to thoroughly clean. If you’re using tile, make sure the grout is sealed.
  • Cloth fabric materials can stain easily, while leather can be wiped clean. If you do choose cloth, microfiber also wipes down easily. Spray Scotchguard on furniture to protect it before any potential stains.
  • Shaggy rugs can visually enhance a room, but they’re difficult and time-consuming to vacuum, often requiring a hose to pick everything up and avoid damaging the rug.
  • Some polyester rugs feel like wool but won’t hold stains as easy. At Vacasa, we recommend these whenever possible!

Invest in the items guests will physically touch the most.

A vacation rental will undoubtedly see some wear and tear over time from consistent guest usage, which makes many owners hesitant to purchase quality pieces for their home.

But investing in higher quality items means your furnishings will last longer. Inexpensive dining tables, dressers, or linens will quickly begin to show signs of wear, and a housekeeper won’t be able to make them look like new for your next guests.

Things that are hanging on a wall or sitting on a shelf won’t be handled nearly as much, so if you want to skimp on any part of your furnishings, choose items that won’t experience much physical touch.

Think about how easy it is to put your home back together after each guest stay.

An elaborately decorated home with mountains of pillows, multi-faceted surfaces, and intricate tilework may look great in photos, but how will it look day after day?

For homes with many bookings, turnover time between guests is limited, and your housekeeping staff will have a lot to do to get your home back to tip-top shape. Make it easy for them! Function over form is best for setting up a vacation rental.

Be sure to also consider how long it takes to launder comforters and blankets. By stocking your home with extras, you give housekeepers more time to focus on other areas. Avoid purchasing throw blankets or other commonly used items that are dry-clean only, as you’ll want these items to be washed regularly.

Housekeepers want to help your home look its best – but they need your help! Consider walking through each room to see how you make your home easier to clean and more appealing to guests as a result.

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Author: Chris Brown

Chris is a Pacific Northwest-based interior designer with an extensive background in photography, operations, sales, and business development. At Vacasa, Chris plays a key role in the company's newly launched design service arm, and has conceptualized, organized, and managed design projects for dozens of company-managed properties from start to finish. Chris also provides design consultation services to Vacasa's 5,000+ homeowners on an as-needed basis.